People only have so much time and energy. The more resources that are spent on religious "solutions" that don't work, or that make things worse, the less time and energy is available to focus on the things that really solve problems.
That's time and money spent on prayer candles, tithing, church services, healings, missioning, writing and printing leaflets, etc. That's time and money not spent on research on how to cure ebola or how to deal with global warming.
Then, since the problems get worse instead of better, people with only a religious orientation to the world double down on the praying, etc. Which just prevents real solutions. Putting oil on someone's head won't cure malaria. So, religion is a cause and an effect.