Things Fall Apart

Part III Things Fall Apart 21

what status does the christian church now have in umuofia?

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In Umuofia, the Christians are led by a kindly white man named Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown restrains the zeal of some of the fanatical converts. A convert named Enoch is particularly violent, always stirring up trouble; Brown strives to moderate Enoch's excesses. Mr. Brown is a wise and patient man; he befriends many of the local great men, and earns their affection. He spends a good deal of time with Akunna; they speak through an interpreter on the subject of religion. Neither man converts the other, but Mr. Brown learns much about the local religion and concludes that missionary work should be subtle and indirect: direct confrontation will not work. He also tries hard to get people to send their children to the Christian school. At first, people only send their lazy children. But more and more people begin to go as they realize that the ability to read and write opens up great social mobility. The DC is surrounded by Africans from Umaru; these literate subordinates earn high wages and hold power in Umuofia..

Mr. Brown's approach to conversion helps the early church in Umuofia get along relatively peacefully with the clan. Still, he is part of the forces that are destroying clan life.