Emile Durkheim was a French sociologist who described religion as being a negotiation or relationship between the sacred and the profane. The sacred (realm) is supernatural, ideal, powerful, and potentially dangerous if not treated properly. Anything can be sacred, even seemingly mundane objects like rocks or a favorite food- they are marked as sacred when a person or group of people believes this object has a special quality which marks is as not profane.
In many cases, religion and a shared perception of what is sacred or profane can be part of a social cohesion. Religion may be part of or related to ethnic identity, but is also quite transcendent of lived experiences like ethnic identity, health or bodily status, and even language. A shared belief in the sacredness or profanity of a person, place, thing, word, or action unites people.
The sacred realm is a very ambiguous word or quality. In the simplest terms, it is everywhere and nowhere, dependent upon whether or not someone believes it is there. The realm can be created through action or speech, or may be a permanent fixture which becomes sacred in the presence of someone who believes it is sacred.
The sacred realm can include religious buildings or sites of worship, spaces or objects marked as sacred through prayer, realms of the before and afterlife, and objects deemed to be sacred which have influence over the place they rest.