1. Evangelism Shakes the Core of Bijagós Archipelago in Guinea-Bissau
Generations of baloberas and traditional religious leaders have held sway for centuries in this unique archipelago of 88 islands off the coast of West Africa, and this is reflected in the breathtaking biodiversity they have worked to preserve, designating trees, beaches and whole islands as sacred and out of bounds. Traditional Bijagó beliefs are now being challenged by an influx of Protestant, often Brazilian, missionaries who target the islands’ youth. Drawn away from their elders, sociologists and conservationists say the deep spiritual connections between the islands’ people and their environment are dying, putting the ecological future of the islands in danger.