When is a religious ritual considered unusual? Making such a determination is largely subjective. For example, a Catholic may consider the Eucharistic Celebration to be a very ordinary, albeit significant ceremony. However, a non-Catholic who comes across a Christian mass for the first time might very well be outraged that the Catholic faithful actually imagine the bread and wine that they eat and drink to be their savior's body and blood.
Nevertheless, it can hardly be denied that there are particular religious practices that most people, for various reasons, consider markedly more unusual than others. Some of them are considered extraordinary for the self-mutilation they involve. Others for their danger or gruesomeness. Yet others are considered especially unique because the beliefs behind them are difficult for most people to subscribe to. However, the following ten unusual religious rituals from all over the world are presented not to ridicule or demean these ceremonies and the religions that carry them out, but rather, to celebrate the uniqueness of each faith's practices.
10 Wearing of Designated Undergarments
9 Offering Wax Figures of Diseased Body Parts
8 Refusal of Monks to Wear Clothes
7 Rolling Over Leftover Food
6 Using an E-meter to Detect Spiritual Impediments
5 Slaughtering a Chicken Onto Which Sins Have Been Transferred
4 Naming Oneself and One's Male Children "Diego"
Why Diego? Well, according to some of his avid fans, Argentine legend Diego Maradona is not only a football god, but an actual god as well. In fact, on October 30, 1998, which was Maradona's 38th birthday, a group of these admirers founded the Iglesia Maradoniana (Church of Maradona). The following are the religion's ten commandments:
3 Sky Burials
2 Being Hanged by Putting Hooks Through One's Skin
1 Infant Dropping
In western India, some parents volunteer to have their infants dropped fifty feet from the roof of a mosque and caught on a taut bed sheet in the belief that it will ensure their family's good health and prosperity. It's also been said that other couples include their babies in the ceremony in gratitude to a patron saint for having granted them the gift of a child. The practice, which has been going on for more than five-hundred years, has reportedly had no incidents of fatalities or even injuries. Nevertheless, rights activists all over the world have called for the practice to be stopped, but all local officials have done is to supervise the ritual.
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