Abstaining voluntarily from food and/or drink for reasons of religion, or social protest.
Among almost all peoples fasting is a method of making contact with the supernatural, of personal sacrifice and of divine propitiation of purifying one's self before important events; evoking mystical experiences or revelation; or of providing social pressure on an individual or group to recognize a social injustice, pay a debt, yield a point, or grant a request.
The amount of publicity depends on the purpose of the fast. Fasting as a means of social pressure requires that the group toward whom the fast is directed know about the fast and the progress of it. There needs to be belief that a negative social or moral effect will result should the person fasting die.
1. Fasting without an appropriate social and moral climate is a meaningless activity.
2. Fasting leads to deterioration of one's health and possibly to death.
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