There are literally thousands of religions and spiritual practices. We’ve tried to cover the major religions here, but there are many more you’re likely to cover. As journalists, you need to determine what questions to ask and where to get more information. Veteran religion will counsel you to start each story with a healthy respect for what you don’t know — that way, you’re more likely to get the details and nuances right. Here are some good starting points for gathering information about other religions and belief systems.
- Religion Newswriters Association’s site includes thousands of links, including an extensive Resource Library, links to religious media, and ReligionLink. ReligionLink offers primers on many faiths and beliefs, such as Sikhism, Native American spirituality, Wicca/Paganism, atheists and more.
- Religion Newswriters’ Religion Stylebook has entries on religions and lists information on titles, scripture and history.
The Pluralism Project at Harvard University posts news and research aboutminority faiths.
- Beliefnet posts information, articles, essays and discussions about a variety of faiths.
- The BBC’s Religion & Ethics site offers journalistic snapshots on the basic beliefs.
- ReligionSource allows journalists to search for scholars by area of expertise, and the American Academy of Religion has program units listing scholars on many minority faith.
- The Religious ToleranceWeb site posts information about world religions.While it is not always current or withopinion, it can be helpful.
- Most religions have Web sites, but check to see who creates the content. Some faiths, such as Sikhism, have one official site.Others, such as Buddhism, have many Web sites posted by different traditions. Critics of a religious tradition often post Web sites, though it’s not always obvious from the contents.
From A to Z
In 2000, Harvard University’s Pluralism Project mapped the number of US religious centers and temples from non-Judeo-Christian faiths: