The I Files returns to its regularly scheduled programming this week with an eclectic and wide-ranging array of investigative videos from around the world.

First, we feature three stories dealing with an issue that deeply divides American society – gay rights and religion.

This issue is not faced by Americans alone. In post-Saddam Iraq being gay, or even looking gay, can be a death sentence.  “Gay Witch Hunt in Iraq” is a BBC investigation into the ongoing, systematic and organized violence against gays in Iraq. This story presents a new angle on the problems facing the country, one Iraq’s Western-backed government refuses to acknowledge. In fact, a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki tells the BBC that Iraqi homosexuals could avoid persecution altogether if only they would “live their lives a normal way.”

Watch the story here:

YouTube video

“Do you think I’m going to hell because I’m gay?”

That’s the question one Texas teenager asks her father in “Coming Out: Gaining Confidence from God.” In this installment of The New York Times’ Emmy-nominated series on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, 15-year-old Kailey Jeanne Cox struggles with her conflicting identities as a devout Lutheran and a gay teenager. At a time when the bullying and suicides of gay teens are all too common, Kailey describes how she navigates her way through biblical doctrine and traditional Southern society.

We’re also relaunching “The Other Convention,” a documentary produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting that profiles Methodists wrestling with the future of their church and its official policy on gays and lesbians. Traditional church doctrine holds that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Progressive Methodists are campaigning to see that statement removed from church canon while conservative evangelical Methodists want to retain the church’s historic stance. Both sides clashed at the church’s convention in Florida earlier this year. Who prevailed? Watch here to find out.

Other stories on The I Files this week include C.J. Chivers’ intimate portrait of rebel fighters in northwestern Syria. The ragtag band of rebels – made up of ex-soldiers, teachers, doctors and construction laborers – helps loosely control an area twice the size of Rhode Island, despite being under constant threat from an enemy with superior weapons and firepower.

Halfway around the world, “Heat and Harvest,” a co-production between KQED and CIR, investigates how climate change is reshaping California’s multibillion-dollar agriculture industry.

This week also marks our inaugural installment of The I Files en Español (please forgive my pronunciation). We’re featuring a new Spanish-language version of “The Hidden Cost of Hamburgers,” one of the most popular stories on The I Files to date. Check it out, and let us know what other stories you’d like to see translated.

We’ll continue to add more stories throughout the week. Come visit The I Files every day for the latest investigative videos from CIR and partners such as The New York Times, BBC, ABC, al-Jazeera, Reuters TV and the best independent filmmakers from around the globe.

And please take a moment to subscribe to The I Files. Show that you value high-quality investigative journalism and ensure that you don’t miss a single story.

Next week on The I Files …

We feature an Emmy-nominated BBC investigation of the growing business of child sacrifice in Uganda and an al-Jazeera story probing why there has not been a single significant prosecution of a Wall Street figure since the 2008 financial meltdown.

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Amanda Pike (she/her) is the director of the TV and documentary department and executive producer of films and series at Reveal. Under her leadership, The Center for Investigative Reporting garnered its first Academy Award nomination and four national Emmys, among other accolades. She was the executive producer of the inaugural year of the Glassbreaker Films initiative, supporting women in documentary filmmaking and investigative journalism. She has spent the past two decades reporting and producing documentaries for PBS, CBS, ABC, National Geographic, A&E, Lifetime and The Learning Channel, among others. Subjects have ranged from militia members in Utah to young entrepreneurs in Egypt and genocide perpetrators in Cambodia. Pike also has dabbled in fiction filmmaking, producing the short film “On the Assassination of the President,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.