If anyone ever says, as I repeatedly say, that religions (ALL RELIGIONS) are nothing but superstitious relics from mankind’s infancy, fashioned during a time when our ancestors were ignorant and fearful of the world around them – believe it! What you see pictured and described here is but one ritual as practiced by one of innumerable religious groups throughout the world, each of which have their own rituals. And while this specific ceremony may seem ridiculous and barbaric to some, in reality it is no more so than Muslim formal prayers, Christian communions, Jewish Bar Mitzvahs or any of the hundreds of other rituals practiced by adherents of countless other faiths.

I’m sure everyone has heard the saying: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and so it is with religion. People believe that theirs is the one true faith (treasure) while all others are untrue (trash). In my case I just go one religion further and say they are all trash. TGO

Refer to description below. Source: Reuters/Nacho Doce

Umbanda worshippers scream while in a trance during a ritual in the Vila Flavia favela in Sao Paulo, August 26, 2011. Umbanda, an Afro-Brazilian religion that combines African religions with Catholicism and local indigenous beliefs, uses rituals to induce trances in worshippers who “incorporate” the spirits of slaves born in Africa and buried in Brazil. During the ritual trances, the followers will smoke tobacco and drink alcohol, stagger like old slaves, beat their chests and prance around as prostitutes or drunks. Picture taken August 26, 2011. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

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