Evangelicals, and even some Protestants associate religion with some dangerous Vatican attempt to sneak meritorious works into the gospel. This misunderstanding also stems from the overwhelming abuse done in the name of religion. But this is not a reason to undermine the biblical definition.
“Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship,” some insist. In fact, many gospel presentations are framed around this very premise. But this is not how the Bible speaks of religion. James speaks that a Christian ought to exercise “pure religion.” Berkhof defines religion as a conscious and voluntary relationship to God, which expresses itself in grateful worship and loving service.” Hence, Christianity is both a religion and a relationship.