Striped red-and-white flags adorn a sacred grove in a quiet neighborhood in Ranchi in India. The ubiquitous flags are an assertion of tribal identity.

Adherents of Sarnaism try to preserve their identity and culture by pushing for more recognition of their faith in India

Sacred Nation

India is home to millions of Indigenous people consisting of hundreds of tribes. Now, the followers of Sarnaism want official recognition of their religion by the state.

Clothes are on display at the Mar Design tailor shop in central St. Louis in northern Senegal.

Muslims in Senegal prepare for Eid al-Adha celebrations

Lifestyle & Belief
Bollywood actresses from left, Siddhi Idnani, Yogita Bihani, Sonia Balani, Adah Sharma and producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah during a press conference for the movie "The Kerala Story" in Mumbai, India, May 17, 2023.

Is the fictional film ‘The Kerala Story’ cautionary or propaganda?


‘Back to normal’ at Jerusalem’s holiest site 

Conflict & Justice
People walk through an informal settlement for trash segregators in Bangalore, India.

Waste collectors in Bangalore face discrimination and exploitation

A decorated street carpet known as an alfombra created for Holy Week in Antigua, Guatemala.

Guatemalans commemorate Holy Week with colorful street carpets

Lifestyle & Belief

During Holy Week in Guatemala, many people participate in the tradition of creating elaborate alfombra, or colorful flower carpets made out of sawdust on the streets for processions to pass over.

Ramrati reads Ramcharitmanas every morning on the lane that connects Barakhamba to KG Marg, in New Delhi, India, March 29, 2014.

This 16th-century epic poem sparks political controversy in India

Lifestyle & Belief

In recent months, a 16th-century epic religious poem has ignited a political storm in India, after several officials said it was offensive to women and those at the bottom of India’s religious caste hierarchy. As the country heads toward general elections next year, some say that different parties are using the poem to appeal to various voters.

The Singh family in a promotional video for the specially designed Bold Helmets.

This mom couldn’t find sports helmets to accommodate her sons’ Sikh religious requirements, so she designed her own

Lifestyle & Belief

Many kids’ products on the market are not always inclusive or accommodate unique needs — including religious ones. Ontario mother Tina Singh decided to design sports helmets for her three boys that wouldn’t compromise their Sikh faith — or their safety.

man at podium outside in the snow

India’s Rahul Gandhi supporters finish 5-month rally and march against increasingly nationalist state


Rahul Gandhi, head of India’s opposition Congress party, started a unity march last September from the southern tip of the country, which ended on Monday. Gandhi is trying to drum up support for his party, opposition to the ruling BJP and, many observers say, trying to uphold democracy in the face of what’s becoming an increasingly religious state.

Muslims in Nigeria attend Eid prayers at the Kofar Mata prayer ground in Kano Nigeria, Sunday, May 24, 2020. 

Random rules: Part I

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into the role of sharia in northern Nigeria.