Religion

Christian worshipper is seen inside the Grotto, where Christians believe Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, at the Church of Nativity ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem...A Christian worshipper is seen inside the Grotto, where Christians believe Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, at the Church of Nativity ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 17, 2014.

Ammar Awad/Reuters

A Christian worshipper is seen inside the Grotto, where Christians believe Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, at the Church of Nativity ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Wednesday

A Christmas star on top of a sales booth is pictured against the colorful morning sky at the Christmas market in Dresden, eastern Germany.

Arno Burgi/dpa/AP

A Christmas star on top of a sales booth is pictured against the colorful morning sky at the Christmas market in Dresden, eastern Germany

 Israeli Orthodox jews seen protesting on December 10, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Orthodox jews are protesting the building of a new neighbourhood in Jerusalem, because of fears it will destroy an ancient Jewish tomb at the site.

Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images

Israeli Orthodox jews seen protesting on Wednesday in Jerusalem, Israel. Orthodox jews are protesting the building of a new neighbourhood in Jerusalem, because of fears it will destroy an ancient Jewish tomb at the site

A police officer stands guard as Shia pilgrims make their way to the holy city of Kerbala, ahead of the holy Shia ritual of Arbaeen, in Baghdad, December 10, 2014. Arbaeen falls 40 days after the holy day of Ashura.

Ahmed Saad/Reuters

A police officer stands guard as Shia pilgrims head to the holy city of Kerbala, ahead of the holy Shia ritual of Arbaeen, in Baghdad on Wednesday. Arbaeen falls 40 days after the holy day of Ashura

 An Iraqi Christian, who fled from her home because of Islamic State's advance earlier this year, hangs up washed clothes to dry besides a displaced persons camp near Umm al-Nour Church, which is now home to hundreds of displaced Iraqi Christians in Erbil, Iraq.  Although the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq was already a refuge for an estimated 250,000 Syrian refugees, since the Islamic State began its onslaught on Iraq in June, Kurdistan has also taken in a more than one and a half million displaced people. Many have been placed in purpose-built refugee camps but the huge numbers mean thousands of others are forced to live in un-finished buildings or inadequate, makeshift shelters and as winter in the region closes in, there are growing concerns for the welfare of the refugees who, while their homes are still in ISIL controlled territory, have no realistic prospect of returning to them.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

An Iraqi Christian, who fled from her home because of Islamic State’s advance earlier this year, hangs up washed clothes to dry besides a displaced persons’ camp near Umm al-Nour Church, which is now home to hundreds of displaced Iraqi Christians in Erbil, Iraq.

An Orthodox man prays at the Western Wall in the Old City on Tuesday in Jerusalem, Israel. As violence continues in Israel, an Israeli was stabbed and lightly injured Monday morning in the West Bank south of Jerusalem. Nine Israelis have been killed in a series of stabbings, shootings and hit-and-run attacks in Jerusalem over the past month, unsettling the ancient city of Jerusalem where Jews, Christians and Muslims have lived side by side for thousands of years. The tension and violence on the streets of the city is threatening to further isolate communities and to encourage extremist politicians exploit the situation

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

An Orthodox man prays at the Western Wall in the Old City in Jerusalem, Israel, on Tuesday.

A woman and her daughter pray after offering alms to Buddhist monks near a railway track in Phnom Penh...A woman and her daughter pray after offering alms to Buddhist monks near a railway track in Phnom Penh December 2, 2014. REUTERS/Samrang Pring (CAMBODIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Samrang Pring/Reuters

A mother and her daughter pray after offering alms to Buddhist monks near a railway track in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

A Hasidic man pushes a buggy in the Old City in Jerusalem on November 26, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Nine Israelis have been killed in a series of stabbings, shootings and hit-and-run attacks in Jerusalem over the past month, unsettling the ancient city of Jerusalem where Jews, Christians and Muslims have lived side by side for thousands of years. The tension and violence on the streets of the city is threatening to further isolate communities and to encourage extremist politicians to exploit the situation.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A Hasidic man pushes a buggy in the Old City in Jerusalem on wednesday in Jerusalem, Israel. Nine Israelis have been killed in a series of stabbings, shootings and hit-and-run attacks in Jerusalem over the past month, unsettling the ancient city of Jerusalem where Jews, Christians and Muslims have lived side by side for thousands of years

Members of the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel pray during a ceremony marking the holiday of Sigd in Jerusalem November 20, 2014. Sigd marks the community's longing to return to Jerusalem, where they see their biblical roots.

Amir Cohen/Reuters

Members of the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel pray during a ceremony marking the holiday of Sigd in Jerusalem on Thursday. Sigd marks the community’s longing to return to Jerusalem, where they see their biblical roots

Satguru Rampalji Maharaj, a self-styled "godman" is escorted to the high court after his arrest, in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh November 20, 2014. A self-styled Indian religious leader was charged on Thursday with sedition and waging war against the state after a days-long siege of his sprawling compound ended in his arrest along with 450 hardcore followers. Police evacuated more than 10,000 followers on Wednesday from the fortified compound of a bizarre cult headed by 'godman' Satguru Rampalji Maharaj before capturing him late in the evening.

Ajay Verma/Reuters

Satguru Rampalji Maharaj, a self-styled “godman” is escorted to the high court after his arrest, in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh. A self-styled Indian religious leader was charged on Thursday with sedition and waging war against the state after a days-long siege of his sprawling compound ended in his arrest along with 450 hardcore followers