vol. 4 No. 2 Dec. 2020

The Impact of Christianity on the Igbo and the Gikuyu Community in Africa as Revealed in Arrow of God and The River Between
Author:Sheikh Zobaer    Time:2021-02-20    Click:

Abstract: Religious conversion was an extremely important and effective strategy for the European colonizers to establish their colonial dominance in Africa. The diffusion of Christianity across Africa helped the colonizers gain acceptance and support among the natives, which in turn gave the colonizers more control over Africa. During the inception of European Christian missionary activities in Africa, those who accepted Christianity were favored by the colonial administration; but those who opposed, faced persecution. As more and more native Africans espoused Christianity and eschewed their native religions, Christianity emerged as a distinct threat to the native African cultures, religions, and associated rituals. But such mass proselytization hardly had any altruistic cause; rather, the conversion game helped the colonizers hide how they exploited Africa under the cloak of philanthropy. The newly-converted Christians were indoctrinated by the missionaries to such an extent that they started to loathe indigenous culture. In some cases, they channeled their loathing for indigenous belief system into actively opposing and obstructing the practice of native African religions and rituals. This paper examines Achebe’s Arrow of God and Thiong’o’s The River Between to discover how Christianity helped the European colonizers expand colonial territory and tighten their stranglehold on native African cultures.

Keywords: Africa, Achebe, Thiong’o, Christianity, Colonialism

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