Christian missionary activities in Igalaland (Nigeria) and the challenges of inculturation

Type Journal Article - African Journal for Mission in Contex
Title Christian missionary activities in Igalaland (Nigeria) and the challenges of inculturation
Volume 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 7-21
That many Igala people still see the Christian religion today
as a foreign practice is not just because it came from the west but
also because over the years it has not fully succeeded in getting
adapted to the cultural way of life of the people. This was one of
the mistakes of the early missionaries who brought and presented
Christianity as a way of life incompatible with the traditional
religion it encountered at its early stage among the people. Though
the situation on the ground could be described as that between St.
Paul and the people of Athens in the Acts of Apostles (Cf. Act. 17:
22-31), the missionaries were not quick to see point of convergence
in the two religions and thus isolated Christianity. Furthermore,
whereas, the Athenians may have been ignorant of the gods they
were worshiping before the arrival of St. Paul, Igala cannot be
judged thus, since every dictate of Igala religious ideas and worship
is based on consequential, logical, cosmological and metaphysical
In view of the above, this paper examines the history of
missionary activities in Igalaland especially from the perspective of
the Catholic Church and other Christian missionaries. The paper
identifies some key cultural items among the Igala people which
could be to the great advantage of the missionaries while trying to
win over the adherents of the traditional religion of the Igala

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