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: Meeting the Mukhia

Jason Motlagh, for the Pulitzer Center
India

Flood victims I spoke with in some of the outerlying hamlets in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district kept complaining about the thieving "mukhias," elected local big men responsible for doling out government aid. Given their reputation I thought it might be hard to pin one down for an interview, until he found me.

Climate Change, Corruption Contribute to Deadly Effects of Northern India Floods

MUZAFFARPUR, India -- Looking out over gray waters that have drowned the rice paddies that are his livelihood, laborer Bhavat Nagar swore no flood he could recall came close to the size of the latest monsoon deluge that also washed away most of his village and a neighbor's child.

"This is the worst it has been," he said, shaking his head. "We always lose a little, but now we have lost everything. I don't know what to do."

Floods in India's Bihar State

BIHAR STATE, India -- The worst floods to hit India's northern Bihar state in distant memory have already affected more than 20 million people -- roughly equivalent to the population of New York state -- and killed hundreds. More rains are on the way.

Relief Bypasses Bihar

MUZAFFARPUR, India -- In the six weeks since their village was swallowed by floodwaters, Chaitu Sahani and his family have watched helplessly as government aid deliveries pass their new home.

Along with thousands of other refugees, they live in shoddy tarpaulin tents that stretch for miles along one of the few still operable highways in this dirt-poor northern Bihar state.

Why the food trucks don't stop now, they cannot understand.

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