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 Carnival festivities, reactions to the tornadoes in Alabama, and more.

Rev. Arthur Thomas, right, of Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, embraces Greg Zanis who built a cross for each victim of the tornado that ripped through their community as a makeshift memorial in Beauregard, Ala., on March 6, 2019. Thomas said several of the dead were members of his congregation. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

People dressed as the traditional carnival character “Zaku Zaharrak,” or old sack in the Basque language, take part during carnival parade in the small village of Lesaka, in northern Spain, on March 3, 2019. Their faces covered with white handkerchiefs and holding a stick fixed with an inflated animal’s bladder used to hit people, the Zaku Zaharrak figures appear after sunset to parade for hours through the village dancing and singing while bands play music. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

A Hindu holy man offers prayers at the courtyard of the Pashupatinath Temple during Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, on March 4, 2019. Shivaratri, or the night of Shiva, is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of death and destruction. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Muslims offer morning prayers at the Camlica Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, which opened March 7, 2019. Hundreds attended the first prayer session at the newly completed mosque, the largest in Asia Minor, with a capacity of 60,000 worshippers. Construction began in 2013. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Performers from the Vila Isabel samba school parade during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 4, 2019. Carnival celebrations mark the extravagance prior to the Lenten fasting season. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Vivian Martin, center, is comforted by fellow resident Susan Thompson, left, and grief counselor Jenny Filush-Glaze, right, at Providence Baptist Church, , in Beauregard, Ala., on March 6, 2019. Martin spoke about feeling guilty that her home was mostly spared by the tornado while some neighbors died when their homes were destroyed. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

“Momotxorros ” take part in the carnival wearing typical carnival dress, in Alsasua, northern Spain, on March 5, 2019. During the carnival Momotxorros, characters, apparently resurrected from a prehistoric ritual, come into the streets wearing horns and hiding their faces under headscarves, and dressed in white sheets stained with blood. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

A worshiper prays during an Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, on March 6, 2019. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a season when Christians prepare for Easter through acts of penitence, abstinence and prayer. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A man is placed into a trance-like state as he points keris, traditional daggers, to his neck during the ritual of Melasti in Bali, Indonesia, on March 4, 2019. The ritual, which is performed ahead of the Balinese Hindu’s Day of Silence, is meant to purify the universe of bad influences, bad deeds and bad thoughts. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, right, arrives for a press conference in Lyon, France, on March 7, 2019. Barbarin offered his resignation to Pope Francis after a court on Thursday found him guilty of failing to report to authorities allegations of sexual abuse of minors by a priest. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

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Kit Doyle


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  • The Camlica Mosque holds 63,000 worshipers to be exact. I’m happy that they are happy with the building. It was designed by two women, which may have to do with why it was selected in the competition. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think that there were uniquely more bueatiful entrants in the competiorion. The winner is a huge, grotesque copy of the very old style of Orthodox Christian church building that the Muslims adopted when they captured Constantinople and converted churches into mosques.

  • “Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of death and destruction”

    No. This is shoving David Hume’s Fear Theory of Religion on to the Indian traditions. Hume’s theory thinks that preliterate societies would create a “god” for each category of fear—one god for fear of death, another god for fear of storms, another god for fear of floods and so on. It’s not native to our culture. It doesn’t fit.

  • Did Greg Zanis check with each of the victims to see if they were indeed Christian and not some other religion or none at all? Kind of presumptive of him and the community. It is like the Mormon practice of baptizing a substitute for the dead, offensive to many if not all.

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