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: Into the Wild

No story on the Naxalite conflict would be complete without meeting the insurgents themselves. From Delhi to Dantewada I'd been alternately told they were: a) champions of the powerless, ready to talk b) scheming profiteers who would take me hostage for ransom if given the chance c) thugs sure to slit my throat.

India: Camping by the Road

Dantewada lies at the axis of three roads. Today each of these roads are lined with government-run refugee camps, home to at least 50,000 villagers -- mostly tribals -- that have been relocated since Salwa Judum began. Far from a sign of state control, the camps exist because authorities have defaulted control of vast swathes of the backcountry where Naxalites roam.

Of the 22 official camps throughout the south Bastar region, Dornapal is by far the largest. Row upon row of mud and sheet metal barracks shelter more than 17,000 people, though there are surely many more.

Poor Take Up Arms with Rebels as Guerrillas Strike at Heart of India

SOUTH BASTAR — 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.

This all changed one night when he found his home torched and his brother dead outside, allegedly shot by state-sponsored civilian militia on the pretext of being a Maoist sympathiser.

Part 1 - Battle for Basra

Basra is Iraq's economy – its Rumeila oil fields tap one of the largest pools of petroleum in the world, and without its revenues the central government in Baghdad would collapse. This wealth makes Basra the site of a battle for political control between the three largest Shiite parties in Iraq – al-Hakim's SIIC, Moqtada al-Sadr's 'Sadrist Current', and the Islamic Virtue Party, which controls the Basra governorate and is linked to the Oil Workers' Union.

Part 2 - Battle for Basra

Basra is Iraq's economy – its Rumeila oil fields tap one of the largest pools of petroleum in the world, and without its revenues the central government in Baghdad would collapse. This wealth makes Basra the site of a battle for political control between the three largest Shiite parties in Iraq – al-Hakim's SIIC, Moqtada al-Sadr's 'Sadrist Current', and the Islamic Virtue Party, which controls the Basra governorate and is linked to the Oil Workers' Union.