Look around the world and notice the pressure put on people to just put faith into whatever the local belief system happens to be. This is especially true (currently) in Middle-East Muslim culture, so I'm most interested in hearing back from them, in particular.
It's not just Muslims who put peer pressure on their own society to practice faith, as almost all religions are a product of local peer pressure. So my question still applies (to various degrees) to every religion.
I know from personal experience, it takes courage to stand up to the popular pressures and think for one's self. Atheism was never, ever pressured upon me. I took my stand against pressure from Christians all around me to conform.
So, how much does the fear of punishment from society unfairly make people believe something is true?