PROBLEMS OF INDOCTRINATING CHRISTIANITY IN NIGERIA. BADAGRY: A CASE STUDY
This research work investigated the problems of indoctrinating Christianity in Nigeria with Badagry as a case study.
The Nigerian French village in the Ajara area of Badagry town was used as the representative sample for this research work. The research made use of stratified sampling technique. This way, views of people from different religious background was gotten-Respondents from different religious groups were randomly selected and questionnaires were administered to them.
The questionnaire that was used to elicit information from respondents, was divided in two sections. The first section contained the biodata of the respondents, while the second section contained twenty items.
The twenty items were developed from four research questions and the “simple percentage” was used to analyze the data.
At the end of the data analysis, results showed that the major problem of indoctrinating Christianity in Badagry is African traditional religion and indigenous traditions of the people of Badagry.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Title page i
Table of content vi-vii
1.1 Background of the study 1
1.2 Indigenous Traditions in Nigerian Communities 2
1.3 Statement of the Problem 5
1.4 Purpose of the Study 7
1.5 Research Questions 7
1.6 Statement of Hypothesis 8
1.7 Significance of the Study 8
1.8 Scope and Limitation 9
2.1 Introduction 10
2.2.Reasons for the continuous Relevance of
Indigenous Religions in Badagry 15
3.1 Research Design 21
3.2 Population of the Study 21
3.3 Sampling and Sampling Technique 21
3.4 Research Instrument 22
3.5 Validity of the Instrument 22
3.6 Procedure for Data Collection 22
3.7 Method of Data Analysis 23
4.1 Introduction 24
4.2 Data Presentation 24
4.3 Data Analysis 25
Conclusion and Recommendation
5.1 Introduction 32
5.2 Discussion 32
5.3 Conclusion 34
5.4 Recommendation 35
5.5 Suggestion of further Research 36
Christianity is a religion founded by Jesus Christ. It was introduced in Nigeria in the 15th century through the efforts of “AUGUSTINIAN” and “CAPUCHIN” monks from “Portugal”. It was first introduced in “WARRI” and Benin city at its first attempt but at its second coming, it was fully introduced in Badagry town with the coming of REV. THOMAS BIRCH FREEMAN from Capetown in Sierra-Leone before spreading its tentacles to Abeokuta and other places.
The major challenges that were generally faced by the missionaries during their attempts to plant Christianity in Nigeria were:-
1.2 INDIGENOUS TRADITIONS IN NIGERIAN COMMUNITIES
The various indigenous traditions among the people of Nigeria during the period of indoctrinating Christianity, was a major problem faced by the missionaries. E.g in places like Calabar town in Cross-River State of Nigeria, there was this tradition of killing twin children born in the town because they were perceived as “EVIL”. Also in Badagry town, the culture of women walking bare-chested in the full glare of people was considered Bush and “Apparently, because of the few above mentioned and many other traditions abounding in Nigerian communities at the time, it was difficult to win the people’s attention to embrace Christianity because it was alien to their culture and traditions.
AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION: This was a major force that clogged the wheel of operations of the Christian missionaries. This type of religion which is still very much existing is the religion of the ancient ancestors of Africans which a lot of them have practiced from babyhood. Therefore, it militated against the planting of Christianity because they believed that the religion of their fore-fathers is superior to any other therefore, the white man’s religion was seem as “ARRANT NONSENSE”
LANGUAGE BARRIERS: Nigeria is a large nation consisting of over 700 ethic groups speaking different dialects. This was a problem to the missionaries because their only means of communicating to the people of Nigeria was through “ENGLISH LANGUAGE” At the time, English language was not spoken in Nigeria and it posed a problem in indoctrinating Christianity.
Over the years, historians have traced the origin of Christianity in Nigeria, highlighting some relevant historical antecedents that have helped to shape its development from the year 1842 (Abiri O.O) (Ed) (2005). With reference to a particular town in Lagos State of Nigeria, this research will be looking into some of the problems that still militate against the total practice of Christianity in that town. It has been discovered that some of the problems the missionaries faced during their attempts to indoctrinate Christianity in Nigeria, are still reasons why Christianity is not wholly practiced in some places.
For example, Despite the acceptance of the Christian faith in Badagry, the people are still deep-rooted in their traditional worship and practices which was, and still is a major problem standing in the way of the full and proper practice of Christianity in Badagry. These traditional practices have their “MODUS-OPRRANDI” which are unacceptable in the Christian faith. In carrying out this research, the major indmarks, problems and progress, essential signposts and the current state of affairs regarding the practice of Christianity will serve as a “ROADMAP” in the historical terrain of the problems of indoctrinating Christianity in Nigeria with particular reference to Badagry town in Lagos State of Nigeria.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF BADAGRY
Badagry was founded around 1425 A.D. Before its existenecy people lived along the coast of “GBEREFU” and this area later gave birth to the town of Badagry. The major residents of the town consists of the “AWORI’S” and the “Equn’s”. places of interest in the town includes the palace of the “AKRAN” of Badagry and its mini ethnographic museum, the early missionaries cemetery, the first story building in Nigeria, which was constructed by the Anglican missionaries and the slave port established for the shipment of slaves before the 16th century.
Following the suppression of the slave trade in the 1840’s, Badagry declined significantly but became a major site of Christian mission work. The town subsists largely on “Fishing” and “Agriculture”. As of the preliminary 2006 census results, the municipality had a population of 241, 093 people.
Badagry was initially known as “GBALE” which is the shortened from of the word “Ogbaglee” meaning: “A farmland near the swamp”. The qwori’s and the Egun’s who form a major part of Badagry are primarily Christians but still practice their traditional religion.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In recent years in Nigeria, secular movements like politics, feminism and environmentalism have received a great deal of attention while most recently, religious matters have received a short shrift. The most significant revolutionary changes taking place in Nigeria today are RELIGIOUS in nature. According to “HAROLD LOOKS” in his book titled Beginning of indoctrination”, he wrote why Christianity must change or die. And his message was that Christianity, is becoming discredited which is a problem in Badagry town presently. As earlier stated, there are hitches that still disrupt the full practice of Christianity in Badagry; some of which are unacceptable and termed “Barbaric” and contrary to Christian practice which calls for great attention. This is a problem which if not well handled, will pose problems of moral laxity among the teeming population of youths and Adults alike.
Traditional practices in Badagry
Traditional practices in Badagry town form an integral part of the way people live their lives. According to ADETORO J.E. in his book titled “Christians missions in Nigeria” (1998), be wrote about the practice of betrothing a female child to a priest diviner even before birth. If the child dies, it means the parents have offended “IFA” and must expiate the offence which could mean producing another child for IFA. If the child lives, she must marry the “BABALAWO” else, she dies an untimely death. If the chief dies before the marriage, she is “MADEOVER” to his son or a near relative. If the Babalawo refuses to marry the girl, the parents may redeem her with offerings after which she can marry another person. It was also written in his book that “WIDOW INHERITANCE” is on the decline in Badagry as the dead man’s properties are most often willed to his family members.
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this research, is to examine the major challenges faced during the period of indoctrinating Christianity in order to investigate the effects and the impact these challenges have had on Badagry people. The purpose is also to investigate why and how some of these problems do not allow for the total practice of Christianity in Badagry and to find out why the people still hold on tightly to African traditional religion even after accepting Christianity and practicing it for many years.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Based on the main objectives of this research, the following research questions were raised:
1. How was the religious way of life of the people of Badagry before the coming of Christian missionaries?
2. What were the major problems faced in the indoctrination of Christianity in Badagry and what were the effects.
3. Have Christianity really effected positive changes in the religious life of the people of Badagry?
4. How deep is Christianity in Badagry?
1.6 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
It was hypothesized that:
1. The different religious practices in Badagry before the coming of Christianity, contributed to the problems faced in indoctrinating Christianity in the town.
2. African traditional religion was a major force that stood in the way and still stands in the way of Christianity in Badagry.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research will be of relevance to students, lecturers and the public alike in issues pertaining to problems of indoctrinating Christianity. Its relevance in developing a healthy society, free from unacceptable practices in the eyes of many people. It will also provide knowledge on some of these practices that are still in existence in Badagry despite the practice of Christianity.
1.8 SCOPE AND LIMITATION
For reasons of space, time, financial constraints, proper concentration and proximity, this research will be limited to Badagry town in Lagos State of Nigeria.