From memorial to protest, the power of prayer

The unidentified man cast a solitary silhouette in the window of his home in Srinagar, the capital of disputed, Indian-controlled Kashmir, as he offered evening prayers. 

Half a world away, Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller knelt on the field and pressed a fist solemnly to his bowed forehead after a game against the Atlanta Falcons. 

And on the Lebanese coast, Afaf Adulhamid, crossed her arms and cried as she prayed for the safe return of her 27-year-old son, who went missing at sea while trying to cross on a boat to Cyprus with other migrants.

Hagia Sophia back into a mosque, worshippers held the first Muslim prayers inside in 86 years
Lebanese Afaf Adulhamid the mother of Mohammed Khaldoun, 27, who is still missing at sea while he was trying with other migrants to reach Cyprus on a boat, cries and prays her son’s safe return, as she stands on the coast of Tripoli city, north Lebanon Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man prays ahead of the Jewish new year at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem’s old city, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Associated Press photographers captured moments like these this past month showing the power that prayer holds for billions of faithful around the globe — and the diversity of ways in which it is manifested. 

Some prayed in remembrance, such as the nuns who surrounded the tomb of Saint Theresa on the anniversary of her death in Kolkata, India, or at the Sept. 11 monument in New York, inscribed with the names of people killed in the 2001 terror attacks. 

Others did so amid protest, like 71-year-old Dionisia Jorge of the Israelite Church of Peru, who knelt arms-wide with a rainbow-patterned Inca flag outside Congress, where some lawmakers were calling for the dismissal of President Martín Vizcarra over a corruption probe.

Still others marked festivals and holidays; at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s old city, an ultra-Orthodox man and an armed Israeli soldier both wearing surgical masks prayed on opposite sides of a white barrier ahead of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish year.

A mourner prays over the inscribed name of the deceased Emilio Pete Ortiz at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Indian Hindu Kanwarias, worshippers of the Hindu God Shiva, offer holy water from the Ganges River at Padilla Mahadev temple, on the outskirts of Prayagraj, India, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
A man shouts slogans against the use of face masks as a means of protection against the COVID-19 infection during a protest in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Volunteers push a hand cart as they prepare to immerse an idol of elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha in the Arabian Sea, marking the end of the 10-day long Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Nuns of the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Saint Teresa, wearing masks as precaution against the coronavirus pray by the tomb of the saint to mark her death anniversary in Kolkata, India, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. The Nobel Peace Prize winning Catholic nun who spent 45-years serving for the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, died in Kolkata on this day in 1997 at age 87. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

They were far from the only ones practicing social distancing amid the ongoing pandemic. In Havana, devout Cubans stood at a safe distance from each other in the street while listening to a Roman Catholic Mass broadcast by radio honoring the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, their country’s patron, on her feast day. 

But in Bucharest, Romania, a man held a crucifix aloft as he shouted anti-mask slogans against restrictions designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus such as social distancing mandates and obligatory face coverings in schools. 

Following the controversial conversion of Istanbul’s Byzantine-era landmark Hagia Sophia back into a mosque, worshippers held the first Muslim prayers inside in 86 years, its needlelike minarets framing a luminous, rising full moon.

A man wearing a scarf as a precaution against the coronavirus offers prayers at Shakti Ganesh temple in Hyderabad, India, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
Dionisia Jorge, 71, member of the Israelite Church of Peru, kneels in prayer outside Congress, while holding a Tahuantinsuyo flag of the Inca empire, in Lima, Peru, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
With a social distancing barrier, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man and an Israeli soldier pray ahead of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish year which starts at sundown Sunday during a three-week nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus at the Western Wall, in Jerusalem’s old city, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
A Hindu devotee gets a tonsure to perform “Pind Daan” rituals at Sangam in Prayagraj in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh India, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. Pind Daan rituals are performed to bring peace and salvation to the souls of deceased ancestors. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
A young boy wearing a face mask to curb the spread of the coronavirus runs at a prayer ceremony to mark the holiday of “Enkutatash”, the first day of the new year in the Ethiopian calendar, which is traditionally associated with the return of the Queen of Sheba to Ethiopia some 3,000 years ago, at Bole Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Migrants pray on the road near Mytilene town, on the northeastern island of Lesbos, Greece, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (17) prays after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
A Kashmiri man offers evening prayers inside his rented room in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Sept.15, 2020. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)
People wearing face masks amid the new coronavirus pandemic pray during a Catholic Mass broadcast by radio in honor of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, on her feast day in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Followers of Franklin Graham pray at the base of the Washington Monument as they march from the Lincoln Memorial to Capitol Hill, during the Prayer March at the National Mall, in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
A priest and a nun laugh as they wait for Pope Francis to recite the Angelus noon prayer, in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Friends and family members gather for the funeral of veteran Nepalese Sherpa guide Ang Rita, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

These and more are among the AP’s top faith-related images published in September.

AP News

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