What role in religion play in the founding of English colonies?
In some cases the colony was established because of discrimination against the religion. The Pilgrims and Quakers are examples of colonies established because of an religion.
Maryland was founded by Roman Catholics who were fleeing persecution in England. The Puritans, Quakers, and other protestants who were being persecuted by England also fled to the colonies. Not all colonies were founded with religious intentions however. Southern colonies such as the Carolinas were founded for agriculture and Georgia was founded as a buffer state between the English colonies and Spanish controlled Florida.