Stories: Religion

  • With a forgotten temple city, Myanmar hopes to strike tourism gold

    When time began there lived a lonely monkey who met a peacock, who laid an egg from which was born a mighty prince who built a city on the spot of his birth and called it “monkey egg”. Whatever the myths around its creation, by the 15th century, Mrauk U (Monkey Egg) was the capital of a powerful...

  • Interested in reporting with IRP? View our current fellowship opportunities.

    The International Reporting Project offers a variety of journalism fellowships each year, including group trips and solo reporting opportunities. We are not currently accepting applications. Check this page frequently for updated information on open opportunities and approaching deadlines, and sign up for our newsletter to be informed of new calls for applications. Photo by Sara Hylton, a 2017 IRP fellow....

  • Apply Today to Report on Global Religion Issues

    About This Fellowship The International Reporting Project is accepting applications from professional journalists to report on global religion issues. Deadline to apply is Monday, December 11th at 11:59pm EST. Some of the areas on which proposals might focus include the relationship of religion to:  conflict and peace  environment and sustainability  political economy and development  health and education  gender, race...

  • The beauty and mystery of voodoo in Haiti

    Although it’s been long associated with the dark and dreadful, voodoo is very much a celebration of life and nature. And just like there’s another side to the age-old religion, there’s a vibrancy to life in Haiti that’s been overshadowed by its troubles. Haiti is in the midst of redoubling its welcome...

  • Why Vodou and lesbians get along

    When Marjorie Lafontant wants to reach the LGBT community, she grabs a megaphone and heads to a peristyle, a Voodoo temple. The leader of Haiti’s first lesbian rights organization starts her outreach efforts with the Voodoo world because, in her view, peristyles are the last safe spaces left in her home country of Haiti. We’re sitting...

  • Queer Haitians Find a Refuge in Vodou

    It’s just past 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning when Stephenson Meus tips back a bottle of Barbancourt. The rum comes out early in the 30-year-old’s congested Port-au-Prince neighborhood, but he doesn’t drink nearly as much as he pours into the sunbaked earth. A houngan, or Vodou spiritual leader, Meus isn’t talking...

  • Life Has Hills

    “We wanted to have Christmas.” It was December 2014, and as Moses looked around his hovel in a slum in Kampala, Uganda, there was just one thing of significant monetary value: his boyfriend John’s old laptop. So they sold it. With the $55 they got, they bought ingredients for a lavish Christmas dinner: two live chickens ($11), potatoes (55 cents),...

  • ‘I Forgot I Hated God’

    “I had a dream.” We are sitting in a restaurant in Kampala, Uganda, with Dennis, a Protestant lay chaplain, when he recounts a dream inspired by a painting in his house. The painting depicts Matthew 19:14, in which Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as...

  • Unshakable in Uganda

    Clare Byarugaba was in church on a Sunday in 2009 when her pastor urged his congregation to sign a petition backing antigay legislation being considered in Uganda’s parliament. She surveyed the massive sanctuary of her evangelical megachurch in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. “How many gay people,” she wondered, “are in this place?” Most of...

  • A Perilous Journey to Freedom

    The first time Eva escaped from North Korea, she nearly drowned. As she waded across the Yalu River that marks the border between North Korea and China, the water came up almost to her mouth, and the harsh and cold current almost swept her off her feet. She couldn’t swim. She was 13 years old. Image: From...