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Converting The Umuofia People To Christianity In Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe

907 words - 4 pages

There are many different religions in the world but they are all capable of doing similar things. Religion plays a significant role in the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. In this book religion is important to the people of Umuofia ,which is the village where the protagonist, Okonkwo lives. The people of the village believed there was only one religion ,and when another religion was introduced to them they would not believe in it. This religion was Christianity. During the novel the power of religion both guides and destroys the society of Umuofia.

Firstly, the church disproves many of the Igbo superstitions ,which encourages the Igbo to break the traditions that they had followed for many years. Therefore, slowly destroying their society. For instance, when the white men who brought Christianity to the people of Umuofia speak to the clan of the village about their new religion. They request a piece of land to build their church on. The clan decides to give them a piece of land of the Evil forest and let them stay. To the clans surprise this happens ”At last the day came by which all the missionaries should have died. But they were still alive, building a new red-earth and thatch house for their teacher, Mr. Kiaga. That week they won a handful more converts.(151)”. The Evil Forest was known as a forest where people go to die, and the clan members thought that by allowing the missionaries to build their church in the evil Forest they could easily get rid of them. Since, the white men didn’t die but lived, this made the Ibo people question their own beliefs. When some of the villagers noticed that they were mislead by their gods they decide to convert to Christianity. Either because Christianity seemed stronger than the Igbo gods or ,the Igbo gods had given the villagers false beliefs. Nevertheless, Christianity was gaining converts. While Christianity is gaining converts, it is making the Igbo society weaker. A society is defined by webster's dictionary as “a people in general thought of as living together in organized communities with shared laws, traditions, and values”. Since, Religion also has many traditions,laws, and values. It is basically like a society.Christianity and the Igbo religion have different traditions,laws, and values so, they can't have a society in which people believe in two different religions. There has to be a society for Christians and a society for the believers of the Igbo religion. So, when Christianity is gaining converts from the Igbo religion. Christianity is making its society become stronger while at the same time destroying the society of the Igbo religion.
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