From the crusades of the medieval period to racial violence today, mankind has sought ways to 'sanctify' harmful actions, explains a scholar of religion.
The day that begins the Lenten season is called Ash Wednesday. Here's why it holds deep religious significance for Christians.
Churches started to use ashes early as the ninth century as a symbol of repentance. In 1091, Pope Urban II ritualized their use to mark the beginning of Lent. Today, churches provide 'ashes to go.'
Forget the idea that it was round one in the battle between Christianity and Islam.