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: State of Kleptocracy?

Jason Motlagh, for the Pulitzer Center
India

The Indian government has drawn criticism from some aid groups for not declaring a state of emergency in the wake of biblical monsoon floods that have affected more than 20 million in Bihar state alone. Officials maintain that that such disasters can be handled internally – and they're right.

"Why don't you ask him?"

David Enders, for the Pulitzer Center
Iraq

Before leaving the Middle East, there was one last thing I had to do. F., an Iraqi friend and colleague who I worked with in Baghdad and was now living in Damascus needed to get to Jordan. He had been promised a job there. The only problem is that, despite extremely rare exceptions, Jordan has closed its borders to Iraqis.

Parties Battle in Basra

Governance has ground to a halt in this southern oil capital, with Basra's two largest parties arguing over the legitimacy of the provincial governor while militias and gangs take over the streets.

The bitter power struggle, gaining strength as British forces reduce their numbers and withdraw into their bases, has left grave doubts about what had been one of the most promising regions in post-invasion Iraq.

At the center of the political gridlock lies Gov. Mohammed al-Waili, the local leader of the Fadhila party, which also holds 15 seats in the National Assembly.

A durable solution

David Enders, for the Pulitzer Center
Iraq

Resettlement has been described by UN officials as the only "durable" solution for the Iraqi refugee problem.

Since Syria is one place that foreign journalists can work and interact with Iraqis, the problem has received coverage. Nonetheless, the humanitarian crisis continues to worsen.

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