Self-inflicted suffering continues to form a part of some traditional religious ceremonies and private practices (as recommended by Opus Dei, for example). It is also used widely used, in the form of fasting (and occasionally immolation), to highlight political issues (with or without religious overtones).
The mythology of martyrdom transcends divisions between secular and fundamentalist Muslims. The belief is fostered that those who die for Islamic causes (such as the liberation of Palestine) will ascend directly to heaven. The burial of such martyrs is an occasion both for mourning and celebration during which the the family of the deceased is congratulated. In a subtle twist, hundreds of former Moslems, now Christians, are persecuted and killed in Islamic countries. They are regarded as martyrs by the Christian church. In 1992, a Christian Pakistani was hung for writing in the Koran, the holy book of Islam, thus insulting the prophet Mohammed.