Lost at sea, saved by Allah: Religious coping on a migrant journey from Cape Verde to Brazil

Nicolas Parent, Luisa Feline Freier, Walker Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review


African migrants are taking longer and riskier journeys in the search of new destinations and improved opportunities. Elevated risks lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, and trauma, which makes the question of how migrants cope during such journeys an increasingly important area of research. Current research on migrant religious coping has focused on its use prior to departure and post-arrival. Few studies, however, have considered the role of religious coping during the process of migration. Based on interview data of three African shipwreck survivors travelling from Cape Verde to Brazil, this article discusses how they used religious coping as a positive coping strategy during a month spent lost on the Atlantic Ocean. The use of religious coping strategies directly after arrival is also explored. Through the analysis of this extreme case, the article contributes to the literatures on Muslim migrant religious coping and South-South migration from Africa to South America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-669
Number of pages11
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number7
Early online date13 Jul 2021
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • African migration
  • Brazil
  • Latin America
  • mental health
  • religious coping
  • South-South migration


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