World History 2
April 17, 2012
The European’s Use of Religion to Disintegrate the Igbo Community
I agree that the European colonial activities in the novel, Things Fall Apart, are wholly responsible for the disintegration of the Igbo society. Before the British colonization of the Igbo people, the Igbo society was a complex and unified group of clansmen. When the Igbo people encountered the missionaries, it brought chaos and drastic changes in the Igbo society. Things began to fall apart as the unification within the communities deteriorated. The British colonization of the Igbo people destroyed the culture and changed the traditions of the people because it introduced a new religion, government, and perspective on the once stable society. Clansmen went against each other; something which has never been done before until the British colonization. The white man broke the bonds between brothers of the communities and took full control over the Igbo society.
Religion was a dominant factor in the decline of the of the Igbo society. As Christianity was the “white man’s religion”, it was unorthodox to the Igbo men. Christianity was fairly fascinating to many of the natives and many of them turned away from their families and beliefs to become part of this new religion. Christianity went against the Igbo society’s traditions, rituals, and beliefs. For example, the missionaries taught the Igbos’ that their religion was blasphemous because of its acceptance of the practice of polygamy and numerous Gods. The missionaries felt that the Igbo needed to “leave [their] wicked ways and false gods and turn to Him so that [they] may be saved when [they] die (Achebe 145). Furthermore, the British missionaries taught that Igbo religion was wicked because of its practices, so they imposed Christianity as a remedy to stop their repulsive practices. For example, the Christian Church welcomed twins and outcasts,...