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

Rethinking Conversion

Unfortunately, we’ve lost sight of how best to welcome newcomers to Judaism.

Church vs. State

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal but popular war on drugs has forced the Catholic Church to ask itself a defining question: What is its responsibility under an immoral regime?

The Ballymurphy Precedent

In The Ballymurphy Precedent, Collum Macrae probes the killings of 10 unarmed Catholics, including a priest and a mother of eight, in the West Belfast housing estate of Ballymurphy in August, 1971.

Foreign Influence in the Balkans

Krithika Varagur reports on foreign religious and political investment in the Balkans, focusing on Bosnia and Kosovo, which have been affected by both rising extremism and populism.

The Only Way Out in El Salvador

In El Salvador, brutal gangs like MS-13 and 18th Street do not allow members to quit without penalty of death, perpetuating an endless cycle of violence. There's only one exception: joining an evangelical church.

Prophets and Profits

While churches in the economic north are emptying out, those in the global south—especially in Africa—are growing. In Ghana, Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism are booming, but at what price?

Meet the Journalist: Jackie Spinner

Jackie Spinner spent three months in Morocco exploring the ways in which the country has become a moderate Islamic hub in the North Africa and to examine the contrast between image and reality.

Meet the Journalist: Wes Bruer

A freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, Wes Bruer received a Pulitzer Center grant to pursue a story of a unique counterterrorism program being implemented by the U.S. State Dept in Mumbai, India.

Beyond Religion Conference Highlights

How do religion and gender intersect? How do we accurately and creatively represent different religions in our media? Journalists, theologians, activists, and educators asked and considered these questions and more at the Pulitzer Center's 2019 Beyond Religion Conference.

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