Stories: Religion

  • The Inside Story About One of the Most Maligned Religions in the World

    From Arthur Miller’s The Crucible to Hollywood renditions of Haitian traditions, American media has often connected the Vodou religion to the darkest aspects of black magic. While the faith is closely connected to elements of the supernatural, it is also very much grounded in natural phenomenon. Many Vodou ceremonies honor the elements of air, water, fire, and earth....

  • Passover in Seoul

    "We were all slaves in Egypt once," goes the yearly Passover refrain. This year I recited it less than 40 miles from a country that imprisons its own people in concentration camps. I am in Seoul on a fellowship from the International Reporting Project to cover religion in South Korea-- its relationship to Korean politics and to...

  • Rohingya Left Behind in Myanmar’s Power Transition

    Abdul Rashid, 47, watched helplessly as his wife Rukia's body stiffened and began to shake uncontrollably - her face contorted in pain as the convulsions raked her emaciated frame. His eldest daughter applied a wet compress to her mother's head, trying to hold her steady, while the younger siblings huddled together in a corner, whimpering silently. Minutes later, the...

  • Burmese Buddhist Monks Love Muslim-Hating Trump

    He has been called a “xenophobic fascist,” compared to Adolf Hitler, andaccused of stoking Islamophobia across America, but U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump is finding admirers in an unlikely corner of the world, among Myanmar’s extremist Buddhist monks. “As long as the Quran exists there will be terrorists, and like...

  • Myanmar Parliament Enters Democratic Era After 54 Years of Military Rule

    As Aung San Suu Kyi's party assumes control of Myanmar's parliament Monday and ends more than half a century of military rule, who will lead the government and what its priorities will be remain shrouded in secrecy. Video: Bloomberg After more than five decades of isolation and repressive military rule, Myanmar on Monday swore in hundreds of...

  • When Community Requires Boundaries, Who Gets Left Out?

    You can't get a good pilau at Amani Gardens Inn. The guesthouse, nestled behind tall gates on Church Road, boasts a menu of all-American food and three acres of some of the plushest gardens in Nairobi. Birds chirp contentedly from a 100-year-old jacaranda tree. Languages, tribes, and religions mix under tents and between flowers dotting the grounds. The...

  • Don’t Call It a Jihadist Insurgency — Yet

    Malian troops patrol outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 21, 2015. Photo: Habibou Kouyate/AFP/Getty Images On Friday, November 20, two gunmen attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako, taking 170 hostages and killing 19 before security forces stormed the building. Three years after Al Qaeda-linked fighters overran northern Mali, the country is ravaged...

  • Her Resort Is a Refuge From More Than Just Stress

    The Indonesian province of Aceh is known to many as the place devastated by a tsunami in 2004. But in Indonesia, it’s also known for its conservative religious beliefs. A peace accord signed with separatists 10 years ago allows the local government to implement Sharia law. Some local authorities have even banned women from straddling a motorcycle, or dancing....

  • The Struggle for Mali

    When fighters linked to al-Qaida swept into Timbuktu on 1 April 2012, Dr Ibrahim Maiga found himself living a nightmare. The new rulers of west Africa’s most famous centre of Islamic scholarship immediately set about destroying its history. Over the following months they set fire tothousands of ancient manuscripts, destroyed the mausoleums of local holy menand forced musicians...

  • ‘America Has Forgotten About Us’: Former US Allies in Vietnam Flee Persecution

    During the Vietnam War, Kanh Kpa’s indigenous Montagnard relatives fought alongside US Army Special Forces in Vietnam’s remote Central Highlands, where the mostly Christian tribesmen gained a reputation as fierce and loyal allies. But after the war, the ethnic and religious minority Montagnards, or “mountain people,” long at odds with the Vietnamese government, paid...