• The Stages of Igbo Conversion to Islam: An Empirical Study

    Author(s):
    Chinyere Priest, Egodi Uchendu (see profile)
    Date:
    2020
    Group(s):
    Global Digital Humanities Symposium
    Subject(s):
    Religious studies
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Christians, Conversion, Igbo, muslim
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/5nfs-j020
    Abstract:
    In recent years a very rare phenomenon was observed in Igboland, Southeastern Nigeria—the conversion of the Igbo to Islam. There exists a signi cant scholarly work on the stages of conversion or conversion process among di erent people group; however, to the best of our knowledge, little exists on the Igbo conversion to Islam. This could be as a result of the phenomenon being a relatively recent develop- ment in Igboland, commencing in the second half of the twentieth century (Uchendu in Soc Sci J 47(1):172–188, 2010). This article seeks to discover the stages of Igbo conversion to Islam; that is, the systematic phases involved in their conversion pro- cess to Islam To accomplish this, ethnographic interviews were conducted with thirty (30) former Igbo Christians, all now converts to Islam. Gerlach and Hine’s (People, power, change: movements of social transformation, Bobbs-Merrill, Indian- apolis, 1970) stages of conversion theory were applied to this study, and the ndings showed that Igbo converts to Islam underwent six stages in their conversion process to Islam. These are: “Initial contact with a practicing Muslim; focus of need through demonstration; re-education through group interaction; decision and surrender; commitment event; and group support for changed cognitive and behavioral patterns (consequence)”. The ndings from this study reveal that tension and crisis do not often begin the stage of disa liating from one’s original religion as some scholars claim. The study recommends that Igbo Christians should build strong ties with one another so that disa liation will not quickly occur.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 month ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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