The Anglican Church and Issues of Polygamy in the Niger Delta: A Historical Analysis

Ben O. Onu
Keywords: Polygamy, Christian marriage, ordinance, tolerance, synod
Tropical Journal of Arts and Humanities 2021 3(1), 20-32. Published: February 28, 2021


Abstract

Marriage is a divine institution and a universal phenomenon that is expressed culturally. When missionaries reached the Niger Delta region of Nigeria through Samuel Ajayi Crowther of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in 186, the issue of Christian marriage as opposed to polygamy posed a challenge in the early years of the Anglican Church. The crux of this paper is an analysis of the problem of marriage in the Anglican Church and how the issues were handled. Data were collected from primary and secondary sources and the methods adopted were historical and descriptive. The primary sources included participant observation methods. Findings revealed that the dynamism in the teachings, persuasions, prayers, tolerance, and legislations adopted by the missionaries coupled with a great understanding of scriptural and social importance of monogamy, multiplicity of new groups, and modernism favoured the increase in Christian marriage in the Niger Delta mission. The paper therefore recommended that attention should be given to primary counseling and communities to be engaged in conversations about marriage for sustainability of the increase in marriage under the ordinance in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.