Issue

Religion & Power

Religious faith is central to the lives of billions, a driving force in everything from family structure to relationships within and among the world’s nation states. It is also the venue, and often the source, of conflict.

Religion and Power presents Pulitzer Center reporting on these themes from throughout the world—from the explosive growth of megachurches in Africa and Latin America to intra-Islam schisms of the Middle East, to the self-immolation of Tibetan Buddhist monks and Buddhist soldiers running roughshod over the rights of Burmese Muslims, to the struggles of faith groups everywhere to come to terms with human sexuality.

In some parts of the world, notably China, governments that long suppressed religious expression are now invoking those traditions as part of the solution to environmental and other challenges. Elsewhere, from majority-Catholic Philippines to Muslim Indonesia, religious doctrine on issues like reproductive rights is in uneasy dialogue with the forces of modernization and globalization.

In Religion and Power, we aim for reporting that tackles these tough, core issues—but without the easy stereotypes and caricature that too often make journalism a tool for demagogy. In the Pulitzer Center reporting presented here we seek instead to be a force for understanding.

The Pulitzer Center’s reporting on religion and public policy issues is made possible through the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, the Kendeda Fund, and other Pulitzer Center donors.

 

Religion & Power

India: Voice of a Revolution

Dsc_0286_2rao_2After a lifetime of spouting anti-govern ment vitriol, Varavara Rao has an easy smile. But when the silver-haired revolutionary poet greeted me at his Hyderabad apartment, his eyes burned like those of a man with plenty more in his tank.

India: The Trailhead

Hyderabad goes by the nickname “Cyberabad” for its thriving info-tech sector. Along with Bangalore, the two cities comprise the heart of India’s software empire thanks to high levels of education, job growth, and investment.

Tides Turning Against Indian Maoists

HYDERABAD, India - An aggressive push by Indian state security forces over the past two years has blunted the Maoist insurgency in the state of Andhra Pradesh, a long-time guerrilla hotbed, but many have regrouped in remote parts of neighboring states where police remain ill-equipped to combat a surge in violence.

India: A Deadly Year

The Naxals are getting more lethal. So the Asian Center for Human Rights (ACHR), a Delhi-based think tank, concludes in its latest report. According to their estimate, at least 384 people were killed in the Naxalite conflict from January to September of this year.

Floods Devastate Northern India State

Muzaffarpur, India -- Looking out over gray waters that have inundated the rice paddies that are his livelihood, Bhavat Nagar swore no flood he could recall came close to the latest monsoon deluge that washed away most of his village and a neighbor's child.

"This is the worst it has been," he said, shaking his head. "We always lose a little, but now we have lost everything. I don't know what to do."

India: When the Rains Don't Stop

It seems mother nature has no remorse. As water levels were finally beginning to recede, another round of flash floods has undercut millions across eastern India and Bangladesh who had taken first steps in the long recovery.

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