the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
"ideas about the relationship between science and religion"
synonyms: faith, belief, worship, creed; More
a particular system of faith and worship.
plural noun: religions
"the world's great religions"
a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
"consumerism is the new religion"
a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
"the cult of St. Olaf"
a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
"a network of Satan-worshiping cults"
synonyms: sect, denomination, group, movement, church, persuasion, body, faction
"a religious cult"
a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.
"a cult of personality surrounding the leaders"
synonyms: obsession with, fixation on, mania for, passion for, idolization of, devotion to, worship of, veneration of
"the cult of eternal youth in Hollywood"
To my mind in mainstream thought. Religion is a worship of deity or they are followers of a man. Religion is universal in its appeal and teaching.
A cult is short lived. As soon as the founder has passed away it dies and is no more. The founder can be controlling so much so that the people have freedom of choice or control over their individual lives.