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

Mohajereen

David Enders, for the Pulitzer Center
Iraq

Sabieh Fayhaa walks half a kilometer for clean water in Chikook, a neigborhood that is home to about 650 displaced families in western Baghdad. People in the neighborhood say they have no access to schools and medical care and that they have received no aid from the government or organizations such as the Iraqi Red Crescent.

Watched

David Enders, for the Pulitzer Center
Iraq

When I ask Baghdadis about whether their neighborhoods are safe, they do not say, "It is okay, the Iraqi police or army are there." They don't mention the US military. The only ones who have told me it is safe have said that things are okay "because of the Jeish al-Mehdi." This goes for an increasing number of neighborhoods, especially in Rusafa (East Baghdad).

'some day, this war will be over.'

Richard Rowley, for the Pulitzer Center
Iraq

until i picked up a camera, i didn't know how to see.

pupils dilate in this strange early dusk.
a damp taste to the air behind the sand storm.
in the shallows of my focus the world deepens into texture.
color rushes in like bruises blossoming in pale skin.
reds and greens.

blue camouflage - the color of twilight among the date-palms.
he waves us off the road.
gun metal clicks against safety-glass.
tattered papers pushed through the window.

About Suffering They Were Never Wrong

the hotel restaurant is almost emptyrussian security guards, turkish beer and bottles of absolut.

baghdad is a warm monochrome yellow-brown - far from the rain-grayed stone of petersburg and the concrete of brooklyn.

regime members once used this place to meet their mistresses.rubenesque portraits of iraqi women and torn velvet curtains.past the snipers' nests you can see the gold domes of Uday's pleasure palace.

'we do most of our reporting by telephone now.''it's a fun story - so many human angles. . .'

about suffering they were never wrong, The Old Masters.

they would understand the hennaed hair of the girls fleeing Taji,

the 100 songbirds above the roar of diesel generators,

the way 50 cals tear sheet metal like paperand safety-glass turns to piles of green tinted diamonds on the floorboards.and seat upholstery drinks in stains - deep, dark, brown

the feel of rosewater on sunburt skin,

the crackling kalashnikov fire - iraq 3, australia 1

. . .three journalists died today.the iraqi stringer called his mother before he died - 'hi mom. i've been shot.'

today is better than tomorrow.

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