Image 1 of 1
A family belonging to the Celestial Church of Christ worshipping on the beach. Founded in Benin in 1947, the church forbids idolatory, fetish ceremonies, cult membership, sorcery or amulets and charms. This puts it at odds with the traditional Vodoun (Voodoo) religion and animist cults. One unfortunate consequence of this, and of the growth of Christianity in general, is the erosion of traditional beliefs and taboos that had the effect of protecting and conserving forests, where deities and spirits were believed to reside. Together with burgeoning population growth and corresponding demand for agricultural land and wood for construction and fuel, this has resulted in severe and ongoing deforestation.