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

To Najaf

Richard Rowley, for the Pulitzer Center
Iraq

land smears into sky without a seam
diesel generators shudder and spit
tar softens in the cracked streets
women, habayas billowing black, carry water over the river of sewage in shola
poison leaches into the ground.

headed south
the tigris rolls slowly to basra
bloated with corpses,

Mohajereen

David Enders, for the Pulitzer Center
Iraq

Sabieh Fayhaa walks half a kilometer for clean water in Chikook, a neigborhood that is home to about 650 displaced families in western Baghdad. People in the neighborhood say they have no access to schools and medical care and that they have received no aid from the government or organizations such as the Iraqi Red Crescent.

Watched

David Enders, for the Pulitzer Center
Iraq

When I ask Baghdadis about whether their neighborhoods are safe, they do not say, "It is okay, the Iraqi police or army are there." They don't mention the US military. The only ones who have told me it is safe have said that things are okay "because of the Jeish al-Mehdi." This goes for an increasing number of neighborhoods, especially in Rusafa (East Baghdad).

'some day, this war will be over.'

Richard Rowley, for the Pulitzer Center
Iraq

until i picked up a camera, i didn't know how to see.

pupils dilate in this strange early dusk.
a damp taste to the air behind the sand storm.
in the shallows of my focus the world deepens into texture.
color rushes in like bruises blossoming in pale skin.
reds and greens.

blue camouflage - the color of twilight among the date-palms.
he waves us off the road.
gun metal clicks against safety-glass.
tattered papers pushed through the window.

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