Sixty-five-year old Indian widow Urmila Tiwari poses at the Meerasahabhagini Ashram in Vrindavan, some 135 kilometres south of New Delhi, ahead of International Women’s Day. Ms Tiwari has lived at the ashram for over a year and says, “I love to live here, among good people”. Banished by families who see them as a financial drain, or believe they bring bad fortune, desperately poor widows have for centuries travelled to the northern city of Vrindavan, where the Hindu god Krishna is said to have grown up, to pray and wait to die. The Meerasahabhagini Ashram run by the Sulabh International NGO offers a place where some of Vrindavans estimated 15,000 widows can live together, providing support and friendship that bind them into a community. International Women’s Day falls on Saturday Read more
A boy rests with his family outside the Jokhang monastery in Lhasa, Tibet Read more
Monks dressed as Tibetan Buddhist characters attend a religious ceremony, known as Da Gui, or beating ghost, to celebrate the Tibetan New Year which starts on March 1 at Yonghegong Lama Temple. The ceremony is held annually at the end of the first lunar month with mask dancing to expel ghosts
A boy looks through the window of the Saraswati temple during the Shreepanchami festival in Kathmandu. Children are given their first writing and reading lessons at the temple during this festival in the belief that Saraswati, the goddess of education, will help them excel Read more
A Hindu devotee’s tongue is pierced before making his way towards the Hill Top Murugan temple during the colourful annual Thaipusam festival, one of the world’s most extreme displays of religious devotion, in Georgetown on the Malaysian island of Penang.
Pope Francis waves to visitors as he arrives at St Peter’s Square at the Vatican for his weekly general audience. Read more
Pope Francis is helped on with his mitre during the Epiphany mass in St Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican, Rome.
Men perform a traditional dance in the icy waters of the Tundzha River in the town of Kalofer, Bulgaria, as part of the Epiphany Day celebrations. As a tradition, an Eastern Orthodox priest throws a cross into the river and it is believed that the person who retrieves it will be healthy throughout the year, as will those who dance in the icy waters Read more
Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan take part in a religious procession in Tolosa, on the Philippine island of Leyte, on Monday. More than 4,000 people have been killed by the storm and the death toll may go higher.
A man walks past religious scripture painted on a wall in the seaside village of Portrush near the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Read more