An economist would say that we need food, water, and shelter. An economist would also say that everything else would be a want. I have to take this logical point of view. When it comes to anything besides the basic components needed to survive, only humans can determine what humans need. I don't know if God, natural law, little green men, or some other force of the universe decided this; that's beside the point.
Religion is a want, not a need. Infact, human beings lived for a very long time without religion, let alone civilization. Some would call this the time that we lived in a, "state of nature" We were hunter gatherers, who knew not of cathedrals, synagogues, and holy books. Yet, we lived.
Perhaps those that would make this claim instead mean that society still needs religion. It is true that there has been an odd trend lately, a trend that some have mistaken as a desire to believe. They point to movies like The Matrix, Fight Club, and The Sixth Sense, all of which feature something that is not as it seems. However, the true desire here is to unveil the hidden secrets. The desire is not to believe, but to stop believing, to peel away the layers of secrecy, and start working towards truth. So you see, humanity nor society need religion, or even want it as a whole.