CHRISTIANITY AND THE EXTRAVAGANT BURIAL CEREMONIES IN ORUK ANAM LOCAL GOVERNMENT

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

        Burial or interment is a method of final disposition wherein a dead is lowered into the grave.1It is the act of putting a dead body into the ground accompanied with ceremonies. Burial and disposal of the dead are a manner of duty reflecting religious worldviews and ideas about life purity and social obligation.2 Death is not only a biological occurrence leaving the corpse as a residue that must be dealt with. It is also has a religious-cultural dimension because of the beliefs associated with it.

        Disposal of the dead has not always been done the same way. As far as we have a different ways of disposing the dead among them, namely: burial among countries like Nigeria and Ghana and Cremation among countries such as Nepal and India. Reforming funeral rites has occurred periodically in almost all countries. Various groups in the world, especially Christian denominations have associated with reforming funeral rites.

        Oruk Anam Christians have not been exempted from the periodic reformation of coping with death. The Oruk Anam people have a traditional way of conducting funerals which has been modernized by Christianity. And to them, burial is an important event and is taken very seriously.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Funeral ceremonies in OrukAnam involve a lot of rites and by implication, a huge expenditure for the organizers.

1.3 Objective of the Study

        The objectives of this study are:

  1. to find out how OrukAnam people treated their dead before coming in contact with Christianity and other cultures;
  2. to examine the present burial rites of OrukAnam people;
  3. to examine what the scripture says about funeral rites;
  4. to examine how the early Christians were buried;
  5. toexaminewhat the scriptures and theologians say about resurrect of the body.

1.4 Research Questions

        The study will be guided by the following research questions:

  1. how did the OrukAnampeople their dead treat before embracing Christianity and other cultures?
  2. what is the present structure of OrukAnam Christian funeral rites
  3. what does the Bible say about funeral rites?
  4. How can the present trend of OrukAnam Christian burial rites be modified and if possible, simplified and made less expensive?

1.5 Significance of the Study

        The study is significant in several ways, such as uncovering what the traditional funeral rites of OrukAnamwas before contact with the Europeans. This knowledge, the researcher has ascertained is unknown to majority of the present generation of OrukAnam. The Study will also bring to light what the Bible teaches about burials, how the early Christians were buried and the right way of conducting funeralinline with Bible standard.

It is also hoped that the study will investigate ways of integrating what is good as far as burial is concerned in OrukAnam traditional belief and practice with Scriptural teachings. This will enable Christian faithfuls to feel comfortable at theway in which modern OrukAnam Christians will be buried.

CHRISTIANITY AND THE EXTRAVAGANT BURIAL CEREMONIES IN ORUK ANAM LOCAL GOVERNMENT