News Photos of the Week

Photos of the Week

(RNS) — Each week Religion News Service presents a gallery of photos of religious expression around the world. This week’s gallery includes New Year’s rituals in Brazil, myriad celebrations and demonstrations in India, and more.

A Sikh warrior blows fire, a traditional skill of martial art, during a procession celebrating the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh in Jammu, India, on Jan. 3, 2019. The birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, is marked on Jan. 5. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

Snow covers the small Greek Orthodox church of Agia Ekaterini in Myrodafni village, near Ioannina city in northwestern Greece, on Jan. 3, 2019. As a cold front hit mountain regions of Greece, temperatures dropped below zero amid heavy snowfall. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Buddhist devotees pray as they take turns lying in coffins during a ceremony at the Wat Takien temple in suburban Bangkok, Thailand, on Dec. 31, 2018. Worshippers believe that the ceremony helps rid them of bad luck as they are ritually born again for a fresh start in the new year. (AP Photo/Sakchai lalit)

Women take a pledge to fight gender discrimination as they form part of a hundreds of miles long “women’s wall” in Thiruvananthapuram, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, on Jan. 1, 2019. An estimated 5 million women participated in making the wall, which is believed to be the largest ever demonstration for gender equality. The women were demanding an end to violence against women trying to enter Kerala’s Sabarimala temple. A recent ruling from India’s top court allowed the entrance of women of menstruating age at the Sabarimala temple, one of the world’s largest Hindu pilgrimage sites, causing mass demonstrations against the ruling. (AP Photo/R.S. Iyer)

A Naga Sadhu, or a naked Hindu holy man, dances during a procession towards the Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges and Yamuna, ahead of the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India, on Jan. 2, 2019. Kumbh Mela is a 45-day festival beginning later this month in which millions of Hindu devotees bathe in the holy waters to cleanse them of their sins. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Women wade into the ocean with a boat filled with offerings for Yemanja, goddess of the sea, during traditional New Year’s celebrations on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018. As the year winds down, Brazilian worshippers of Yemanja celebrate the deity by offering flowers and launching large and small boats into the ocean in exchange for blessings in the coming year. The belief in the goddess comes from the African Yoruban religion brought to America by West African slaves. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

South Korean Buddhists pray for reunification during a service to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak, near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, on Jan. 1, 2019.  (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

A woman holds a candle during prayers at the scene of a collapsed apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a city of 400,000 people, about 870 miles southeast of Moscow, Russia, on Jan. 2, 2019. The building’s pre-dawn collapse on Monday (Jan. 2) came after an explosion that was believed to have been caused by a gas leak. (AP Photo/Maxim Shmakov)

People take selfies with the statue of Yemanja, goddess of the sea, during traditional New Year’s celebrations on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Dec. 29, 2018. As the year winds down, Brazilian worshippers of Yemanja celebrate the deity by offering flowers and launching large and small boats into the ocean in exchange for blessings in the coming year. The belief in the goddess comes from the African Yoruban religion brought to America by West African slaves. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Visitors offer prayers and offerings at Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo on the first business day of the year in Tokyo, Japan, on Jan. 4, 2019. The popular Shinto shrine dates back almost 1300 years to when it was first built in 730 C.E. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

About the author

Kit Doyle

6 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • Funny world. Some self-proclaimed holy men want to dance naked for other men and can get away with it on excuse of dogma. Most other self-proclaimed holy men either don’t want to or can’t get away with it on any excuse at all.

  • The words “self-proclaimed”, “holy”, “want to dance naked for other men”, “can get away with”, “dogma”—where did these come from?

    Or is your intent to draw a contrast between the Naga Sadhus and those Catholic fathers who have had inappropriate contacts with boys?

  • You may have noticed that I am a little “off the wall”. It is just something that came to mind reading the caption where the dancer is described as “a naked Hindu holy man”. And, no I was not trying to call to mind the Catholic Church abuse scandals with boys.

    First of all, there is not really anything wrong with what is being done in the photo if people have this as part of a sacred ritual. On some weird level, I think we might improve other religion if we got all of our supposedly-proper clerics (Judaim, Christianity, Islam) out of their various robes and vestments and sent them out for a touch of group dancing. But then, this was my observation: Most of them either don’t want to—–or—–their constituents would have a conniption fit. One or the other.

  • No problem, thanks!

    Until five years ago, I would have been embarrassed by the Naga Sadhus. Today, I realize that this embarrassment arose because I am looking at my own traditions through the framework of (Europe’s) Enlightenment thinkers.

    Wittgenstein may have been the first Western thinker to draw attention to this matter, when he did a book review of The Golden Bough by J G Frazier.

ADVERTISEMENTs