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There are many ways in which to answer this question. For a society to be a civilization, there are a few points that are essential.
First, the word, "civilization," comes from the Latin meaning citizen. So, the first point that is appropriate to make is that all civilizations seek to protect its citizens. A civilization allows for its citizens to thrive and grow.
Second, you mention religion, which is another key element. For a civilization to thrive it should seek to protect the religious rights of its citizen body. One of the reasons why I think the United States is a great country is due to its religious freedom and separation between church and state.
Third, a civilization, of course, needs a body of laws and a way to enforce them.
In short, many points could be made, but these are some of the foundational ones.
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