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Among Christians, Anglicans are the most consistently authoritarian and conservative, while Catholics are more likely to be left-wing

A Journey to Mount Athos, By François Augiérastrs Sue Dyson and Christopher Moncrieff

A youth finds himself in a strange village, near the sea, in the cool of the evening. He does not know how he got there, or who he is. A beautiful young woman explains that he is dead; if he becomes her lover, she will return him to the land of the living. Though tempted, he chooses instead to travel further into the land of death, to the island of Athos where he will try to reach the summit of the Holy Mountain.

'Buddha Boy' reappears after year in jungle

They asked not where he had been or what he had been doing. Instead thousands of jubilant devotees simply trudged to the remote jungle spot in south-east Nepal where a teenage "Buddha Boy" reappeared to preach to villagers, more than a year after he went missing.

Credo: Shi Yan Fen

Trainee Shaolin monk, 17

Bhutan celebrates coronation of new king

The tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan crowned its new king today after a two-year wait for the precise moment deemed most auspicious for a successful reign.

Last Night's Television: LIFE, ITV3<br />Russell Brand's Ponderland, Channel 4

This La-La land lawman offers no instant karma

Burma monk disrobed over street protests

The Burmese monk who helped organise the huge street demonstrations against the country's military rulers has been disrobed by the authorities in contravention of Buddhist traditions.

Empires of the Indus, By Alice Albinia

A river runs through this journey of discovery about Pakistan's history

Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (PG)

From Afghan ruins and the Taliban, another amazing Makhmalbaf

Serene dream: Ruby Wax thinks big in Thailand and Laos

The landscape of Laos is glorious to behold &ndash; and its inhabitants radiate inner calm. Ruby Wax travelled there to discover her spiritual side, by way of northern Thailand, a disobedient elephant and a George Clooney lookalike

Thich Huyen Quang: Dissident Buddhist leader

In a life dedicated to peaceful protest, Thich Huyen Quang, head of an outlawed Buddhist church in Vietnam, opposed French colonial rule, the US-backed government of South Vietnam and then the Communist government that swept to power and reunified the country in 1975. He must have lost count of the years he spent in and out of house arrest.

Discover the world's great religions

Free: an eight-day series with The Independent and The Independent on Sunday print editions

Japanese temple refuses to host Olympic torch relay

A major Japanese Buddhist temple withdrew yesterday from a plan to host the Beijing Olympics torch relay, citing safety concerns and sympathy among its monks and worshippers for Tibetan protesters facing a Chinese crackdown.

Chaos in Tibet capital as protests spread

Protesters in Tibet's capital Lhasa burnt shops and vehicles and yelled for independence today as the region was hit by its biggest protests for nearly two decades, testing China's grip months before the Olympics.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform