The tattoos with images and icons of a particular religion are very popular among those who have a deep belief to one’s faith. Although for some the religious tattoo images is considered in bad taste, for others it is considered a symbol of strength.
Particular is the relationship between Christian religion and tattoo: first it was for early persecuted Christians a religious symbol and expression of an opposed faith. The tattoo that represented them most was the fish, symbol of salvation in Christ. The tattoos were used in Christian Europe until 787 AD, when Pope Hadrian forbade the use. We have to wait few centuries, with the start of the great geographical explorations, to see a return in Christian use of the tattoo.
The most common religious tattoos to see are the tattoos of crosses and depictions of Christ’s face.
By far the most chosen is the tattoo of a Latin cross, symbol of death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The design of the cross has many advantages. First it is socially recognized and accepted in many places. Graphically the cross can easily be scaled to any size, and find a place in many parts of body. It can then be combined with other elements such as flowers, animals, or written.
Very popular is the Celtic cross, made of a Latin cross, with the Celtic knots that wrap all around the cross. The Celtic knots are made to look like without a beginning and an end. It is therefore a powerful symbol of the eternity of human life, and the knot is the symbol between the physical and spiritual world.
Then there is the St. Andrew cross, much like the letter “X”. Legend wants that Andrew, condemned the torture of cross, asked to be hung on a cross made in X and evokes in its same form, the original Greek of the name of Christ.
Among the religious tattoos, very popular is the image of Jesus Christ. Jesus is often depicted on the cross. Other tattoos represent Jesusí face, with a crown of thorns or a halo.