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

Saudi Arabia's First Female Lawyers

In 2013, the Saudi justice ministry began permitting female lawyers to appear in court. How is the entry of Saudi women into the legal field affecting perceptions of women's rights in the kingdom?

Europe's Other Muslim Fringe

Feminists, LGBT people, artists and other progressive European Muslims are taking ownership of their their faith in innovative ways. How are they shaping the future of Islam in Europe?

Saving Eden: Francis Exerts His Moral Authority

Latin America's first pope derides our "throw-away" culture while offering a stern prescription for environmental protection. Will those who revere him in his native region follow his lead?

Can Chinese Culture Save China's Environment?

The Chinese government and people, confronted with colossal environmental challenges, are turning to cultural traditions that under Communism had long been suppressed.

The Parsis: India's Shrinking Population

Facing a growing city and shrinking population, Mumbai's Parsis are urgently seeking ways to care for their elderly, preserve their cultural heritage, and ensure the survival of their religion.

India: Damming Sacred Rivers

In the Indian border state of Sikkim, indigenous Himalayan communities charted for hydroelectric dam construction fight to protect their sacred rivers.

Prophets and Profits

Grantee Tomaso Clavarino reports on the the growing influence of evangelical churches in Africa.

How to Do Business with God

The heart of world Christianity has shifted south. In Africa, pastors exhibit their wealth, and ordinary believers, although poor, make donations to churches that respond to their material desires.

Jewish Poland: A Lost Connection, a Forgotten Identity

When Polish Jews immigrated to Israel, they shaped and adopted a new, Zionist identity. Today, Polish Jews and non-Jewish Poles re-examine complex memories, a shared past, and the roots of judgment about each other's nations.

Memory Keepers

After historic protests in 2016, has the reality of women's rights in Poland improved?

Offshore Postcard: Confronting Faith

In a new episode of Offshore, produced by Honolulu Civil Beat and PRX, Anita Hofschneider explores the significance of recent lawsuits being brought against Guam’s Catholic Church for sexual abuse.

Meet Jason Motlagh

Jason Motlagh is a roving freelance multimedia journalist. He has reported from over 30 countries throughout West Africa, the Mideast, Central and South Asia for leading US and international media outlets.