Religion gives hope to people, it's not going anywhere, not ever.
What makes you so sure of this? Sure it gives hope. Religion like Cigarrettes, alcohol, fattening foods are tailored towards the poor. This is not to be rude. Food Stamps, Coupons, even Walmart discount get you unhealthy foods in the US. Cigarrets and alcohol are sometimes the only things that are legal that poor people can do to make their dreary world better. So the government taxes it to death. Religion. Cannot be touched by the government, poor do not have to pay, and as you said, praying gives you hope. Hope for a better life, hope that your life will mean something in the end when you go to heaven.
Exactly. We know from history that even in the most dreadful times, people resorted to hope and usually faith in order to overcome great trials.
During the holocaust people often kept hope through prayer, we have testimonies of this. (the hiding place)
In China christianity is banned, because it seems like the government prefers to make sure people don't form "radical movements". The church in China is growing at rapid rates.
There are many more examples like that. Wherever the church is oppressed, it only seems to grow stronger.