World Religions in Context: What is Lent?

Nun receives blessing in church on Ash Wednesday

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Religion is as ancient as civilization itself, and understanding a society’s religious beliefs and customs can offer a window into its culture and history.

Today, 6 billion people around the world are affiliated with some form of religious belief—nearly 75% of the global population—and many practices have important calendar events in the spring, from Good Friday, to Passover, to Ramadan.

As the major Christian holiday of Easter nears, use this reference article to illuminate the origins and customs of the observance of Lent, and get your students started on their journey exploring the major religions of the world:

This article is part of ABC-CLIO’s World Religions: Belief, Culture, and Controversy database, a comparative survey of more than 50 religions and their customs, practices, and beliefs. Click here to activate your free preview of this database and gain access to thousands of primary and secondary sources, scholar essays on the origins and impacts of religious ideas, and more! Religious traditions covered in this database include:

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