Igbo traditional religion and Christianity

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We have argued that our Igbo religion and philosophy is embedded in our world view. We observed among other things that the Igbo had a clear concept of ‘Chukwu’ from the Igbo genesis but was distorted by idolatrous and polytheistic tendency thereby disrupting the original cordial relationship between the earliest Igbo ancestor and ‘Chukwu.’ We indicated that the Igbo cosmology is expressed in our respect for human life and dignity, respect for morality, our commitment to truth, our achievement orientation centred on hard work, courage and determination, our deep sense of republicanism with its democratic values which also not only recognizes the uniqueness of the individual but affirms the importance of Umunna/Ikwunne and insist on our faith in ‘Chukwu’ as the foundation of Igbo life and thought.

We argued that these dominant religious and philosophical ideas constitute the key to Igbo self-understanding and identity as well as providing the Igbo their vision and mission in the world. We call for the restoration of the broken link started with the advent of Christianity into Igbo land and urge all Igbo to be fully united with one another and be restored back to ‘Chukwu’ their creator through Jesus Christ the one and only Universal Intermediary of humanity which is vital for the full realization of our capacity which is our ‘Igboness’ in national development which the Igbo enemies would want to destroy for their own advantage. We observed that the religious and philosophical challenge of the 21st century portrays Christianity and education as the only viable option, which act as source of empowerment will equip the Igbo with character and knowledge, which can transform us into instruments of change in our time.

NDI IGBO NDEWO Nu. We are not here to sing the praise of a people, but we see a people who have the capacity to change their world.

Nke a Bụ Ụzọ Ndụ Na Eziokwu

Igbo, Chukwu Gọzie Ụnụ

Ọha na Eze mma nụ

Igbo mma mma nụ

Naijira mma mma nu

Rev. Professor Emmanuel Nlenanya Ọnwụ

Department of Religion

University of Nigeria


4th Nov., 2002

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