This is another practice that seems mind boggling to outsiders. In this practice followers will eat bread and wine in order to remember Christ and his miracles. This practice can be seen as different for different religions as Protestants believe that they are only eating the bread and wine in memory of Christ. Whereas Catholics will believe that the bread and wine are transformed into the flesh and blood of Christ. This ritual is strange in itself but the idea behind it is rather simple, in the Bible Christ distributes bread and wine and asks the people to eat it in remembrance of him. Though the idea of it becoming his flesh and blood makes it less and less appealing.
In the Vodun faith practiced in West Africa there are a number of very passionate rituals that can be performed. In some of these rituals someone is chosen to be “ridden” which is to say that they are being possessed by the loa, or African gods. These rituals have been highly studied but there is no telling whether or not the rituals are true. The people who have been ridden swear that they have been completely possessed and that there is no way that it could not be true. Though these rituals often use tobacco or rum, whatever the loa tend to desire. It is unknown whether this aids to the belief in possession.
Glossolalia refers to the practice of speaking in tongues. This has been known to happen in Christianity but also in other religions such as paganism, and shamanism. Speaking in tongues is the uttering of speech like sounds that many people consider to be meaningless but that followers believe to be a holy language. There are a number of different plausible explanations for this occurrence such as mental illness, hypnotism and learned behavior. The first two were considered implausible in most occurrences of glossolalia but it was discovered that making the sounds was easily learned.
There are a number of examples where people will ritualistically hurt themselves in order to show devotion to their religion. Many of these practices have died out (with the exception of many tribal religions) but in the Philippines this practice occurs in one of the most brutal ways I have ever seen. These men will carry the crosses in their back while being whipped in the same way that Christ did for his own crucifixion. Then large nails are driven through their hands and ankles and the cross is then erected. This process is supposed to show true devotion to God and to repent for sins.
These rituals are something that truly look strange and bizarre to anyone who is not involved in the process. But being able to accept and try to understand the religion of other people is a way to bring peace and compassion among people. Though many of these things are as such that we many not like to experience and we might question the person who would go through such ordeals but we can at least try to understand their reasoning.
- - Morman Undergarments: http://listverse.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/mormonunderwear-tm.jpg?w=400&h=299
- - Jewish Kaparot: http://www.porges.net/Images/dan_porges_portfolio18/1misc%2013Kaparot.jpg
- - Auditing: http://www.scientology-melbourne.net.au/images/audit1.jpg
- - Sati: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/empire/g2/cs4/images/g2cs4s1.jpg
- - Communion: http://thepracticingcatholic.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/pope-benedict-giving-first-communion.jpg
- - Being Ridden: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2112/2390517470_46b38ea587.jpg?v=0
- - Glossolalia: http://dericbownds.net/uploaded_images/brain.600.jpg
- - Crucifixion: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Crucifixion_in_San_Fernando,_Pampanga,_Philippines,_easter_2006,_p-ad20060414-12h54m52s-r.jpg