Many Stories, One World

A baptism ceremony for a child on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki prefecture. After Japan's military ruler banned Christianity in the late 1500s, many Christians went underground, holding services such as these in their homes. Courtesy of Shimano-yakata Museum, Ikitsuki hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Shimano-yakata Museum, Ikitsuki

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man prays along the Mediterranean Sea in the Israeli city of Herzliya, near Tel Aviv. Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Mohamud Saleh, shown here during a recent interview, built his reputation by greatly reducing crime in a lawless part of northeastern Kenya in the 1990s. After an absence of more than a decade, he's returned to battle terrorism, and argues that the same tactics will work this time as well. Gregory Warner/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Gregory Warner/NPR

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Dmitri Vrubel's painting of the Soviet Union's Leonid Brezhnev and East Germany's Erich Honecker kissing — under a Russian phrase that reads, "My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love" — is a popular part of the East Side Gallery. Adam Berry/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Adam Berry/Getty Images

Egyptian singer Suha Mohamed Ali performs in a music video. She was recently sentenced to six months in jail for inciting debauchery. YouTube hide caption

itoggle caption YouTube

Nazmiye Cakir, a 60-year-old "bird whistler," learned the whistled language from her grandparents, and still uses it. "The one thing you don't whistle about is your love talk," she says with a laugh, "because you'll get caught!" Gokce Saracoglu/for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Gokce Saracoglu/for NPR

Jawaharlal Nehru, here conferring with Mahatma Gandhi, was India's first prime minister and a key figure in the country's 20th century independence struggle. Central Press/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Central Press/Getty Images

Beatriz and Fabio Costa Vasconcelos pose for a photo in a park in Rio de Janiero. Brazilian couples are increasingly hiring professional photographers to take pictures when the wife is pregnant. The results are widely shared on social media. Courtesy of Ale Crisostomo & Alexandre Carnieri. hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Ale Crisostomo & Alexandre Carnieri.

Cairo's ornate buildings are a mix of 19th century European and Middle Eastern architecture. A massive project is designed to restore their glory, but street vendors and river boat drivers say they are being displaced by the effort. Courtesy Soheir Zaki Hawas hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Soheir Zaki Hawas

Mohamed Hashem, one of Saudi Arabia's best known musicians, plays the oud, a Middle Eastern lute. Leila Fadel/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Leila Fadel/NPR

The Inca were innovators in agriculture as well as engineering. Terracing like this, on a steep hillside in Peru's Colca Canyon, helped them grow food. Doug McMains/Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian hide caption

itoggle caption Doug McMains/Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Musashi Fuchu Little League baseball players spend eight to 10 hours a day on weekends practicing on this field on the outskirts of Tokyo. This traditional powerhouse team has won the Little League World Series twice before, in 2013 and 2003, but did not qualify this season. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anthony Kuhn/NPR

All the talk about immigration in the U.S. presidential campaign has renewed focus on the linguistic question of how to refer to people from Latin America. Here, the flags of Latin American and Caribbean states fly at a regional summit in San Jose, Costa Rica, in January. Arnoldo Robert/LatinContent/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Arnoldo Robert/LatinContent/Getty Images

By law, all wild swans in Great Britain belong to Queen Elizabeth. Alpha/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Alpha/Landov

The Yuz Museum is one of the private museums that have begun cropping up along Shanghai's riverfront, part of a government effort to make the West Bund area a cultural destination. Here are recent works by Yang Zhenzhong, Shi Qing, and Yu Ji from the exhibition Myth/History II: Shanghai Galaxy. Courtesy of the Yuz Museum hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Yuz Museum

Almost everyone who owns a home in the city of Petropolis — where the Brazilian royal family once had a summer palace — still pays tax to the descendants of the former rulers. Amadeu Júnior via Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Amadeu Júnior via Flickr

Lebanese gather at a public beach in Beirut on Aug. 2. Lax governance has allowed developers to turn much of the coastline into private clubs, leaving a dwindling number of public beaches along the Mediterranean. Jamal Saidi/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Jamal Saidi/Reuters /Landov

In the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Mea Sharim, men wear dark pants, long dark coats and black hats. Emily Harris/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Emily Harris/NPR

LGBT activists in Kazakhstan hoped international attention from hosting the Winter Olympics might help their cause. Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters/Landov