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

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.

India: Trouble in Paradise

The bus ride from Hyderabad to Dantewada, the main town of Chhattisgarh's southern Bastar region, took about 16 hours. As the suburbs fell away, the smooth pavement on the road disappeared as well, but the lush beauty of the countryside that seemed to intensify with each mile made up for it.

When I awoke to a pale morning, I had the sensation of hurtling deeper into vortex of green.

India: Voice of a Revolution

Dsc_0286_2rao_2After a lifetime of spouting anti-govern ment vitriol, Varavara Rao has an easy smile. But when the silver-haired revolutionary poet greeted me at his Hyderabad apartment, his eyes burned like those of a man with plenty more in his tank.