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Authenticity of Belief in African (Igbo) Traditional Religion

A Critical Appraisal in the Light of Christian Faith

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Aloysius Ndiukwu

The work presents Abrahamic monotheistic religions and the belief of the traditional religions in Africa, especially in Igboland. Religion exists notwithstanding many rots and bad religious behaviours through systematic and atheistic upbringing. It is true that in the history of mankind, different religions have come and gone and many are still in existence and they are religiously or socially formed. The monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have their complementary religious conviction with Igbo religion. They have the image of God as one and only. The authentic carriers of Igbo religion include religious functionaries, the family, and the elders. The religion is culturally, socially and ethically oriented and so the Gospel message of Christ should not neglect them.
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The research work “The Authenticity of Belief in African (Igbo) Traditional Religion – A Critical Appraisal in the Light of Christian Faith”, presents the belief of the traditional religions in Africa especially in Igboland. “Africans have a profound religious sense, a sense of the sacred, of the existence of God the creator and of a spiritual world. The reality of sin in its individual and social forms is very much present in the consciousness of these people, as is also the need for rites of purification and expiation.”1 These religious senses help the people in their approach to God the creator and giver of life. In a bid to address these religions many writers, like Aylward Shorter, John Mbiti, Bolaji Idowu, and Emefie Ikenga-Metuh, have written extensively about them. Some authors use traditional religions – plural, while others in singular. Are these people speaking about the same religion? This work will throw some light into that. The religions in Africa before the advent of Christianity and Islam are not the same as we see them today. Today, Christianity and Islam have swept aside these religions and institute their different religious tenets. What exist now sometimes lack relevance among the people, because some conceive them as pagan, archaic and devilish.

The basic reason for religion is to reunite humanity to God. It therefore plays a vital role by trying to bring human image, dignity, personality and identity back to God. It also shapes the patterns of human behaviours,...

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