It shows evidence of disrespect towards the clan by the white man and people who have abandoned the Ibo society. As people convert to Christianity and move away from the clan, they have been easily influenced to dismiss the ways of the clan. This leads to a breakdown in the Umuofian clan and their traditional beliefs. I believe that the introduction of Christianity has caused people to question and go against what was once a part of their culture. This has led to an increasing number of converts, which has weakened the Ibo
The Igbo people also lost their culture because of many unreasonable conceptions in their spirituality. To colonize the land of Nigerian tribal people or any other lands in the world, the British wisely used religion as a tool of invasion. Though the process of spreading Christianity took longer time than war and killing, the attack on belief and spirituality made the native people completely submit to the new government which generated and supported the religion that those people followed. In fact, the British missionaries succeeded in convincing the Igbo people of the new religion despite the Igbo’s conservativeness and extreme superstition. When the missionaries arrived in Mbanta, the mother land of Okonkwo, they did not achieve their goal of convincing people at the first time.
Warnings against this development were voiced by such leading theologians as Eusebius, who being the most diligent glorifier of Constantine, characterized the use of images of the Apostles Paul and Peter as well as of Christ himself as a pagan custom (1,1). One reason that some Christians balked at the idea of icons was because of the emperor's cult. It was through anti-Christian legislation that Christians were compelled to venerate the imperial images by offering sacrifices to them. The refusal to make the sacrifice was the chief cause of martyrdom at the time. Thus, after the church was recognized as the Roman imperial church, its reaction was expressed in the riotous destruction of the pagan divine images.
Eventually those who believe in a higher power will fight against each other. In “Things Fall Apart”, Chinua Achebe brings to light the differences and similarities of Christianity and Animism in order to demonstrate the effects of religion upon one’s society, which is exemplified by Okonkwo and his people. This is noticed in the lives of the Ibo, the missionaries, and Okonkwo himself. The differences and similarities between Animism and Christianity do not become evident until the arrival of the white men and the missionaries. Due to the differences, the Ibo and the missionaries eventually go from living together peacefully, to being on the brink of war with one another.
By trying to modernize Native Americans missionaries created divisions not only between Europeans and Natives, but also between natives as communities were split between those who agreed to convert and those who defended their ways; creating even more conflict. (Starkey, 1998) It is not only Christianity that has forced people to convert faiths. For example, written in the texts of the Quran are the words, “But whoever turns away from the Quran, he will have a hard life, and We will raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment.” (Quran, 20:124) These are words, direct from a text that people worship, that are promoting violence upon non-followers of Islam. Just as forced conversion isn’t just a problem with Christianity, it is not a problem of the past. People often think that we have become a more accepting society, and in some ways that is true, but in many more it is not.
The Romans were so afraid of a new religion, and the bad things that it might bring to the empire that they killed thousands of people. It was this fear that kept Rome from advancing, and kept the Christians in hiding. It is my belief that if tolerance had been Rome’s agenda from the beginning, that many conflicts could have been avoided. When it comes down to it ironically enough everyone should have just followed the Christian saying, “Do unto others, as you would have done to you.” (Luke) Bibliography: Luke. Holy Bible.
The differing spiritual customs of the two religions break them apart even further. Finally the destruction of the Igbo culture happens as a result of contradictory beliefs based on kinship ties within the religions. The differences between the religions are the ultimate downfall of the Igbo culture and both religions contribute to this demise equally. Understanding the dissimilarity between the Igbo religion and Christianity allows the reader to fully apprehend the reason for the eradication of the Igbo culture. The Igbo and Christians hold contrasting views about the spiritual world, which cause strain.
In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo struggles with his chi, or personal god, throughout the story. The fictional novel also depicts the Igbo people worshiping messenger gods to connect with their supreme god. These gods are often depicted through natural phenomena as well as the elements of the earth, making them easily attainable to the Igbo people. When the missionaries come to spread Christianity, they tell the Igbo people that their messenger gods are “gods of deceit” (Achebe 126). The Igbo people are outraged, as they view neglecting the messenger gods as disobeying their ancestors.
This decision carried dire consequences, and lead to Oknonkwo’s death. Okonkwo’s violent reaction included the hatred of Christians, the new religion had challenged everything Okonkwo had believed in. Okonkwo was a strict traditionalist, valuing strength and despising anything he proclaimed as “soft”. The Europeans had promoted “soft ideas”. Prior to Okonkwo’s return from exile, for he had accidently killed a fellow clansman, an insult to his earth god, Europeans had arrived and they began to introduce their religion, Christianity, their culture and their government, while denouncing the traditional Igbo ideas.
In certainty they are humans like you and I that would much rather die than to watch their faith trampled over by an idea they do not believe in (“Early Christian Martyrs” 2). A martyr affirms a border that leaves them out, leaves them to be chosen for being different, a target, just like Germans felt about Jews when they began exterminating them. The Christians became a huge population but not all in one place, they were scattered around all over the place (“Why did Christianity Succeed” 1). People around them who were not Christian began to suspect that they performed acts of anti-social events like incestuous sexual relations and cannibalism, judging them because they were different (“Why Did Christianity Succeed?” 2). For people around them, martyrs became like heroes, strong and willing to fight for others who denied their faith and were not willing to fight for their own faith (“Early Christian Martyrs” 1).