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Journal of Religion and Human Relations

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Ofhia in Ogidi: a challenge to evangelism in the Anglican diocese on the Niger

Emmanuel A.C. Ibezim

Abstract


Ofhia is a common practice in the entire Igboland that whenever anybody dies, his or her people normally rally around in preparing shade where the kindred including the Chief mourners will stay to receive the visitors. Research was also observed in some other communities in Anambra State as to make the fact clearer. The Ofhia. or “Ima Ntu” has posed a big challenge to Anglican church in Ogidi in the recent past. The challenge existed between the Igbo traditional leadership and the Anglican church in Ogidi. The Igbo traditional leadership were of the view that church must observe the Ofhia in every burial, while the church maintained their stand to be using canopy as a more modern practice. The research preceded by oral interview especially of the key role players in the Igbo traditional leadership and Christian body in Ogidi whose responses were analyzed and synthesized. The Igbo traditional leader said no to new modern technology of using canopy as shade while the Christian body said no to old pattern of using palm fronts to prepare shade for the kindred and Chief mourners' corner for receiving visitors during burial. The paper is to draw a balance of accommodation, knowledge of modernism and dynamism between the Igbo traditional leadership and Christian church in Ogidi Anambra State to restore a mutual understanding and free flow of evangelistic out-reach in their church burial. It is also to draw a distinction between Igbo traditional burial and church burial in Ogidi.




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