If you choose the broadest possible definition of religion, you will find that the soccer enthusiast and the man who believes in gods, devils, and other supernatural beasties are equally men of "religion." We can make no meaningful distinction between them. And yet there does appear to be something different between the two that cannot be accounted for merely by the degree of importance each assigns to an activity. For one thing, religion can not wholly be accounted for by activities. Religion includes beliefs.
If I were to define religion, it would include the term "faith." How would I define faith? I would say that "faith" is believing in things in such a way that priority is given to authority or revelation. In other words, authority or revelation suffice in the absence of evidence and are even preferred over evidence where the evidence contradicts.
The primary reason we have the word "faith" is because there is insufficient evidence to make a determination as to the accuracy of certain propositions relating to the supernatural. Faith has also sometimes been interpreted as "hope," but this is not alone sufficient to account for belief in the supernatural.
If you agree with the definition I have given above, which is not dissimilar to "the assurance of things unseen" in the bible, and if you agree that this is a common element in religion, then we may proceed to discuss religion. If not, then we will be referring to different things, which will make it difficult indeed to have a meaningful discussion.