God as defined on Dictionary.com
the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
Religion as defined on Dictionary.com
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
Religion is but a means to reach an end not the end in itself. The end is God. Religion is nothing but a hypothesis, i.e. a proposed explanation to the phenomenon which has not yet been otherwise experimentally proved. It binds you within boundaries, within rules, within moral code of conduct.
In blindly following the religion of one's birth, we lose the power inherent within to think for ourselves. We lose the power to reason, to think, and most importantly the power to disagree. We tend not to question one's religion and it's principles but accept it in the form it exists. If Lord Buddha thought the same way, he would never have got the enlightenment.
The main aim of any religion is to teach you to respect mankind. In the words of Swami Vivekanand, if you can not respect your brother man, the manifested God; how can you worship the unmanifested God?. He also explained that various religions are like different vessels containing water. God is like the water that takes a different shape in each of these vessels.
Religion only shapes an entity which is same through all of them. Religion provides us a radii in this circle of life on which if we tread we reach the centre where the Lord resides. God is there at the centre of all religions, and all of us are on our way to the same destination only via different routes. All those fanatics who think they follow there religion in its true form and find themselves at loggerheads with other religion, have actually gone off the tangent of this circle.
God is not Religion and Religion is not God. Just as the journey is not the destination and the destination is not the journey. The journey has a route , has directions which will eventually lead you to your destination. It is but only a set of beliefs.
If you have read all the holy books of your religion and practised all its rituals but your heart is not pure, not open to humanity; it's all in vain. God is not any external entity, you yourself are your God and you are the Prophet that bears the teachings of the God. The learning has to come from within.
"If you are not a Prophet, there never has been anything true of God. If you are not God, there never was any God and never will be." ~ Swami Vivekanand