Ask a Question

THE IMPACT OF CHRISTIANITY IN NIGERIA

By the end of this unit, you should be able to:
• state the impact of Christianity in Nigeria
• identify the effects of education among Christians in the country
• state the positives contributions of Christians to the development of Nigeria.

3.1 The Improvement of Trade in Nigeria

Before the introduction of Christianity in Nigeria, many towns and villages had no motorable roads. This is because they feared their enemies using such roads to get to them and carry them into slavery. For instance, it was an enemy that captured Ojo the grand father of Bilewu 
and sold him to a slave trader at the Republic of Benin. There he stayed 
and gave birth to Bilewu the founder of the Celestial Movement in Nigeria and in the Republic of Benin. At that period, the Egbas feared to open good roads to link other parts of Nigeria. But when they wanted the white men to aid them fight their enemies, they invited Missionaries 
into their land. It was the presence of the Missionaries and white soldiers that encouraged the Abeokuta people to open motorable road to link Lagos and Ijebu land. The linking of the road with Ijedu land encouraged legitimate trade among them and other parts of Nigeria.
In 1921, Archdeacon Lennon encouraged Ikare people to open the road that linked Ikare- Akoko with other towns, such as Owo, Ado- Ekiti, Kabba, Okene and Lokoja.
The opening of the mentioned roads, encouraged legitimate trade in the above named towns. The opening of Ikare road that link Owo encouraged many people in Ikare town joined the faith of Christianity.

3.2 Building of Schools and Man Power by Misionarie

In 1841, Thomas Fowell Buxton persuaded Lord Melbourned’s government in Britain to send an expendition up the Niger to make treaties with the Chiefs in order to abolish slave trade. It was made also 
to open the way for improved trading and advancement in educational, scientific,technological and ultimately religious conditions of Nigerians. 
In 1841, specialists in various fields including a Chaplain and two Anglican Church Missionaries were sent to the River Niger area. The Missionaries were to report on the possibilities of missionary work in the area. During the expedition, treaties were sighed with the Obi of Aboh named Ossai and the Attah of Igalla named Ocheji. They acquired land at Lokoja in which a model farm, school and a mission Station was established. In 1885, Ajayi Crowther built a Church made of mud and burnt bricks at Lokoja, he named it The Holy Trinity Church. In 1867, 
Ajayi established The Holy Trinity Primary School at Lokoja. There, many Nigerians were trained and they were employed by the then Government and the Missionaries. 
In 1911, the Anglican Mission established Saint Peter’s Primary School, Ogori. There, many people were later trained and were later employed by the Missionaries and Government. In1921, Lennon established a
primary School in Ikare-Akoko to train many people who were later employed by Government and Missionaries in Nigeria. Various Missionaries have also established schools, colleges, and universities in Nigeria to train skilled workers.

3.3 The Proviions of Postal Services by Church Mision

Before 1920, paper communications were in the form of notes that were brought by those who work in Lokoja to people in their towns and villages in some parts of the Western Nigeria. Likewise in Lagos, 
Abeokuta, Ijebu and Onisha areas, letters were brought by workers to people by hands. In 1922, Lennon was assigned by the Ministry of Communications to assist in delivering letters in some parts of the 
Western Nigeria. He built and constructed wooden boxes were letters were posted and were to be delivered to those whom he had assigned such duty. However, around 1940’s, the Ministry of Communications, 
Nigeria, took over the Post Office that was built by the Anglican Mission in Ikare which served many towns and villages in Nigeria.

3.4 Road Network Construction by the Misionaries in Ikare-Akoko Area 

Lennon a missionary in Ikare area introduced motorable roads in the area around1922-1925. He was supported by Oba Momoh who gave able leadership to the people of Ikare area to construct Ikare-Owo road. 

This enabled the traders in the area to engage in productive trade that promoted economy of the people. In Akoko-Kukuruku area, the Church established market in Ososo in order for Church women in the area to engage in profitable trade that would improve their standard of living and empower them to contribute to the evangelization of the area.
Missionaries in various parts of Nigeria did encouraged the inhabitants 
of their Mission stations to construct good roads to link other towns and villages. Such roads encouraged many Nigerians to be engaged in various profitable trades in Nigeria.

3.5 How Christianity Promotes Love Among Nigerian

The Church leaders in Nigeria, teach their followers to love themselves and their fellow human beings. They are also taught to aid those who are 
in need in the society. They are also taught to get involve in the political life of their nation. Their participation in politics would probably bring peace and harmony to the country. The persecutions of Christians in the country strengthen them rather than the opposite. Christians in Nigeria 
regard themselves as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. They are also taught to love others irrespective of their religious inclinations. Most importantly, they are enjoined to demonstrate love in their actions to all people whether the people deserve it or not. That this is the hallmark of Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ. 

3.6 Spectacular Misionary Outreaches


Aladura Churches such as the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement and the Christ Apostolic Church that are parts of the indigenous Missions have spread from the Southern parts of Nigeria towards Ilorin and to other Northern parts of Nigeria. They have continued to attract the interests of many Nigerians, more than the established Churches in the area. The activities of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement have continued to pose a great challenge to Islam than Orthodox Churches because monogamy is less emphasized by the movement. For example in 1930, the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement extended her 
Evangelism to the Ebira area, many of the Ebiras that heard the Good News accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Also many Muslims and traditional worshippers became members of the Movement.. In order for the Movement to continue winning more Souls for Jesus Christ, it established two secondary schools: Cherubim and Seraphim College, at Ilorin and Laruba both in Kwara State, Nigeria. In 2005, the Movement established the Cherubim and Seraphim University in Omu-Aran, Kwara State. The Movement also embarks on annual 
Crusades in many towns that are located in Muslim dominated areas in Northern Nigeria. 

SELF ASSESSMENT EXERCISE
Discuss the impact of Christianity in Nigeria.

4.0 CONCLUSION

In this unit, you have studied the contributions of Christians to the economy of Nigeria. 
You have learnt how Christianity encourages love and unity among Nigerians irrespective of their religious persuasions. Furthermore, you have learnt that it was Christianity that brought western education to Nigeria. through Christianity, many Nigerians in various fields, such as Clergy, teaching and trading to mention a few, have improved their lives greatly.

SUMMARY

You have learnt the following in this unit: 
The Christian built schools and colleges in Nigeria where many people were trained.
After their training, they gained employment in various fields of human 
endeavour. You have also learnt that the planting of Christianity in Nigeria by both the missionaries and the indigenes brought progress to Nigerians all over the country. Through western education brought by Christianity, ignorance, fear, poverty and the like have been banished 
for ever in the lives many Nigerians.

6.0 TUTOR-MARKED ASSIGNMENT

1. Discuss the roles of Lennon in the development of Nigeria.
2. State some benefits that Nigerians have derived from the panting of Christianity in Nigeria.
7.0 REFERENCES/FURTHER READINGS
Babalola, E.O. (1976). Christianity in West African, Ibadan: Scholar Publications International [Nig.] Ltd. 
Ifemesia, C.C. (1980). ‘’The Civilising Mission of 1841; Aspects of an Episode in Anglo-Nigeria Relations’’ inb The History of Christianity in West African Essays Lectures.
Fafunwa, Babs. (1974).b History of Education in Nigeria,2 Boston: Sydney George Allen and Unwin

Post a comment

0 Comments