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Social Conflicts and Violence among Christian Churches and Denominations in Igboland


Damian Emeka Ikejiama

This book is about the dangers of religious intolerance, conflict and violence oriented strategies in our contemporary society. It exposes the evangelical strategies of Christian Churches and Denominations in the Nigerian society. The process of the enthronement of ‘prosperity theology’ has led to manipulation of individuals and events through demonization, deliverance, organized healings and miracles. This type of Christianity destroys religious values and exposes the society to the danger of materialism. Christian Churches should be advocates of empowerment, freedom and dignity instead of victimization of its members. This study argues that authentic Christian witnessing can only be achieved through holistic and proper integration of its teachings into socio-cultural values of its local setting. It insists that religion should enhance good core values and not destroy it. It critically analyses the elemental causes of conflict and violence in Igboland and concludes by making recommendations towards a peaceful society.


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Chapter Five: Elementary Causes of Conflict and Violence in Christianity


We have seen that Christianity has taken root in Igboland. Its practice and means of evangelisation gives room for concern, due to strong manifesta- tions of unethical norms. Our task in this chapter is to examine those peculiarities and unique factors identified as fundamental or root causes of the existence of conflict and violence. In order to achieve this we shall also analyse the effects of these factors, with particular emphasis on new Christian worldviews in relation with the entire Igbo Christian society and their culture. Through this analysis, we wish to expose and understand the implication of these changes in Christianity and human society as a whole. 5.1 Church Leadership and Membership One of such primary factors is the issue of competent leadership of Church- es or the dynamics of organisational ingenuity. In most churches there exist short-sighted organisational structures or a lack of what Max Weber, in his social analysis of tripartite classification of authority, refers to as ‘charisma of leadership’.609 In Weber’s view, a leader is alleged to have “the quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is set apart from other men and treated as empowered with supernatural, superhuman or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities.”610 An alleged ‘super- natural aura’ of the leader, for instance, his ability to preach with ‘anoint- ing’ and to perform miraculous healings, validates his spiritual claims, in the same manner authenticates and legitimates his authority.611 To achieve this inevitable charisma, most leaders formulate all sorts...

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