A DISCOURSE ON CHRISTIAN CONVERSION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENGENNI IN AHOADA WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA
The phenomena of Christian conversion, has been open to academic discourse particularly by scholars of anthropology, philosophy, religion, culture, sociology and developmental studies of the African continent. Scholars have displayed knowledge and scholarship on Christian conversion based on their perspective, understanding and interest on the subject matter. This paper is an attempt to interrogate some thoughts raised by scholars about Christian conversion starting from the biblical perspective of the early apostolic church era to the 21st century of Pentecostalism and Christian milieu. The focus of this discourse is Christian conversion in Engenni – a traditional African society in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria which came in contact with Christian religion and western civilization about the late 20th century. The paper examines how Christian conversion has impacted on the people of Engenni who embraced the second and alien religionChristianity. The paper adopts a historical and phenomenological methods of investigation considering the interface of academic discourse involved to arrive at some findings which includes, that Christian conversion in Engenni has religious, social and cultural dimensions that produce positive and negative impacts on the Engenni people and society as a result of global social change mantra. It defaces the Christian religion, and reduces the Engenni rich cultural heritage and identity. The paper finally recommends that the Christian church should emphasize the biblical perspective of Christian conversion and retain traditional values that prompt both religions.