Religion

A boy crawls under a cow during a religious ceremony celebrating the Tihar festival, also called Diwali, in Kathmandu

Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

A cow is garlanded and offered food during a religious ceremony celebrating the Tihar festival, also called Diwali, in Kathmandu, on Thursday.

 A Chinese Christian woman prays during a service at an underground independent Protestant Church in Beijing, China. China, an officially atheist country, places a number of restrictions on Christians and allows legal practice of the faith only at state-approved churches. The policy has driven an increasing number of Christians and Christian converts 'underground' to secret congregations in private homes and other venues. While the size of the religious community is difficult to measure, studies estimate there more than 65 million Christians inside China with studies supporting the possibility it could become the most Christian nation in the world within a decade.

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

A Chinese Christian woman prays during a service at an underground independent Protestant Church in Beijing, China. China, an officially atheist country, places a number of restrictions on Christians and allows legal practice of the faith only at state-approved churches

Indian Muslims offer prayers during Eid al-Adha at the Vasi Ullah mosque in Allahabad, India

Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

Indian Muslims offer prayers during Eid al-Adha at the Vasi Ullah mosque in Allahabad, India

Kashmiri Muslims watch from a window as a sheep is sacrificed on the occasion of the religious festival of Eid al-Adha in Srinagar, India, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. Eid al-Adha is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

Mukhtar Khan/AP

Kashmiri Muslims watch from a window as a sheep is sacrificed on the occasion of the religious festival of Eid al-Adha in Srinagar, India. Eid al-Adha is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. 

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man swings a chicken over his head as part of the Kaparot ritual in Jerusalem,

Sebastian Scheiner/AP

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man swings a chicken over his head as part of the Kaparot ritual in Jerusalem. Observers believe the ritual transfers one’s sins from the past year into the chicken, and is performed before the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish year which starts at sundown Friday. 

A Romanian Roma man teaches his son to pray during a religious service celebrating the Birth of the Virgin Mary at the Bistrita Monastery in Costesti, Romania, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Thousands of Gypsies or Roma gather on a nearby hillside after attending the religious service and celebrate the religious holiday by sharing food and playing traditional music until the next dawn.

Vadim Ghirda/AP

A Romanian Roma man teaches his son to pray during a religious service celebrating the Birth of the Virgin Mary at the Bistrita Monastery in Costesti, Romania

Indian Hindu devotees gesture before attempting to form a human pyramid in a bid to reach and break a dahi-handi (curd-pot) suspended in air during celebrations for the Janmashtami festival, which marks the birth of Hindu god Lord Krishna, in Mumbai on August 18, 2014. Participants receive prize money by constructing a human pyramid tall enough to enable the topmost person to reach the pot and claim the contents after breaking it.  AFP PHOTO/ INDRANIL MUKHERJEEINDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images

Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty

Hindu devotees in Mumbai, India form a human pyramid in an effort to reach and break a dahi-handi (curd-pot) suspended in the air during celebrations for the Janmashtami festival, which marks the birth of Krishna. Participants win prize money by helping the topmost person to reach the pot and claim the contents. 

A woman holds a picture of Pope Francis while waiting for his arrival for the Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup stadium in Daejeon August 15, 2014. Pope Francis on Friday commemorated the more than 300 people killed in a ferry disaster in April, and called on South Koreans, among Asia's richest people, to beware of the spiritual "cancer" that often accompanies affluent societies.

Lee Jin-man/Reuters

A woman holds a picture of Pope Francis while waiting for holy mass at a stadium at Daejeon, South Korea, on Friday. The Pope commemorated more than 300 people killed in a ferry disaster in April.

Buddhist monks and volunteers c...TOPSHOTS Buddhist monks and volunteers clean the 15-metre-tall great Buddha statue during the annual Ominugui ceremony at Todaiji Temple in Japan's ancient capital Nara, western Japan on August 7, 2014. People visited the temple as they believe that a person who collects the dust during the ceremony will be trouble-free for a year. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS    JAPAN OUTJIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty

Buddhist monks and volunteers clean the 15m-high great Buddha statue during the annual Ominugui ceremony at Todaiji temple in the ancient capital of Nara, in western Japan. People visit the temple in the belief that a person who collects the dust during the ceremony will be trouble-free for a year. 

Indonesian Muslims Prepare To Return Home For Eid Al-Fitr Celebrations...JEMBRANA, INDONESIA - JULY 24:  Indonesian riders on their motorbikes queue to board a ferry at Gilimanuk Port on July 24, 2014 in Jembrana, Indonesia.  In the days ahead of the Eid al Fitr holiday, millions of Indonesians working in Bali return to their hometowns to celebrate the holiday with family.  (Photo by Agung Parameswara/Getty Images)

Agung Parameswara/Getty

Would-be revellers queue to board a ferry at Gilimanuk Port in Jembrana, Indonesia. In the days ahead of the Eid al Fitr, millions of people working in Bali return to their home towns to celebrate the end of Ramadan holiday with family.