EFFECT OF CHRISTIANITY ON IGBODO COMMUNITY OF IKA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE CHAPTER ONE GENERAL INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY The aim of this project is to traces the advent of Christianity in Igbodo community of Ika local government area of Delta state. Igbodo was a community engrossed in fetish practices where primordial paganetic culture of wizardry, witchcraft and certain practices have held the people in a psychological bondage. Christianity having had its impact in several regions of Nigeria still had its own positive effect in the Igbodo community which remains a spectacular phenomenon. This dispositions in terms of attitude or behavioral manifestations of those who have engaged themselves over the centuries in certain barbaric act of despicable inhumanity, being aliens to the Christian religion remained a total shock had they embraced this alien religion with all simplicity and honesty, which could not even be conceived by the foreign missionaries, at inception as an act ofhypocrisy by the natives.1 The lasting impact the message brought and the inoculating effect of Christian religion it brought on the community will be discussed as the work progresses. 1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM The Igbodo community place much emphasizes on a considerable communal living. The introduction of Christianity to a society where communal living has had its root engulfed in traditional beliefs, now having Christians at the fore front of their fundamental beliefs raise a lot of questions. It has become so widely proclaimed that it has now become a part of the community that one would think it has been in existence over many centuries. The proclamation of the gospel and the proliferation of churches having suppressed the traditional activities of the adherents, who had lost their sense of humanity, gave them a new view and perception. The positive impact and the positive value to a community ravaged with poverty and illiteracy. The obvious clash of ideologies and culture craving its way in the hearts and minds of the Igbodo people brings about a mutual suspicion on both sides, as presented seemingly justifiable as the people live amongst them are identifiable and visibly real. The God being introduced seem not to be empirical or having any physical form nor visible to the human eyes here in lies in defining position that justified the suspicion of resentment and resistance of the Igbodo people. In their thinking and culture, reality must be visible and verifiable.2 1.3 SCOPE OF STUDY This research is mainly centered on Igbodo community in Ika Local Government Area. The research will give an explicit and intrinsic report on the advent of Christianity in Igbodo society. The details given in this work will be based on observation,-research findings. It will also give an appraisal on the lasting effect of Christianity. 1.4 CLARIFICATION OF TERMS For the convenient purpose of this study there would be a need to clarify some terms. Christianity The Webster’s Universal Dictionary defines Christianity to be a religion based on the teaching of Christ.3 Effect The Oxford Dictionary defines effect to be a change produced by an action or cause; impression; state of being operative. Social impact The concept social impact means, to have a strong effect on a society or community, it could be positive or negative.4 1.5 AIMS AND OBJECTIVE The aims and objective of the research are as follows. To have a knowledge of the arrival of Christian missionaries and advent of Christianity in Igbodo society. To examine the impact and effect on the community. To understanding the role played by the missionaries and individuals of community. 1.6 METHODOLOGY The methodological approach of this project is historical and observational. The method of approach is a collection of data majorly based on oral interview through personal meetings and communication. This thesis emerges out of rigorous investigation and interviews of individuals within several age differences in various fields of life. As the research progressed, relevant text pertaining to the subject matter, on interpretations of terms and concept were also consulted and more findings made. The bottom linelays in the fact that oral interview which has been well scrutinized and subjected to verification forms and makes up the totality of this project. 1.7 PLAN AND CHAPTERS This research consists of five chapters to ensure for a better comprehension and assimilation. Chapter one gives a general introduction of the projecttitle which includes statement of problem, clarification of terms, aims and objective, methodology, plan and chapters, literature review.Chapter two consists on the historical background of the Igbodo community and the arrival of the Christian missionaries. Chapter three consists of the social impact and the effect they had on the Igbodo people. Chapter four deals with the culture clashes, reactions of the Igbodo people, experiences of the natives Chapter five is the evaluation of the work, recommendation, to the positive and negative effect the influence of Christianity has had on the Igbodo people and also a general conclusion. 1.8 LITERATURE REVIEW Although this research is majorly based on oral interviews and observations, it is not without exception to the consultation of some texts to ensure detailed information. G.I.C. Eluwa in his book, a history of Nigeria traced the arrival of missionaries to Portugal and in West Africa, subsequently Warri.Similar text like Africa and the wider world since 1800 A.D. by Eluwa, A.D. Nzemeke and E.O. Erhagbe in Nigerians people and culture, gave a similar explanation. National Open University, Christianity in Nigeria sharing the same view. Eqwabor Iduwe”. History of the Ika people, also talked about the geographical location of Ika their beliefs and life practice was also used for research as Igbodo is a part of Ika. E. Bolaji Idowu in his book African traditional religions helped understand the application of some terms in this work within the African context. Nigerian studies in religious tolerance by Dr. C.S. Momoh volume 1 in one of the chapter 29 page 360, trace the advent of Christianity to the Niger expedition, the tolerance of the Africans against the influence of foreign religion. Essays in History and Religions by Adebayo Adeogun also traced the Arrival of missionaries from Europe to Benin and Warri and the structure of religion to natives and their perception. Gbolade Aderibigbe also traced the arrival of missionaries similar to Adebayo Adeogun. E.I. Ikenga-Metuh in his book comparative studies in Africa tradition religion also helped for the clarification of some terms in describing the African religion which is not quite different from the Igbodo perspective that is in its application and context. S.S. Nwachukwuike, in his book Christianity, culture, and colonialism in Africa talks about the negative influence of the Europeans on the Nigerian culture and also the positive effect the cultural clash and reactions, this book helped for the proper structuring of terms and wordsas regards to my thesis, relating to the Igbodo people. E.O. Oyelade in his book Readings in religion and philosophy in a chapter written by Dr. W. Ehianu talks about death in Ika as an activity caused by Witches without Igbodo being an exception. The oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, Chambers 21st century dictionary, Geedes and Grosset, websters universal dictionary and thesaurus also defined certain words and terms which is applicable within this context. Endnote S.S. Nwachukwuike; Christianity, culture and colonialism in Africa. (R.S.N.C. Port Harcourt 1976). P. 55. I. Azike; personal interview 3/6/2012, at Igbodo, age 65 Geeds and Grosset; Websters universal dictionary andthesaurus (Scotland and David Dale House 2007) p. 101. J.M. Hawkins; The Oxford Mini reference dictionary,(Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 128.
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