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

The Good Friday Agreement 20 Years On: 'Women's Work'

Twenty years on from the Good Friday Agreement, women are once again holding Northern Irish society together through community and outreach programs, all while continuing to deal with lack of sufficient funding to prevent a backslide into the conflict and sectarianism of The Troubles.

The Ballymurphy Precedent

In The Ballymurphy Precedent, Collum Macrae probes the killings of 10 unarmed Catholics, including a priest and a mother of eight, in the West Belfast housing estate of Ballymurphy in August, 1971.

Foreign Influence in the Balkans

Krithika Varagur reports on foreign religious and political investment in the Balkans, focusing on Bosnia and Kosovo, which have been affected by both rising extremism and populism.

The Only Way Out in El Salvador

In El Salvador, brutal gangs like MS-13 and 18th Street do not allow members to quit without penalty of death, perpetuating an endless cycle of violence. There's only one exception: joining an evangelical church.

Preaching the Peace

In conflict-racked Deep South Thailand, a fundamentalist cleric crusades against extremism.

Meet the Journalist: Krithika Varagur

Learn more about Krithika Varagur's reporting project on Salafism in Southeast Asia and how Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries have systematically spread Salafi Islam, an austere strain of Sunni Islam.

Meet the Journalist: Nsikan Akpan

The placebo effect influences all types of healing, from acupuncture to laying of hands to the doctor's office. Science producer for PBS NewsHour Nsikan Akpan journeyed from Mexico to Maryland to learn how it works.

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