Religion: Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers, regarded as creator, who govern the universe Dictionary.com
Religion comes from 2 sources: relgere - meaning to reread and ligare - meaning to bind together.
Religion, for many, is an answer to the instinctive curiosity humans have to try and find out where, when, how and why (religion is a response to the mystery of life and is natural to human beings Ronald J. Wilkins). Where we come from. When it all started. How it all started. And why are we here. Different religions try to answer these universal questions in many different ways.
All religions are comprised of rituals, stories, beliefs, persons and experiences. These different components try to answer the universal questions, and in doing so, give meaning to the believer's life.
Rituals, for example, can be a Brit in Judaism or a Baptism in Christianity. These rituals 'introduce' an individual into the religion.
This way they feel they are bound to the religion because the rituals often relate to stories of old. Eg: Jews are circumcised because Abraham circumcised himself to bind himself to G-d.
'Persons'. In Christianity and Islam, there is believed to be a profit sent from G-d to guide the people on earth to do good, how to worship g-d etc... these individuals are believed to have a strong connection with G-d. The Raelians believe that their leader, Rael, was abducted by aliens 30 years ago, and told that the aliens cloned people 20 years ago and that the major profits of Judaism, Christianity and Islam where messengers of the aliens.
Beliefs. Beliefs are usually the platform of a religion and communication is the foundation which it rests on. Communicating beliefs is essential to the ultimate goal of religion (answering the universal questions).