Angel, Christmas parade, Cuenca, Ecuador.

Religion takes many shapes and forms, some are pageantry and others simply devotional and symbolic. Despite various rituals, costumes and ceremonies all religions have more in common than they might like to admit. Regardless of one’s world-view — if it is agnostic or fundamentalist — at one level religion is simply about community and tradition, colour and festival. At that moment, it ceases to be less something to question philosophically and becomes universal.

As a non-religious person I still see a place for religion in a secular world, even it it is simply through the admiration for the customs of our ancestors, this might seem contradictory or even offensive to the devoted, but from my perspective you cannot celebrate one system of belief if you deny another—wishful thinking perhaps.

Regardless, the smell of incense, the call to prayer, the cool interior of a cathedral, all share a common beauty, science is perhaps more awe inspiring, and yet, the human urge to justify existence persists in religion in all it’s elaborate guises.

Shinto festival, Chichibu, Japan.
Novice female Buddhist ‘Thilashin’, Myanmar
Zoorkhaneh practitioner, Yazd, Iran.
Basball team at Zoshigaya Temple, Tokyo.
Wall of martyrs, Isfahan, Iran.
Perparing a sacrifice, Senegal.
Shinto worshippers carring the mikoshi, Chichibu, Japan.
The holy virgin with plastic Jesus, Cuenca, Ecuador.
Christian dancer, Sierra Leone.
At Azadi Tower, Theran, Iran.
Worshipers, mosque, Senegal.