Introduction: Visions of the Divine (01:57)
Worshipers flock to landmarks inspired by faith; many places are at the center of controversies. This episode will feature the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the Boudhanath stupa in Nepal, Lalish in Iraq, and more.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre (02:59)
Worshipers believe that every year at the same time, the Holy Spirit creates a scared flame inside the tomb of Jesus Christ. Torch-bearers then carry the flame to chapels and churches across Jerusalem. Hanna Kosho's family has carried the Holy Flame for generations.
Holy Flame (05:21)
Pilgrims gather at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to witness the sacred flame. The patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church passes the flame through a porthole in the tomb to flame-bearers. Hanna and Yousef Kosho race to get the flame to their bishop.
Sacred sites around the world need maintenance or restoration. The Buddhist stupa in Nepal receives constant coats of paint donated by devotees. On Buddha's birthday, the structure will receive a complete paint job; Milan Shrestha will paint the orange arcs that represent lotus petals.
Buddha's Birthday (04:53)
Thousands gather at Boudhanath in celebration. Workers coat the dome in whitewash before Shrestha adds the orange arcs; wind makes painting a challenge.
Apache Big Tepee (04:07)
Many sacred sites take years to build. Mescalero Apaches believe White Painted Woman is at the center of all creation. A group will construct a tepee to channel her energy during a rite of passage for Jordan and Jaylen Chee.
Rite of Passage (07:06)
Apaches believe everything in the natural world has a spiritual essence. A group raises the sacred tepee and the Chee sisters dress in ceremonial clothes; the girls dance over four days to reenact the story of creation.
Besakih Temple (04:45)
Many sacred sites are a focus of spiritual energy. The 14th century complex of pagodas and shrines lies at the foot of Mount Agung, home to the gods. Balinese Hindus believe demonic spirits stalk the island; Dewa Adi collects holy water and creates a spirit catcher.
Demonic Spirit Hunt (05:42)
Besakih Temple priests pray and make offerings. Adi and other villagers receive a blessing with holy water before using the Ogoh-Ogoh to catch spirits; they destroy them with fire. A day of silence follows the ceremony.
Water is integral to many acts of faith. Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir is buried beneath a 12th century complex of shrines. Ivana Waleed finds healing from her capture by the Islamic State in 2014.
Yazidi Autumn Gathering (255:25)
Waleed attends the first official gathering at Lalish since the invasion of IS; she seeks salvation. Waleed finds her grandparents before making a pilgrimage to Musafir's tomb and praying with Yazidi priests. She receives a blessing at the sacred spring.
Credits: Visions of the Divine (00:0-14955)
Credits: Visions of the Divine
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