Ancient civilizations like those of Egypt or Mesopotamia used religion as a means of social control by having their religion tied to their political leaders. Their religions essentially told people that obedience to the rulers was the will of the gods. In the case of Egypt, they actually told people that the pharaohs were gods. By saying this, the religions served as means of social control, telling people that they needed to be obedient to worldly rulers in order to be acceptable to the gods. Since it was important to appease the gods both for this life and the next, this was a powerful way of controlling the people.