I think the question should separate religion and God (as based on original scriptures in Holy books). This is because there are 3 main categories of people. There are the true believers, who base their faith on the scriptures, then there are the atheists, and there are the religionists (huge majority). The 1st and 2nd can live without religion, and have been so very well and fulfilled, but the 3rd category are the ones who'd find it difficult or uneasy to go on with their lives without some form of religious activity.
I have and do live my life without religion as such and am very happy for it. This gives me freedom to do the loving thing in any situation and interact with people of whatever belief without having issues on belief or non-belief. Most of the trouble I face is from religious people who insist on going through the outward motions to sort out problems without going to the root cause to make lasting solutions. They do that because they follow what religious authorities say instead of digging a bit for themselves. Religions have their worship and service regulated and they tend to get bound by their own limitations, and even worse, the traditions which take priority over what the godhead has to say; whereas God's word sets free. Religious leaders tend to keep their flock under their influence by preaching (not necessarily practicing) things that are pleasing to the ear, plenty of rules, and they dare not say anything to stir the flock into conviction. They need the flock to make a living. Please note, these are general statements, and there are exceptions and exceptional people within the religious circles also.
Atheists say they don't believe God and still, they do things to help their neighbor and are not limited by religious settings.
One can find in ancient writings in Vedas so many interesting things, freedoms, and inventions etc but it is not readily available for people to see. These are based on scriptural stuff, not religious stuff.
It is a known fact that while in a Muslim or Mideast country, if one identifies himself as a Christian, he is quickly in trouble. If he says he is a follower of Jesus, there is openness and communication. That is an example of difference between religion and God. It is because the people of those places know what the 'religious Christian' people did to their countries and people.
As a believer in Jesus/Bible, I can see where Jesus says his kingdom is not of the earth; sell all you have and follow me; to trust him to supply and feed/clothe you, etc. He was not even religious and never asked to build buildings and create traditions and religious formalities. I like and live with this scripture-based non-religion. It is wonderful.