According to religion, what is the nature of the world?

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According to Christianity, the world is a physical place where we can choose God and give Him our adoration by making choices, especially the choice to obey Him, through His representatives on earth.  According to some eastern religions, notably Buddhism, the physical universe is “maya”—illusion.  Nothing is real that is perceived through the senses—only being at one with Buddha is real.  Other religions have treated”reality” as a test, a challenge to our honor to “the gods”, in large part personifications of natural forces, or rather, the nature of the world.  To religions that believe we are born many times, the world is where we act out our Karma, the consequences of imperfections in our life-choices in a previous lifetime.  To all religions, it can be said that the “world” is an inferior place where we have a body, in which an eternal soul resides; this body acts and reacts to the “world” but is only a temporary physical state, while our real essence is eternal.  In this interpretation, the "laws" of physics are simply God's "rules" for the physical world.