Global Plus: ‘My Freedoms Are Your Freedoms!’ The price of religious freedom denied.

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This is a perilous period for religious freedom throughout the world. Most large countries officially proclaim religious freedom—but a growing body of research has found that the chasm between promise and practice is wide. In many cases, the promises of freedom are routinely denied. In this important Global Plus column, Roger Finke, director of the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), and the IARJ’s co-founder journalist David Briggs collaborated to offer a compelling, global overview of threats to religious freedom, today.

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Tips for Journalists on Covering Islam: Fresh Ideas You Can Use Today

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All journalists regularly covering religion around the world find themselves reporting on Islam and, in 2019, we encounter extreme voices—fueled by a rising tide of nationalism in response to global conflicts, migration and the plight of refugees. IN THIS COLUMN, you’ll find helpful resources you can use today—and a series of fresh ideas about ways you, too, could contribute to the global conversation in a helpful way.

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Global Plus: Can the Catholic Church Change? Pope Francis and the long, winding road to revitalizing a troubled institution

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This latest Global Plus column comes from the journalist with the closest, ongoing access to Pope Francis: Sergio Rubin. This noted Argentine journalist collaborated on a book-length biography with Jorge Bergoglio, who now is known around the world as Francis. In this column, Rubin shares his insights into Francis’s attempts to revive and renew the worldwide church.

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Global Plus: Knowing your neighbor’s faith is path toward peace and understanding

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IARJ’s Co-Managing Director Larbi Megari—who was also named the IARJ’s representative for North Africa and Middle East in 2018—reports in the Global Plus series about building friendships across religious lines. He especially explores issues of building social trust and civility between Muslims and non-Muslims. And, at the end of his column, Larbi adds a list of links to additional resources that will be valuable for journalists reporting on these issues.

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Global Plus: Breaking barriers, increasing understanding, one joke at a time

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Lina Molokotos-Liederman, a researcher in sociology of religion in London, writes about the many connections between humor and religion. All of us feel better when we laugh. As a social and relational form of communication and a form of encounter, humor has the potential to help us connect with others in different social settings, foster human relations and build bridges across different and diverse communities. Thanks to our friends at the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) for allowing us to share this Global Plus column.

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Global Plus: Sharia

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For hundreds of millions of Muslims, Sharia is a way or a path to divine understanding that enables human beings to reach their full potential. So why does so much public conversation about “sharia” or “sharia law” focus on extreme interpretations grounded in intolerance and ignorance? The answers are complex, involving historical, political, cultural, regional and religious factors that need to be understood in context. Yet complexity and reason are often dangerously absent amid the emotion and politics attached to Sharia.

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Global Plus: The nonreligious in the world today

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Who are the nonreligious? Depending on how they are counted, the nonreligious today may be considered the world’s third largest ‘religion,’ trailing only Christianity and Islam. They exercise an increasingly influential voice on issues from the immigration crisis in Europe to secular-religious tensions in Asia Pacific. Now a developing body of research is shedding critical light on the diversity and complexity of this group in an age when the makeup and balance of religious and nonreligious populations, along with their shared history, matters in ways both small and large.

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Global Plus: Religion and Death

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Across the world, billions of worshippers this weekend will be going to mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship hearing messages declaring that the choices they make in this life can affect their eternal destiny. How each of them, and secular individuals, face the great existential question of the meaning of life in the face of mortality can make a major difference in areas from mental health to preventing terrorism and promoting more generous, compassionate societies less likely to experience civil strife, new research shows.

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