Issue

Religion

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 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, 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

India's Debt-Ridden Farmers Committing Suicide

Nashik, India -- On a recent afternoon, Seetabai Atthre heard a faint cry from the edge of a vineyard that her family has cultivated for more than 40 years. Through the furrows, she found her husband, Vishal, smoldering on the ground next to an empty can of kerosene. He had lit himself on fire and died three days later in a local hospital.

Suicides Plague Indian Farmers Struggling to Adapt to Changing Economics

NASHIK, India -- On a recent afternoon, Seetabai Atthre heard a faint cry from the edge of a vineyard her family has cultivated for more than 40 years on the arid plains of northern Maharashtra state. Searching through the furrows, she found her husband, Vishal, smoldering on the ground next to an empty can of kerosene. He died in a local hospital three days later from severe burns.

The Atthre farm had not turned a profit in more than two years, and 65-year-old Vishal could no longer secure loans from local banks to pay off the interest on the $5,600 he already owed.

Niyamgiri: An Uncertain Future

The Dongria Kond are an indigenous tribe native to the virgin forest of India's southwestern Orissa state. For centuries they have lived high in the Niyamgiri hills, relying on its bounty of fruits and vegetables, and the wild game they hunt with bow and arrow. The Indian government once slated the range to become a protected reserve. The Dongria, for their part, hold it to be a sacred God.

Mine, Refinery Imperil Hallowed Hills in India

In Focus: Youth Voices on Iraq

David Enders, an independent journalist and Pulitzer Center grantee, presented his reports on Iraq to multiple classrooms in the U.S. His work stirred much-heated debates on the country’s Iraq policy.