In were being hurt by the tribes belief

In the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe the Christian missionaries and British colonial governors disrupt Umuofia and several other Igbo villages in Nigeria, seeking to convert them to Christianity, and gain more land. The influence of religion on a civilization can either benefit the civilization or dismantle it. In Things Fall Apart, Christianity does both because, it brought  new beliefs and customs, caused the Ibo people to fight for their own faith, and divided the civilization.   When the Christian missionaries and British colonial governors come to Umuofia and the surrounding villages they also bring new beliefs and customs.  “The missionaries came to Umuofia” with intentions to convert the people to Christianity (Achebe 143). Throughout the first part of the book it states that the Igbo weeks are four days long, and the market day is on the first of day each week. When the missionaries settle they bring the seven-day week, “On the following Sunday, Nwoye passed and unpassed the little red-earth and thatch building without summoning enough courage to enter” (Achebe 150). The “missionaries also set up a school to teach young Christians to read and write” (Achebe 152). Many of the people who were being hurt by the tribes belief system fled to join the Christians, ” for the first time they had a woman…Neke had had four previous pregnancies and child births. But each time she had borne twins, and they had been immediately thrown away” (Achebe 151). Along with the missionaries accusing the Ibo people of believing in gods “who tell them to kill your fellows and destroy innocent children” (Achebe 146). As soon as the missionaries come to Umuofia they immediately start to build a church, and started to tell the people of Umuofia that, “they worshipped false gods, gods of wood stone” (Achebe 145). The people of Umuofia who were not osu or the outcasts who had joined the the new faith, met together in an assembly and decided to “ostracize the men” because they thought they “they would then not be held accountable for their abominations” (Achebe 159). The people of Umuofia had a notion that, “an abominable religion had settled among them” (Achebe 167). When Okonkwo returns he is determined to “fight the men and drive them from the land” because he has heard the many destructive actions they have done (Achebe 176). The egwugwu approach Mr. Smith and communicate with him that his people,” can stay with us if they like our ways. They can worship their own god. It is good that a man should worship the gods and the spirits of his fathers. Go back to your house so that you may not be hurt. Our anger is great but we have held it down so that we can talk to you” (Achebe 190). When Mr. Smith “tells them to go away from here” the spirits did not like what he had to say. So they burn his red-earth church to the ground, and all that’s left is “a pile of earth and ashes” (Achebe 191).  In a speech made by Okika he emphasises that,” there brothers have deserted them  and joined a stranger to soil their fatherland’ (Achebe 203). And finally Eneke responds that they must ” root out the evil…they must bale this water now that is is only anke deep…” (Achebe 204) . With the missionaries bringing Christianity, it also causes a division between the Igbo people. A good example of this division is Okonkwo and his son, Nwoye. Nwoye had been captivated in the religion the first time the “white men” had spoken to them about Christianity. Nwoye, “felt a relief within as the hymn poured into his parched soul” (Achebe 147). Some of the very first converts are those that have very little or no title in the tribe, outcasts,  meaning they have nothing to lose, and will most likely be more accepted in the new faith. The outcasts saw that “the new religion welcomed twins and such abominations, thought that it was possible that they would also be received” (Achebe 155). Okonkwo thinks that, “worthy men are no more” and starts to think that his whole tribe has “fallen apart” (Achebe 200). Throughout Things Fall Apart the power of Christianity being introduced to the Igbo people has a major impact on their society, and forever changed their civilization. With some benefits to the people, such as being able to gain an education to read and write. Otherwise most of the outcomes of Christianity being introduced is negative. With the way that it slowly tears apart the whole Igbo civilization. Christianity brought new beliefs and customs, caused the Ibo people to fight for their own faith, and divided the civilization.


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