The Conversion of Igbo Christians to Islam
A Study of Religious Change in a Christian Heartland
Often considered a Christian heartland in Nigeria, Igboland has recently seen a dramatic increase in Igbo Christians converting to Islam. Yet, despite this rapid change, there has been minimal research into the growth of Islam in the area and the implications this has for Christianity in the region.
Addressing this need, Dr Chinyere Felicia Priest provides a detailed exploration of Igbo converts’ reasons for conversion through skilful analysis of in-depth ethnographic interviews with thirty converts, considering their social, religious, and familial backgrounds. This unique study sheds much-needed light on the role of intellectual factors in the conversion experiences of many newly Muslim Igbos and challenges previous ideas of monetary and social influences as primary motivations for conversion. As a result of her examination of these conversion experiences, Dr Priest calls for serious intellectual engagement of biblical doctrine within the Igbo church and highlights the need for ministers and missiologists to better disciple and equip Christians to adequately engage with Muslim objections to the gospel and give a reasoned defence of their faith. The vulnerability of many Igbo Christians will continue to result in converts to Islam unless the church heeds the lessons learned from this research and outlined in this book.