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

The Battle for Basra and Iraq's Oil

"With over 80 percent of the country's known oil reserves, Basra holds the key to Iraq's economy. Without its revenues the central government in Baghdad would collapse. The struggle for power in Basra is central to the larger battle for control in the new Shiite dominated Iraq. This is a report from Basra by independent filmmaker Rick Rowley of Big Noise films." (Democracy Now!)

Listen to or watch the video here.

TRANSCRIPT:

Maoist Group Feeds Off Poverty to Wage War

SOUTH BASTAR, India — Two years ago, Comrade Sunil spent half his day at school and the remainder working the red fields of his ancestral village.

But his life changed one night when he found his home torched and older brother dead outside, allegedly shot by a state-sponsored civilian militia cracking down on Maoist sympathizers.

Rebel Armies Tap Into Popular Grievances in India

South Bastar, India -- Two years ago, Comrade Sunil spent his days studying in a school classroom and toiling in corn and rice fields in his ancestral village. But life abruptly changed one night after he returned to find his home torched and his older brother shot dead by a state-sponsored civilian militia on the pretext that he had been a rebel sympathizer.

Guerilla War in the Shadow of Bollywood

SOUTH BASTAR, India — Two years ago, Comrade Sunil used his given name and spent half the day at school, the remainder working the red fields of his ancestral village.

But his life changed one night when he found his home torched and older brother dead outside, purportedly shot by state-sponsored civilian militia on the pretext of being a Maoist sympathizer.

Warming by a campfire deep in the mountain jungles of southern Chhattisgarh state, the 18-year-old member of the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army vowed to never give up the homemade rifle lying in his lap.

India's Maoists Shift to Attacks on Police

NEW DELHI — Faced with setbacks in their former stronghold, India's Maoist insurgents have responded with a new war strategy that favors large-scale attacks on police forces and high-profile-target killings.

The latest in a series of recent strikes came late last month when 19 persons, including the youngest son of former state Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, were gunned down at a village cultural event in eastern Jharkhand state.