French Burkini Ban Heats Up With Two New Incidents

Burkini Beach

FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty ImagesA Moroccan woman wearing a “burkini”, a full-body swimsuit designed for Muslim women, enters the sea at Oued Charrat beach, near the capital Rabat, on August 17, 2016.

Debates over Muslim women’s ability to wear the “burkini,” full-body swimwear that respects its wearer’s religious principles, at the beach have raged in France this summer. On Tuesday, two new incidents added fuel that already ample fire.

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Modern “Witch Doctors”: 25 Photos Inside The Widely Misunderstood Trade

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Witch Doctors

KAMBOU SIA/AFP/Getty ImagesA witch doctor participates in the Ivory Coast's annual Popo Carnival, held in Bonoua. This festival features expected events like culinary competitions, parades, and dancing, as well as mock recreations of the brutality Ivorians faced while under French colonial rule.

Witch Doctors Drum

FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty ImagesA shaman, dressed with the traditional Yi costume, performs at the Torch Festival in Xichang, China's Sichuan province. As a result of fast urbanization in rural Chinese areas like Xichang, the traditional costume is fading away for the Yi people in daily life.

Blade Teeth

FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty ImagesThis Yi shaman performs at the Torch Festival by holding an extremely hot shovel in his mouth.

Animal Mask Hands Raised

YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty ImagesAn Ashaninka indigenous shaman wears a jaguar fur during a ceremony for the success of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games outside Maracana stadium, beside an abandoned building that used to be the Indigenous Museum, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 19, 2016. Indigenous activists occupying the Indigenous Museum building were evicted in 2013, but they still have the hope that a university for indigenous people will be built on the site.

Blood Splatter

ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty ImagesAn Indonesian shaman spits blood after ritualistically biting into a chicken during the Cap Go Meh festival, the closing event of the Chinese New Year celebrations, in Jakarta.

Wide Eyes

Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesA witch doctor says prayers outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where Nelson Mandela was being treated for a lung infection on July 2, 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa.

Masks Horns

MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/GettyImagesShaman masks and outfits are displayed during an exhibit at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.

Beating Drum

YURI YURIEV/AFP/Getty ImagesA shaman of the Shortsy nation plays drums celebrating their New Year, which coincides with the vernal equinox, in the Kemerovo region of Russia.

Fire Ritual Flames Man

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty ImagesA shaman takes part in a Mayan ceremony in Guatemala City to commemorate the anniversary of the peace agreement that put an end to Guatemala's 1960-96 civil war.

Drinking Blood

YOAV LEMMER/AFP/Getty ImagesLuke Van Vuuren, a rare white sangoma (witch doctor), drinks the blood of a freshly slaughtered goat in Gogogo, South Africa in order to ask the spirits of tribal ancestors to bless a nearby water project. The sangoma acts as a traditional doctor treating both physical and psychological problems, mediates in disputes, and acts as a conduit to the ancestors in traditional religion.

Holding Staff

Ian Waldie/Getty ImagesTzaramenda Naychapi, an Ecuadorian shaman, performs a traditional healing ceremony in London in a bid to rid the United Kingdom of its evil spirits.

Painted Face

Ian Waldie/Getty ImagesNaychapi was given permission by his council of elders to leave the Amazon for the first time ever in order to travel to London to visit the World Travel Market trade show.

Goat Fetus

ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty ImagesA shaman uses a sheep fetus during a ritual of predictions for the 2010 World Cup finals in Lima, Peru.

Animal Parts

EMILE KOUTON/AFP/Getty ImagesA traditional healer stands at his booth at the fetish market in Lomé, Togo. There, healers will use fetish objects — skulls, feathers, statuettes — while placing his hand on the head of a patient and reciting incantations to treat all manner of ailments, ranging from malaria and typhoid fever to erectile dysfunction, asthma and tuberculosis.

Headwear Torch

RAPHAEL ALVES/AFP/Getty ImagesA shaman of the Dessana tribe carries the Olympic Torch at the Tupe Reservation in the outskirts of Manaus, Brazil on June 20, 2016.

Drum Eyes Closed

VALERY TITIEVSKY/AFP/Getty ImagesA shaman of the Tyva Republic performs a ritual ceremony at a sacred site outside Kyzyl, Russia.

Huge Cigar

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty ImagesA Mayan shaman takes part in a ceremony celebrating the end of the Bak'tun 13 era and the start of the new Mayan age on December 21, 2012 at the Tikal archaeological site in Guatemala.

Shadow Smoke

Ulet Ifansasti/Getty ImagesA Tenggerese shaman prays during the Yadnya Kasada Festival at the crater of Mount Bromo, Indonesia. On the 14th day of the month-long festival, the Tenggerese make the journey to Mount Bromo to make offerings of rice, fruits, vegetables, flowers and livestock to the mountain gods by throwing them into the volcano's caldera.

Fowl Shamans

Ulet Ifansasti/Getty ImagesA Tenggerese shaman prays as others collect holy water at Widodaren cave during the Yadnya Kasada Festival.

Holding Torch

RAPHAEL ALVES/AFP/Getty ImagesDessana indigenous shamans take part in a ritual with the Olympic torch at the Tupe Reservation in the outskirts of Manaus, Brazil on June 20, 2016.

Needles Through Skin

ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty ImagesAn Indonesian shaman performs the tatung ritual — in which participants go into a kind of trance and demonstrate their ability to then withstand various kinds of physical pain (such as needles through the face) — during the Cap Go Meh festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Woman In Trance

MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty ImagesA South African aspiring sangoma falls into a trance in the courtyard of the house where she is about to complete her training under the supervision of a more experienced sangoma in Johannesburg. After decades in the shadows, South Africa's sangomas are now big business, with millions of people regularly using a network of pharmacies and practitioners with enough public recognition to hand out sick notes.

Fire Stone Pile

VALERY TITIEVSKY/AFP/Getty ImagesShamans of the Tyva Republic perform a ritual ceremony at a sacred site outside Kyzyl, Russia.

Purple Headwear

PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty ImagesA Nepalese shaman exhibiting traditional dress in Simikot.

Horn Beads

ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty ImagesPeruvian shaman Juan Osco performs a ritual involving predictions for the new year at San Cristobal Hill in Lima on December 28, 2009.

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Dark Buddhist Teachings That’ll Upend Westerners’ Peace-And-Love Assumptions

From hatred of singing and dancing to comparing women to snakes, these Buddhist teachings reveal that this religion isn’t exactly the paragon of peace and love that so many ill-informed Westerners think it is.

Buddhist Teachings Statue

ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/Getty ImagesThe Tian Tan Buddha — at 112 feet tall, the world’s largest outdoor, seated, bronze Buddha statue — looms over Hong Kong.

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When Pop Culture Does Religion: 5 Strange Examples

All religions utilize a foundation myth to help form the basis of their beliefs. Given the fact that they are indeed myths, the literal truth of these events is of minimal importance when it comes to determining a given religion’s legitimacy.

Thus, while the five religions based on pieces of pop culture below might seem quite silly on the surface, they beg the question: What makes us take religion so seriously in the first place?

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