Most religions today condemn the use of tattoos but what was the first recorded mythology or religion that encouraged the tattooing of their followers?
The majority of Sunni Muslims believe tattooing is a sin, because it involves changing the natural creation of God, inflicting unnecessary pain in the process.
Some Christians take issue with tattooing, upholding the Hebrew prohibition. The Hebrew prohibition is based on interpretingQ
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you
Tattoos are generally forbidden in Judaism based on the Torah (Leviticus 19:28):
"You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves: I am the Lord."
I know that the Kmer people used Yantra tattooing and that this practice was taken over by Buddhist monks.
Southeast Asia has a tradition of protective tattoos known as sak yant or yantra tattoos that incorporate Buddhist symbols and images, as well as protective mantras or sutra verses in antique Khmer script.
These tattoos are sometimes applied by Buddhist monks or practitioners of indigenous spiritual traditions. Traditionally, tattoos that included images of the Buddha or other religious figures were only applied to certain parts of the body, and sometimes required commitment on the part of the recipient to observe the Five Precepts or other traditional customs.
In Hinduism Mehndi tattoos are made of henna and are not permanent.
Tattoos are allowed culturally and religiously, although contemporary tattoos is uncommon among traditional Hindus. Historical roots date back to the practice of Mehndi using Henna.
Ötzi is Europe's oldest known natural human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic (Copper Age) Europeans.
Ötzi had a total of 61 tattoos (or Soot tattoos), consisting of 19 groups of black lines ranging from 1 to 3 mm in thickness and 7 to 40 mm long. These include groups of parallel lines running along the longitudinal axis of his body and to both sides of the lumbar spine, as well as a cruciform mark behind the right knee and on the right ankle, and parallel lines around the left wrist. The greatest concentration of markings is found on his legs, which together exhibit 12 groups of lines. A microscopic examination of samples collected from these tattoos revealed that they were created from pigment manufactured out of fireplace ash or soot.
Radiological examination of Ötzi's bones showed "age-conditioned or strain-induced degeneration" corresponding to many tattooed areas, including osteochondrosis and slight spondylosis in the lumbar spine and wear-and-tear degeneration in the knee and especially in the ankle joints.
It has been speculated that these tattoos may have been related to pain relief treatments similar to acupressure or acupuncture. If so, this is at least 2,000 years before their previously known earliest use in China (c. 1000 BCE). Recent research into archaeological evidence for ancient tattooing has confirmed that Ötzi is the oldest tattooed human mummy yet discovered.