Global Dialogue: Religion writers in the U.S. and Italy lift up an icon of American civil rights

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A VIEW OF RACIAL DIVERSITY FROM THE U.S. and ITALY—The photo at left shows the Rev. Dr. France A. Davis, pastor emeritus of Utah’s largest predominantly black church. As a young man, Dr. Davis marched twice with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Davis also has played a major role in groundbreaking relations with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which dominates life in Utah. Recently, two founding members of the International Association of Religion Journalists were involved in lifting up Dr. Davis’s prophetic voice to a global audience. In 2020, regular readers of the IARJ website will be able to enjoy occasional columns featuring stories that connect religion writers on different continents.

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As ‘Decade of Action on Healthy Ageing’ begins, 2 IARJ co-founders join a global forum in Rome

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The IARJ’s Elisa Di Benedetto reports on a landmark conference in Rome that brought together 250 religious leaders, healthcare experts and scholars from 35 countries to develop a better understanding of the role religion can play in healthy aging. Two IARJ co-founders participated: Elisa and Maria Paz Lopez. This issue can be a rich source of stories for religion writers around the world.

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IARJ global conference in the U.S.—Cultivating Understanding, Accuracy and Empathy in a Polarized World

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The first North American meeting of the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ) drew more than two dozen religion writers from the United States and around the world—including Canada, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Serbia, Spain and Sri Lanka. They gathered in Salt Lake City (Utah, United States) for a two-day conference on “Cultivating Understanding, Accuracy, and Empathy in a Polarized World.” In this column, two veteran IARJ members—Peggy Fletcher Stack and Elisa Di Benedetto—report on highlights of the conference.

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IARJ Founding Members Contribute to Global Discussion on Freedom of Religion and Human Dignity

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How can religions, media, international organizations and human rights advocates work together to address religious persecution? The IARJ’s Elisa Di Benedetto reports on the involvement of IARJ founding members at a gathering of more than 100 delegates from nearly 50 countries for the 26th Annual Law and Religion Symposium under the theme: Human Dignity and Religious Freedom at Brigham Young University.

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IARJ co-founder Rachael Kohn honored by Commonwealth of Australia

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All of us at the International Association of Religion Journalists are celebrating with our co-founder Rachael Kohn, who was honored recently with one of Australia’s highest civil honors for public service. On September 4, she was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Australia. The investiture took place at Government House. This story includes a video of the ceremony.

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Ahead of the Trend: Aging Populations May Slow Global Secularization

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Is there an inexorable trend toward secularization in the West as younger generations in nations from the U.S. to Switzerland are less likely to affiliate with organized religion? Or does longstanding evidence that people become more religious as they age indicate that secularization trends may reverse in rapidly aging societies of high-income countries? At least one group of researchers has come up with some preliminary indications.

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IARJ and FSCIRE open new Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award for European and Mediterranean Journalists

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The International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ) and the Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII (FSCIRE), an Italian research institute focused on religious studies, are launching a new award for religion reporting, the Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award. The new prize will honor the work of journalists in newspapers, magazines or news websites that publish regularly in Europe, including Iceland and Russia, and the countries surrounding the Mediterranean basin.

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IARJ joins with Committee to Protect Journalists in support of our member Erick Kabendera

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The Committee to Protect Journalists has alerted the world to the arrest of journalist Erick Kabendera, who is an active member of The Association of Religion Journalists. Erick is known for promoting best practices in journalism around the world. Our IARJ board encourages CPJ efforts to ensure that Erick is safe and will be freed unharmed. In this article, we share more about Erick and also provide information from CPJ—and links to their coverage.

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Director’s Pespective: Endy Bayuni reports on U.S. gathering ‘Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom’

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IARJ Executive Director Endy Bayuni, known around the world for his work as Senior Editor at the Jakarta Post, was in Washington D.C. recently to cover an event that was overshadowed in American news media by other news about President Trump. Bayuni’s columns on the conference join a chorus of other reporters pointing out the significance of this milestone. In this posting, you’ll find two columns that Endy wrote for The Jakarta Post—as well as links to several other helpful resources for reporters seeking background on this event.

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