News Photos of the Week

Photos of the Week

Nepalese Hindu devotees offer prayers while dipping half of their bodies into the Hanumante River during the Madhav Narayan Festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal, on Jan. 2, 2018. During the festival, devotees recite scriptures dedicated to the Hindu goddess Swasthani and Lord Shiva. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

(RNS) — Each week Religion News Service presents a gallery of photos of religious practice around the world. This first gallery of 2018 includes images from New Year’s celebrations, Hindu festivals in Asia, unrest in Iran, and more.

Nepalese Hindu devotees offer prayers while dipping half of their bodies into the Hanumante River during the Madhav Narayan Festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal, on Jan. 2, 2018. During the festival, devotees recite scriptures dedicated to the Hindu goddess Swasthani and Lord Shiva. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)


A woman and young girl, dressed in costumes, step out from a photo booth before taking part in a “Cabalgata de Reyes,” Epiphany parade, in Madrid, Spain, on Jan. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul White)


A man lights up a cigarette while selling dried oak branches, a Christmas Eve tradition for Orthodox Christians, in Belgrade, Serbia, on Jan. 5, 2018. Serbians celebrate Christmas according to the Julian Calendar, on January 7. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)


Palestinian volunteers call people to wake up for dawn prayers in Gaza City on Jan. 3, 2018. In recent weeks, Gaza residents have been jolted awake in the dead of night to a raucous mixture of Quranic phrases, Islamic supplications and prayer. The “Grand Fajr Campaign” is the work of fervent religious activists, many affiliated with the ruling Hamas movement, seeking to spread the message of Islam in an already deeply conservative society. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)


Hindus practice ritual immersion at the Triveni Sangam, the meeting point of the Ganges, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati Rivers in Allahabad, India, on Jan. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)


Iranian senior cleric Ahmad Khatami delivers his sermon during Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 5, 2018. The hard-line Iranian cleric has called on Iran to create its own social media apps, blaming outsiders’ apps for the unrest that followed days of protest in the Islamic Republic over its economy. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)


The angel Moroni statue, silhouetted against the sky, sits atop the Salt Lake Temple, at Temple Square, on Jan. 3, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


In this Aug. 23, 2008 photo, President Thomas S. Monson attends the Cultural Celebration performed by the youth of the Twin Falls Temple district in Twin Falls, Idaho. Monson, the 16th president of the Mormon church, died Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, after overseeing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for nearly a decade. He was 90. (Scott G. Winterton/The Deseret News via AP)


A woman offers flowers to Yemanja, goddess of the sea, for good luck in the coming year during New Year’s Eve festivities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Dec. 31, 2017. Belief in the goddess comes from the African Yoruba religion, brought to the Americas by West African slaves. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)


Pope Francis prays in front of the Nativity scene after celebrating a New Year’s eve vespers Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, on Dec. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

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