Religion & Power

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 and Power 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 and Power, 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 & Power

March 15, 2018

Prophets and Profits

Tomaso Clavarino

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?

November 30, 2017

Women's Rights in Poland

Alex Cocotas

After a failed attempt to completely ban abortion, a look at the ongoing reality of women's rights in Poland.

November 21, 2017

Israelis Writing Their History: Memories of Poland

Tomasz Cebrat

As Polish Jews moved to Israel after the Second World War, they brought with them memories of the old country to confront the political reality of creating a new, Israeli identity.

October 06, 2017

Catholic Sex Abuse on Guam

Anita Hofschneider, Cory Lum

Guam is reeling from nearly 100 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by various Catholic priests, including the archbishop. Why has it taken so long for these accusations to surface?

How to Do Business with God

The heart of world Christianity has shifted south. In Africa, pastors exhibit their wealth, and ordinary believers, although poor, make donations to churches that respond to their material desires.

Jewish Poland: A Lost Connection, a Forgotten Identity

When Polish Jews immigrated to Israel, they shaped and adopted a new, Zionist identity. Today, Polish Jews and non-Jewish Poles re-examine complex memories, a shared past, and the roots of judgment about each other's nations.

Memory Keepers

After historic protests in 2016, has the reality of women's rights in Poland improved?

Offshore Postcard: Confronting Faith

In a new episode of Offshore, produced by Honolulu Civil Beat and PRX, Anita Hofschneider explores the significance of recent lawsuits being brought against Guam’s Catholic Church for sexual abuse.

Meet the Journalist: Alice Su

Journalist Alice Su speaks about her 2017 project on religion among resettled refugees in Germany, a country that has accepted more asylum seekers than any other European country.

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.

This Week: Rohingya, The Lost Genocide

This week: As the world looks upon the Rohingya's plight, a refusal to acknowledge genocide; the fight to list mental health as a global health challenge; and the arduous process of finding schools for special needs children while abroad.

This Week: Where Domestic Abuse Is Tolerated

This week: a harrowing look into Russian domestic violence, a special investigation into how Jewish Federations spend their money, and how Qatar is jailing new mothers and their babies.