The Bible’s answer
No, all religions are not the same. The Bible contains many examples of religions that displease God. These fall into two basic categories.
Category 1: Worshipping false gods
The Bible describes the worship of false gods with such terms as “delusion,” “futility,” and “useless.” (Jeremiah 10:3-5; 16:19, 20) Jehovah * God commanded the ancient nation of Israel: “You must not have any other gods besides me.” (Exodus 20:3, 23; 23:24) When the Israelites worshipped other gods, “Jehovah became enraged.”—Numbers 25:3; Leviticus 20:2; Judges 2:13, 14.
God still has the same attitude toward the worship of such “so-called gods.” (1 Corinthians 8:5, 6; Galatians 4:8) He commands those who want to worship him to stop associating with those who practice false religion, saying: “Get out from among them, and separate yourselves.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17) If all religions are the same and lead people to God, then why would God give such a command?
Category 2: Worshipping the true God in a way he does not approve
At times, the Israelites worshipped God using beliefs and practices borrowed from the worship of false gods, but Jehovah rejected this attempt to mix true religion with false. (Exodus 32:8; Deuteronomy 12:2-4) Jesus condemned the religious leaders of his day because of the way they worshipped God; they made an outward show of being religious, yet they hypocritically “disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely, justice and mercy and faithfulness.”—Matthew 23:23.
Likewise today, only religion that is based on truth leads people to God. This truth is found in the Bible. (John 4:24; 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17) Religions whose teachings conflict with the Bible actually steer people away from God. Many teachings that people think come from the Bible—including the Trinity, the immortal soul, and eternal torment—were borrowed from those who worshipped false gods. Worship that promotes such teachings is “in vain,” or useless, because it replaces God’s requirements with religious traditions.—Mark 7:7, 8.
God detests religious hypocrisy. (Titus 1:16) To help people draw closer to God, a religion must affect their everyday lives and not just consist of rituals or formalities. For example, the Bible says: “If any man thinks he is religious but does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he is deceiving his own heart, and his worship is futile. The religion that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.” (James 1:26, 27; footnotes) The King James Version uses the expression “pure religion” for this clean, unhypocritical worship.