Unbelievable things people do in the name of faith

Extreme - and literal - leaps of faith

5 Unbelievable Things People Do in the Name of Faith
Many people around the world believe extreme acts of faith will guide them down a path of purpose and enlightenment.

15,000 people turned up to watch one girl's test of faith in India. To become a nun she must prove she is indifferent to pain and vanity - by having every hair pulled from her head.

It's one of the ceremonial initiation rituals of Digambara - one of the two major schools of Jainism, which is one of the oldest Indian religions.

The ritual is called kesa-loca, where new monks and nuns pull out their hair, which indicates indifference to worldly concerns, including pain. Ashes are smeared on to the roots of the hair, making it easier to pluck them out.

12 year vow

Another form of sacrifice can be found in Hinduism. A Sadhu - which means 'good man' or 'holy man' - are solely dedicated to achieving moksa (liberation), the fourth and final asrama (stage of life), through meditation and contemplation of Brahman - the 'ultimate reality' underlying all phenomena in the Hindu scriptures.

Many are known to hold their right arm up - almost permanantly. Even when they sleep. Some have been known to make a vow to hold up their arm for up to 12 years.

An extreme leap of faith can also be found in Pentecost Island in the South Pacific. For centuries there, people have believed that throwing yourself off a high tower with vines wrapped around your ankles - in a kind of rudimentary bungee jump - is a way of asking God to save them from starvation.

The more dangerous the 'land jump' is, the more bountiful the annual harvest will be.