Religion And Conflict In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

Improved Essays
Since religion was formed, religion has been used as a way to justify going to war. Another use of religion throughout the course of history has been for the justification of crimes against humanity, whether that be executions, genocides, or even forcing others to change their own beliefs to follow another set of beliefs. Religion has been a catalyst for conflict in the past, and has remained a catalyst in modern times. Therefore a common catalyst for cultural conflict in the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, and the modern conflict with the Islamic State is religion. The war waged by the Islamic state has been a religious war fueled by the belief that there is only one true religion, and there is only one way to follow that religion. …show more content…
"If you convert to Islam you can stay in your home, otherwise, get out." (Belz) The population living in Islamic State territory are being forced to evacuate a location due to the attempted force conversion of all people within the territory, no matter what ideology they may follow. This creates a conflict in which the Islamic State is attempting to nullify the beliefs of another person 's culture by forcing them to make the choice between leaving and potentially dying, or staying where they are, but having to convert their beliefs. This shows that when cultural collisions are catalyzed by religion, the a party in the collision gains a forcefulness that allows the party to control and overpower the other party. The forcefulness of a party within a cultural collision is also present in the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Acheba. "Mr. Smith stood his ground. But he could not save his church. When the egwugwu went away and the red-earth church which Mr. Brown had built was a pile of earth and ashes. And for the moment the spirit of the clan was pacified." (Achebe 177) The people of Umuofia that do not follow the Christian ways collided with the Christians by burning down their holy place. Despite the attempts of Mr. Smith, the villagers burned the chapel, ultimately showing a large cultural collision that was catalyzed by religion. As people began to be converted around the non-believers, they grew angry at how they willingly gave up their own beliefs for another set of beliefs. Christianity went against the Umuofians religion and culture before the white man 's arrival. Due to this, religion managed to act as a catalyst, or a method of causing an attack on the white men to happen faster. Religion was the determining factor that caused the Umuofians to burn down the church due to

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Splitting up the townspeople, of Umuofia, contributes to the Christians starting to destroy beliefs. The Christians change the beliefs that the weak believed in. Since, the Christians convert the weak townspeople, it changes how they see their gods. Changing the townspeople beliefs damages the unity of the town, which cause many conflicts. The main reason Okonkwo mad at the sight of the converters because it shows that the townspeople grow weak and are not willing to fight for what they believe in.…

    • 1108 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Religion's Role In Wars

    • 1081 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The Bahai practitioners were persecuted by the Muslim hierarchy because the Bahai believed Muhammad was not the last prophet. Although their religion has expanded, they have been particularly persecuted in Iran. Although the Bahai faith was essentially the same as the Muslim faith, their contradicting beliefs is Muhammed led to their persecution. A country with a strong belief in Islam could not accept a differing ideology. Passionate religious practitioners have commonly believed that it is the will of “God” to wage war in order to spread their religion.…

    • 1081 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    From being set in their traditional ways to the building of the school and to the burning of the church both sides show fault due to the introduction of Christianity. Being uninvolved and isolated from the outside world the tribe became set in their…

    • 786 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Okonkwo Character

    • 1784 Words
    • 8 Pages

    For the first time, Okonkwo felt like his father who did not fit in the society he was a part of. However, Okonkwo was a fighter; he fought against the church and the government. Tension rose in the village between the clan and the government. Okonkwo’s anger was at an all time high to the point that he desired to kill the head white man. The ministry of the church and has divided the clan by making converts.…

    • 1784 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The Christians committed this horrible act of taking the tribal leaders hostage to enforce their power over the tribe and to force them to stop trying to rebel and drive them out. The Christians disgraced the tribe leaders, by humiliating them, as well as beating them and treating them like dirt. The leaders were so angry, embarrassed, and hopeless, they thought about giving in, as Achebe writes,”Even when the men were left alone they found no words to speak to one another. It was only on the third day, when they could no longer bear the hunger and the insults, that they began to talk about giving in"(195). The consequences of the Christians taking the tribal leaders hostage has turned previously proud, strong men into weak, tired people who are sick of fighting and getting only more oppressed in return.…

    • 1250 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Everything that Okonkwo owned was destroyed including his crops. “Okonkwo’s crops were burned and made no more” (Achebe ). Okonkwo deserves this kind of punishment. When Okonkwo had returned, he returned to his clan separated and his son nonetheless had defied his father and went to join the Christians. This makes okonkwo mad enough to want to go to war immediately, soon after okonkwo comes to a realization that his clan won't be joining him in wiping out the white people, this is one of the events that directly causes his fate… death.…

    • 998 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Upon destroying the pagan idols, Vladimir seeks to diminish religious freedom when he sends heralds throughout the whole city to “proclaim that if any inhabitant,rich or poor, did not betake himself to the river, he would risk the prince’s displeasure” (The Primary Chronicles 70). Vladimir is so mesmerized by Christianity that he is forcing it upon his citizens. Although we don’t get a direct feel for how the inhabitants may have felt about the conversion, it is clearly fabricated by the scribes in order to fit the Christian teleology. Once again, it may seem that Vladimir is causing these acts of violence, however, the violence stems from Anna because it is she who pressures Vladimir to accept Christianity. After he accepts Christianity and is cured of his blindness, Vladimir violently destroys the pagan idols and forces it upon his people.…

    • 1446 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Islamic State better known as ISIS have discriminated against other religions in their lands, forcing them to convert, executing them, displacing them from their homes, extreme violent acts against even their own Islam society (Fox, 2016). They claim that their religion is the only ‘pure’ religion and have threatened to wage war to anyone who does not adhere to their beliefs. They act contrary to their religion’s doctrines. Most followers lack accurate knowledge regarding their faith’s teachings hence leading to fear, hatred and rejection of other…

    • 1005 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The life of a Muslim is is very specifically laid out in the Quran. Jihad is a part of these specific laws and can be seen throughout the Quran. Jihad by the sword must be fought as a community and the leader of the community is the one who decides when Jihad must be used. Islam claims that they have been promised by Allah that they will have superiority over all religion therefore they need to fight to be dominant. It is said that there are two types of infidels know as “Polytheist” and “People of the Book” and if these people will not accept Islam then they must be vanquished.…

    • 830 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Many historians consider the the time period of 1096 to 1487 a very important piece of history, most notably because of the Catholic crusades against Islam. A very important question can be detained from this; were the crusades a holy war? In some ways, the crusades were in fact a holy war. The were, after all, organized by the Holy Roman Catholic Church. The crusades were also wars of two religions, also making it a holy war.…

    • 1603 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays