10 Disturbing Religious Ceremonies


10 Disturbing Religious Ceremonies NUMBER 10: SKY BURIALS Buddhists believe in a cycle of rebirth and
reincarnation, meaning that they feel less need to preserve bodies after death. In fact, some buddhists argue that the faster
a body is disposed, the sooner the individual can begin their new life. In Tibet, this belief manifests in the form
of ‘jhator’, a burial ceremony that sees the corpse of a recently deceased person taken
to the top of a mountain and left as an offering to vultures. In order to speed up the process, the bodies
are usually cut into pieces and spread around a wider area. It is believed that the vultures are ‘Dakinis’,
which translates as ‘sky dancers’ and are kinds of angels who will transport the
person’s soul into heaven. The Chinese authorities of Tibet criminalized
the practice of jhator in the 1960s due to its perceived barbarity, but this faced a
strong backlash from those who strongly believed in its spiritual necessity. It was therefore re-legalized from the 1980s,
so long as it’s only performed on designated cordoned-off locations. NUMBER 9: THAIPUSAM Thaipusam is an annual Hindu festival celebrated
in many different countries around the world, including Sri Lanka, India, South Africa and
Malaysia. For most of its thousands of participants,
the ceremony involves a simple procession, during which people carry milk pots as offerings
to the Gods. However, certain devout Hindus perform a special
ritual as their way of marking the occasion. Such participants pierce their cheeks and
bodies with spears and hooks, from which they hang decorations that can weigh over 30 kilograms. They claim that they enter a trance-like state
that prevents them from feeling pain or discomfort. The purpose of Thaipusam is to commemorate
the story of Hindu goddess Parvati, who gave Murugan – the god of war – a divine spear
to vanquish an evil demon. The idea is that, by inserting spines into
their own bodies, participants are vanquishing any evil or bad traits within themselves. NUMBER 8: THE SUN DANCE Most Native American cultures celebrate spiritualism,
meaning that they have a long history of performing sacred ceremonies intended to honor the various
Earth spirits. One of the most widely performed Native American
rituals is the sun dance, which aims to ensure good health and harvest for a community. Whilst in many cases today the ritual simply
involves drumming, singing and dancing around a fire, the Sun Dance performed by some tribes
is a gruelling trial of physical endurance. They involve the skin of the chest of one
participant being pierced with a skewer, which is then attached by rope to a sacred Tree
of Life. The individual then has to move back and forth,
in order to ‘dance free’ of the skewer. As you would expect, numerous instances of
serious injury or death have been attributed to this agonizing ceremony, which is why the
American government has outlawed it since the end of the 19th century. However, because regulation is difficult to
administer in Native American communities, it is known that the practice still sometimes
occurs today. NUMBER 7: EL COLACHO Christians from around the world believe in
Original Sin, the idea that humanity is born into a state of sin as a result of Adam and
Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. However, the people of Castillo de Murica
in northern Spain have adopted a disconcerting ritual as a means of ridding children of this
evil… El Colacho, otherwise known as the ‘baby
jumping festival’. All of the babies born over the last year
are placed in mattresses in the street, as men dressed as devils run and jump over them
in order to cleanse the newborns of original sin. Although there are no records of fatalities
caused by the ceremony, the Pope has urged the local Catholic clergy to distance themselves
from the highly dangerous practice. Similarly, some Hindu communities in South
India take part in a baby tossing ritual, that sees more than 100 babies a year thrown
from the roof of a temple to be caught in a blanket below. The purpose is to bring good fortune and fertility. Again, records do not list any resultant deaths,
but the potential for accidents is incredibly high. NUMBER 6: SELF-FLAGELLATION Self-flagellation – the act of hitting oneself
with a whip – has been a religious ritual for pretty much as long as there has been
religion, most often performed as an act of penance or to appease the Gods. Yet, disturbingly, self-flagellation is not
an act you would only find in the pages of history books, as it still occurs even today. On Good Friday, it is practiced among the
Christian communities in the Phillipines and Mexico, by those who believe it will help
them achieve a higher place in heaven and forgiveness of their sins. Many members of the Shi-a sect of Islam in
India, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and Lebanon also perform self-flagellation during the holy
month of Muharram. The purpose of the ceremony is to commemorate
the martyrdom of prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussein, who sacrificed his life standing
up for the victims of oppression and tyranny. The practice is incredibly dangerous, as the
cuts it causes can make the participants suffer from blood loss or – in regions with poorer
medical facilities – infection. NUMBER 5: TINKU ‘PUNCH YOUR NEIGHBOR’
FESTIVAL The indigenous people of the Andes believe
in the goddess Pachamama, who – according to Inca mythology – presides over planting
and harvesting, as well as being able to cause or prevent natural disasters. It is believed that she will ensure a good
harvest so long as she receives a sufficient blood offering. Therefore, in a tradition dating back to at
least the 17th century, the people of Macha in Bolivia conduct a bizarre ritual, known
as the ‘Tinku’ festival. This is effectively a giant, brutal brawl
between hundreds of people, intended to draw as much blood as possible. Thousands of people come from miles around
to take part in the colossal punch-up, which – as you would expect – has a history peppered
with numerous fatalities. The festival still takes place today, however
it is considerably more regulated. Bouts are limited to one-on-one fights, meaning
that the number of deaths has drastically reduced over the last few decades, with none
occurring during the 21st century. NUMBER 4: FAMADIHANA The Malagasy people of Madagascar believe
that a deceased person’s spirit cannot join the world of the ancestors until after their
body has completely decomposed. They therefore conduct a ceremony that is
intended to speed their departed loved ones’ passages to the afterlife. This ceremony is known as Famadihana, or the
‘turning of the bones’. During Famadihana, people bring up their dead
relatives from their graves and family crypts, rewrap them in fresh cloth and dance with
the corpses to live music. This occurs every two to seven years. The intention is that the repeated exposure
to the open air will help the bodies decompose faster. Whilst the ritual may seem macabre and disturbing
from an outsider’s perspective, participants say that the ceremony is one of celebration,
jubilance and growing family bonds. NUMBER 3: HUMAN SACRIFICE When you think of human sacrifice, you think
of barbarians from the middle ages or Ancient Egyptian servants being killed so they could
continue serving the pharaoh in their afterlife. You don’t, however, think of it happening
in the 21st century. Yet, sadly, human sacrifice does still happen
today, most notably in parts of India and Africa, as part of terrifying religious ceremonies. For example, in 2006, police in the Indian
city of Khurja reported ‘dozens of sacrifices’ in just a six month period, which had been
performed by followers of Kali, the Hindu goddess of power, in the hope that she would
end poverty in the region. Many of the victims were children, some as
young as three years old. Similarly, recent years have seen ritual killings
reported in Nigeria, Uganda, Swaziland, Namibia and numerous other African countries. In Uganda, for instance, there is an black
market involving wealthy individuals paying witch doctors to conduct sacrifices so that
the Gods will expand their fortunes. NUMBER 2: FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION The World Health Organization estimates that
more than 140 million girls and women globally have undergone Female Genital Mutilation,
which involves either the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia using
a razor. It is often performed without the girl’s
consent and without anesthesia. The procedure is practised predominantly in
western, eastern and north-eastern Africa, but also in parts of the Middle East and Asia. It is outlawed by 24 African nations, but
still the practice continues illegally. The total number of girls who die as a result
of FGM is unknown, however – in areas with limited antibiotics – it’s estimated that
the procedure carries a 33% mortality rate. The proliferation of this appalling ritual
is due to the belief that the clitoris is ‘extra skin’, because it does not play
an essential role in reproduction. It is then thought that its removal would
prevent women from ‘straying’ outside their marriages. Although FGM is not unique to one particular
religion, trends show that it is more common among religious communities, perhaps due to
religious teachings about fidelity and the role of women. Some communities even promote the procedure
as a compulsory ceremonial rite of passage for followers of their religion. NUMBER 1: CANNIBALISM The Aghori tribe from Varanasi in India are
a sect of Hindus who are famous for taking part in religious ceremonies which involve
them eating the dead. The Aghori believe that the human fear of
death is the greatest barrier to spiritual enlightenment and therefore, by confronting
it through consumption of the deceased, they can overcome this barrier. Because cannibalism is against the teachings
of orthodox Hinduism, they are generally opposed by other Hindus. But the Aghori are not the only people who
still participate in cannibalistic religious ceremonies. The Amazonian tribe of Yanomami believe that
death is not a natural phenomenon that was intended by the Gods. Therefore, when a tribesman dies, their corpse
is cremated and the ashes consumed to ensure the spirit of the person continues to live
among them.

Michael Martin

100 Responses

  1. I guess its OK to name any religion that does this kind of thing unless its has to do with Islamic ceremonies. Liberal bias at its height. Female genitalia mutilation is done by Islamic Extremist BTW.

  2. I dont know if it's religious but if the Samurais lost a fight and came back home, they had to slash their own stomach open with a sword.

  3. do not paint india with dirty black paint…………….almost all stories about india are false………….i am proof…….even it is there percentage is very very less……….

  4. To make this better can everyone know that most of these religious ceremony's just happen within a community, yes it can reflect on all those religions but it really is people taking this extremely far.

  5. I am muslim sunna ( first of all there should be only one branch of islam, not two) and it is seen as absolutly absurd to self harm ur self for the "lord". Absolutely discracefull!

  6. I wise man once said: "Judge an ideology on its ideas, not its believers. They only represent their perspective on their religion. If their mentality is negative, then their perspective and actions of their religion branched from that same negativity"
    If only people followed this guys philosophy, this world would be a better place

  7. i live in a metropolitan city in India .. so thankfully i am saved from witnessing such Scarry rituals.. there are so many different religions n different rituals.. some rituals do have a scientific reason but that's not how its explain, people just follow blindly without questioning.. some are seriously insane and waste of everything.. i just have just convinced my family n friends that i am an atheist.. just saved my self from them.. i ain't sure if i am atheist but i want more rational believable answers .. m glad i question everything n so i am more clear than the ones who blindly follow..

  8. Here in the south of México, in the mayan region, the native people in the town of pomuch tends to unearth the corpses of their dead beloved ones to clean their bones. It is done every year during the celebration of the "day of the death" which is a awsome tradition in México. If you decide to visit this country, do it on november 1st and 2nd, you will find the magic and the mysticism mixed with the tradition and the folklore of a very colorful and beautiful nation.

  9. Anyone getting offended I strongly reccomend you to not type anything in the comments section as it will trigger many other people which will lead to a large conflict. Kindly try to avoid useless quarrels by not speaking.
    (FUN FACT: People who speak less have a higher IQ).

  10. @AllTime10's for point 2 why did u only mostly show Muslims when talking about FGM why are your video editors being islamophobic an making it seem as it is something that is part of the muslim faith when FGM has no place in Islamic teachings.

  11. So the summary that all religions are utterly stupid in its ideas & beliefs, except Islam(shias i.e. Iranis are not considered muslims in the muslim-world). Accept the fact no need to cry

  12. Here's a fun fact ISIS, Al-Qaida, Taliban etc are all from Sunni sect and consider killing Shia Muslims a duty and believe they will be rewarded for it in heaven…

  13. India isn't that scary as you promote and HINDUISM is the most peaceful religion. So stop your western prora Ganda.

  14. Not at all interesting and full of false information you guyz are just bunch of western propaganda promoters….

  15. Female genital mutilation? Ok, but think about those poor women in Western countries who are victimized by sexist Air Conditioners and not being allowed in male-only schools, even if female-only schools don't allow boys, but of course sexism only exists for women.😔

  16. Here is the SAFE part of the comment section. If you fear being offended, have a nice stay in this comment.

  17. I am studying Shia jurisprudence right now. All of our books say that self flagellation is not allowed and is forbidden. Please add this

  18. what the hell im a christian but none off the churches ive went to has never done baby juming ever and some off them are hundreds of years

  19. Why the outrage for female genital mutilation happening across the globe, when male genital mutilation is happening in our own country?!?

  20. why would someone perform female mutilation???!?!?!!??

    do you're culture's really believe in this bullshit.
    the commentator says
    "it's popular in certain religious community's"
    just say it dude. it's popular in Islam

  21. Why is it that in every video, it is an educated sounding British man followed in the end by a very loud British man speaking in a dirty accent?

  22. Self-flagellation is only preformed by extremist Shias most whom are from Iran, it was adopted from an ancient Persian religion in order to make Shias more unique. FGM is not part of any Abrahamic religion and it's Illegal in Iraq but is preformed as a tradition by the gypsies living in the North.

  23. The natives don't dance around a fire and the sundance happens every year all around Canada and the United States also in Mexico I've never heard of anyone dying

  24. Stop people from the worry of being able to exist on this money driven planet.  Change the existence and give support and stop bills rising and rents rising.  It makes people give up.  That is how you stop this happening.  But maybe the higher authority wants to squeeze it's people of everything to bring them to deaths door to reduce the surplus population.

  25. "So long as man persists in his adherence to ancestral forms and imitation of obsolete ceremonials, denying higher revelations of the divine light in the world, strife and contention will destroy the purpose of religion and make love and fellowship impossible." ~ Baha'i Faith

  26. What's the point of banning all that, it still occurs behind closed doors: flagellation in BDSM, cannibals find friends on special forums, and as far as I can tell FGM is mostly nothing more than labiaplasty.

  27. Don't you dare link islam to FGM! I'm muslim and I know it's culture crap not islam. FGM goes against causing harm to yourself and others!

  28. Of Course, nothing about the sick practice of Judiaism. Look at the Genocide they have done in Germany, Russia, other parts of Europe, America, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, south Africa and around the World in the 20th Century.
    But all we hear is it's Christianity or Islam. Both of those religions came from Judaism.
    Hinduism was the 1st religion and all the rest was copied by Judiaism.

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