Mortification of the flesh is the institutional expiatory act of a person or group's penance for atonement of sins and path to sanctity. The term is primarily used in religious and spiritual contexts. The practice is found in many cultures, most notably the Roman Catholic Church and their penitential saints. Common forms of mortification includes flagellation, in imitation of Jesus Christ's suffering and death by crucifixion. Other forms are fasting, carrying heavy loads and immersion in water which are found in some Asian cultures.