Religious tattoos: how different religions view tattoos

Some religions have moderate views on tattoos were as others prohibit their use. Let’s take a look at what various religions have to say about inking your body.



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It is a general perception that tattoos are completely prohibited in Islam. According to scholars, the Sunni sect in Islam completely condemns tattoos and the Shia sect has just a few limitations.

According to the Sunni Muslims, tattoos are an alteration to the human body, which is not permissible as per the holy Quran. They think that it is a mutilation of the body, a body created by God is already a perfect one. Some go to the length that they call tattooing and body piercing evil and an act inspired by Satan.


 OM Religious TATTOO

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Hindus have never had an issue with the religious tattoos. You can see the symbol of ‘Om’ on the hands and arms of thousands of Hindus. Tribal Hindu men and women have tattoos on their face to distinguish themselves from the other tribes. Women tattoo their face with dots, usually around the chin to protect them from the evil eye.

Amongst other religious tattoos, the tattoos of their three main deities are common. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva can be seen inked colorfully on the skins of many people. Temporary henna tattoos are seen in special occasions like marriages, baby shower and religious functions. These henna tattoos are considered auspicious, the darker the more lucky.



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The Catholics have no issues with the religious tattoos unless they are against the Christian views. A tattoo of a cross is the most common type of tattoo that could be seen on a Christian’s body. Tattoos of Mother Mary, Jesus Christ, angels and depictions of heaven are other type of Christian religious tattoos. Many people claim that the tattoos on their skin make them feel closer to God. There is nothing against the body art or tattoos in the New Testament.



Tattoos are absolutely banned in Judaism. The Rabbis often quote the famous quote from the Leviticus. The Leviticus 19:28 states, “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.” Tattooing is regarded as an act against the will of God. In Nazi concentration camps, Jews were marked and numbered via tattoos, which are another reason that Jews do not prefer them.

It is a matter of perception, some take religious tattoos as an offence and others think that they make them feel closer to God. Different religions have always had different views on a variety of subjects. Nonetheless, it is what is “inside” that matters, rather than the out ward appearance.

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