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.
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.
IARJ Co-managing Director Larbi Megari reports on the Africa-wide conference for journalists and scholars recently held in Ghana, including some of the emerging challenges: How to connect more effectively with scholars studying religious trends; how to deal with forces that seem to work against accurate coverage of religious diversity; and the challenge of finding more effective professional networks with colleagues.
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.
The global refugee crisis represents a potential transformational moment in world history. Nations from Africa to Asia to Europe to North America with troubled pasts of ethnic conflict and of putting political and economic self-interest above humanitarian needs have an opportunity to write new chapters in their national stories. Religion is playing and will play a critical role.