Faithful Work With Environmentalists To Conserve India’s Sacred Forests

"SHILLONG, India — Tambor Lyngdoh made his way through the fern-covered woodland — naming plants, trees, flowers, even stones — as if he were paying older family members a visit.

The community leader and entrepreneur was a little boy when his uncle brought him here and said these words: “This forest is your mother.”

This sacred space is in the village of Mawphlang, nestled in the verdant Khasi Hills in the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya, whose name means “abode of clouds.” On an overcast day, the forest, a bumpy 15-mile drive from the state capital of Shillong, was tranquil but for the sound of crickets chirping and raindrops rustling the bright green foliage.

The ground, carpeted by dead leaves and green saplings, was peppered with moss-covered sacred stones, which for centuries have served as sacrificial altars and recipients of chants, songs and prayers."

Deepa Bharath reports for the Associated Press January 17, 2024.


"What Are Sacred Forests?" (AP)

"In Benin, Voodoo’s Birthplace, Believers Bemoan Steady Shrinkage Of Forests They Revere As Sacred" (AP)

"Lebanon’s Christians Feel The Heat Of Climate Change In Its Sacred Forest And Valley" (AP)

"Sacred Groves: How the Spiritual Connection Helps Protect Nature" (Yale Environment 360)

Source: AP, 01/19/2024