Missionary Colonization In Africa

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When we talk of the early missionaries, we give gratitude to God for sending forth worthy servants who spent their lives for the propagation of the faith in the Whole world especially in Africa. Despite its remoteness these missionaries chose to evangelize Africa and gain eternal reward for the sake of the kingdom of God. It is praise worthy to not that these instruments of the gospel sowed a great seed of blessing in Africa, especially in Igbo Land.
In Igbo land, these missionaries especially the Irish/French Spiritan missionaries did a great job for the Church, it is pertinent that all Igbos remain grateful to this missionaries for implanting western education and spiritual enlightenment in Igbo Land. But this came at a great cost. The
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Western Missionary Assimilation
By western missionary assimilation, we mean to say that the Christian missionaries in Igbo land, could not make a departure from their western orientation to an orientation that is more Igbo in nature. They chose rather to force those western values and cultural convictions of the Igbos. This made the acceptance of the faith by the pre-colonial igbo society quite hard for the missionaries. Some where even killed because of this.
Africans wanted the missionaries to go home because of their assumption of the superiority of European culture imposed on them. Much work has been done in this area. The pioneer scholars who examined the claims of European missionaries and anthropologists are E.B. Idowu, J. Mbiti, J.N.K. Mugambi, and Parrinder. More recent scholars are J. Ukpong, S.O. Abogunrin, D.T. Adamo . These authors showed that missionaries were convinced of the superiority of their culture and strive to impose such idea on the world. Robert Glover’s picture of Africans is one of the best illustrations of colonial literature. He wrote:
The heathen are spirituality lost, wicked, wilful sinners, without Christ, having no hope and without God in the world. Their moral conditions are reeking with filthy and degrading habits… They are marked by abject poverty, wretched homes and
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Idowu argued that the missionary assumption was based on ignorance, prejudice, and preconceived notions. He regarded the colonial writer as “stay at home researchers.”10 They were hostile to native culture and intolerant of African traditional religion. It was a case of arrogant disrespect or disdain. African Traditional Religion was branded heathen or pagan. In fact, there was nothing valuable in African religions and culture. Africans were given new names in baptism and confirmation. Shrines were destroyed. African religious heritages and medicines were abandoned to become a Christian. African Christian converts were, thus, given an utopian orientation. The issue of missionaries has surfaced again in this critical period of world history where cultural interdependence is almost leading to cultural convergence. While this is taking place, Africans scholars are critical of apparent loss of cultural and institutional heritages in the camouflage of globalization. It is an unacceptable social price to pay in the name of cultural
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