This research work investigated the problems
of indoctrinating Christianity in Nigeria with Badagry as a case study.
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.
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.
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
of content vi-vii
Background of the study 1
Indigenous Traditions in Nigerian Communities
Statement of the Problem 5
Purpose of the Study 7
Research Questions 7
Statement of Hypothesis 8
Significance of the Study 8
Scope and Limitation 9
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
5.1 Introduction 32
5.2 Discussion 32
5.3 Conclusion 34
5.4 Recommendation 35
5.5 Suggestion of further Research 36
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.
major challenges that were generally faced by the missionaries during their
attempts to plant Christianity in Nigeria were:-
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
was the religious way of life of the people of Badagry before the coming of
were the major problems faced in the indoctrination of Christianity in Badagry
and what were the effects.
Christianity really effected positive changes in the religious life of the
people of Badagry?
deep is Christianity in Badagry?
It was hypothesized that:
different religious practices in Badagry before the coming of Christianity,
contributed to the problems faced in indoctrinating Christianity in the town.
traditional religion was a major force that stood in the way and still stands
in the way of Christianity in Badagry.
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.