Hindu texts and scriptures are full of references to the worship of the divine in nature. And they continue to be relevant today. Millions of Hindus recite Sanskrit mantras daily that revere their rivers, mountains, trees and animals. Many also follow, for religious reasons, a vegetarian diet and oppose the institutionalized killing of animals for human consumption. The Earth, depicted as a Goddess or "Devi", is worshipped in many Hindu rituals. (GLOBAL IDEAS)
In the agricultural society, having a more simplified religious system helped to control the masses - everyone was seemingly to be on one accord with the elite having a higher status within the religious infrastructure. As mentioned, the powers that be wanted to ensure surplus food availability for non-farmers and the workers/farmers were required to fulfill that demand (Diamond - "The World Until Yesterday"). For that purpose, religion (Christianity or not) was used as a vehicle for making sure people fulfilled those demands and acted appropriately. In other words, from the outset there was a system of slave-like conditions.
Karl Marl, who wisely noted that religion was an "opiate" of the masses, would appreciate Diamond's historical account. Yet, Marx's "opiate" strategy had been created centuries before his assessment in the 19th century. Also, as the Dalai Lama has stated, "Marx was not actually against religion or religious philosophy per se, but 'against religious institutions that were allied, during Marx's time, with the European ruling class'" (Smithers).
Monotheism in Europe
Europeans in their arrogance even decided, as another excuse to exploit, that people other than themselves were not human or perhaps did not have souls.
The bull Romanus Pontifex is an important example of the Papacy's claim to spiritual lordship of the whole world and of its role in regulating relations among Christian princes and between Christians and "unbelievers" ("heathens" and "infidels"). This bull became the basis for Portugal's later claim to lands in the "new world," a claim which was countered by Castile and the bull Inter caetera in 1493 (Native Web).
The apologies from the Pope are certainly helpful and welcome, but we still suffer from the consequences of these church policies and attitudes that have in many instances become engrained in the western psyche.