so imagine for a moment that i've started a kind of club. anyone can join, but there are some rules and responsibilities. dues are 10% of your income, plus occasional special requests for donations. you will be expected to recruit new members who will, in turn, be expected to recruit further members, which is bordering on a pyramid scheme. however, unlike a pyramid scheme, you won't see any of the dues funds from these new members, so it's a bit like indentured servitude.
the rules are somewhat intrusive and rather strict; they become increasingly so for the unmarried, women, and non-hetero individuals. if you break the rules too much you will be excluded. you are expected to fit in, and questioning the rules or the leaders will come with severe punishment. aside from social gatherings, the benefits you receive will be provided after you die.
this is a fairly good, if grossly simplistic, explanation of just one aspect of religion and why i'm not a big fan.