Religious freedom and civility are at heart of struggle for democracy in Asia

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In this news-analysis, IARJ co-founder David Briggs explores the crucial issue of Islam and democracy—the global debate over whether these two traditions, one religious and one political, can co-exist peacefully and constructively in the world. In his overview, Briggs draws on expert voices raised at a panel discussion during the IARJ’s recent conference of Asian journalists in Jakarta, Indonesia. Then, he adds background (including some helpful web links), pointing toward related news events, research data and conclusions from other experts. This article includes links to video of the Jakarta panel discussion.

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Journalists from Asia gather for global IARJ conference in Jakarta, Indonesia

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IARJ contributing editor Larbi Megari reports on the opening of the 2017 global conference of the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ). Gathering in Jakarta, Indonesia, the IARJ is working toward one of its founding missions: holding annual gatherings on all of the world’s major continents. In Jakarta, participants are discussing the enormous challenges journalists are facing today—and the IARJ is planning for its future outreach.

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Global Plus: Research shows the power of humility

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In a series of scientific advances, researchers are developing a body of evidence challenging old stereotypes of humility as the province of weak-willed, stoop-shouldered individuals of low self-worth. The reality, research shows, is that it takes a strong will and courage to celebrate the gifts of others, while being honest about one’s own shortcomings. But it pays off. Just as a lack of humility can lead to a downward spiral of suspicion, distrust and violence, so, too, can the practice of humility reinforce other virtues and contribute to a more generous, inclusive, caring society.

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Perspectives on IARJ in Africa: Prince Charles Dickson

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International Association of Religion Journalists founding member Prince Charles Dickson shares the wide range of topics discussed at the IARJ conference in Ghana, highlighting the great complexity of covering religion in Africa. From trying to cover religious extremism to trying to balance government involvement in religion, or lack of government interest in religion, the professional challenges are enormous, Dickson argues.

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Perspectives on IARJ in Africa: Elisa Di Benedetto

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IARJ Co-managing Director and Web Editor Elisa Di Benedetto shares her perspective on this year’s conference in Ghana, including a key insight: While everyone who attended was aware of Africa’s religious diversity, the conference also illustrated a diversity in approaches to journalism by reporters across the continent.

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