The main focus of Egyptian religion was centered on the afterlife. The central premise of Egyptian religion was that the life experienced on Earth was just to prepare them for the afterlife. The afterlife was their main goal above all else. With the Egyptians believing in this, they too believed that the gods sent down a few gods in human form to lead the people. These people were known as Pharaohs; they had all the control over the people and would rule as their king. Since the Egyptians thought the few ones were gods, they would not do anything against them, which allowed the Pharaohs to do anything they pleased. Religion forced the Egyptians to be fearful of the Pharaohs because they could do anything they wanted, good or evil.
A Pharaoh knows that everyone follows him and what he says is law. Pharaohs used religion to make money by emphasizing the afterlife. Since the afterlife was such a huge part of the Egyptian culture, the people would do almost anything to succeed. One main tool was used to cross over to the Field of Reeds, the Egyptian’s Heaven. This tool was called the Book of the Dead. It was a long scroll of hieroglyphics and pictures informing the owner of one how to get successfully past all of the tricky levels to the Field of Reeds. These books were expensive to obtain; families had to save up a great deal of money to afford their own Book of the Dead. Depending on how much information a family wanted in their book, was the factor to see how much it would cost. The more information, the higher the cost was. Rich families would lose most of their earnings after purchasing one. The way that the Pharaohs made money off of these was by having the educated scribes work for the church people. The Pharaohs would get a cut of the profits. Religion allowed men to rule as Pharaohs and control the land. They had power over all of the citizens. Each ruler just made a simply command to have a pyramid, or anything for that matter, built for them and it was done.
Religion also had a crucial influence on Egyptian art. The entire Book of the Dead contained beautiful, detailed pictures and symbols of how to cross over to the Field of Reeds. The artwork was not only contained in the books, but in the Tombs of Egyptians. They had pictures and symbols all over the walls of the tombs describing the man inside, along with information about his life and what kind of a person he was. In the Egyptian era, art was not just paintings. Egyptians built huge pyramids which housed the deceased Pharaohs. The gigantic tombs were only for the Pharaohs, and sometime for their wives, and all their belongings. Smaller tombs were built for wealthy men, and the smaller the tomb was dependent on the wealth of lower class families; a good amount of families did not have a tomb built because they could not afford it. The art expanded to giant statues of their gods along with the giant Sphinx they built to honor King Khafu or one of his sons, it is not certain for whom it was built. Egyptian art was based around all of their gods, which included Pharaohs, since they were thought to be gods. All the art of the Egyptians is based around some piece of their religion. Since the Egyptians idealized their afterlife, shown in all of their artwork, it is obvious that religion greatly influenced funerals and death ceremonies as well.
Egyptians were the first culture to have any sense of the anatomy of the body and where each organ lays within the human body. For their ceremonies, they would mummify the body and take out all of the organs and place them next to the body in the tomb. The organs were left next to the body just in case they were needed during the journey to the afterlife. Religion influenced Egyptians in every aspect of their lives, which had an impact not only on their art, but their funerary customs as well.