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1.1 Background of the Study

The concept of a person taking action to correct previous wrongdoing on his/her part either through direct action to undo the consequence of that act, equivalent action to do good for others, or some other expression of feeling of remorse is what is normally referred to as atonement. It is literally known to mean “at one”, or “in harmony with someone”. Atonement is closely associated to forgiveness, reconciliation, sorrow, remorse, repentance, separation, guilt and a necessary step on a path to redemption.

According to Ekem, atonement generally is central to many religious traditions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and African traditional religion (1). But how different religious transitions understand the concept is a major concern one has to consider. Infact, once, I preached to a Traditionalist in Itu that Jesus was presented as a sacrifice of atonement for our sins, quoting from Romans 3:25. And that those who believed are saved. He quickly asked, “Then why do we continue to suffer if our sins are forgiven? He added by saying, in every atonement, there must be an out ward visible signs of peace  experienced with God and that Jesus did not do everything regarding this atonement”.


This motion has become a common one among the typical traditionalist. Therefore, there is thus some voice of assumed conclusion, standard and superiority insinuated by those who adhered to this practice over those who do not. Atonement for them is the out ward visible signs of experience of peace with God. Failure to have this outside peace means, sins not atone for or sin committed again. This explanation is derived from the saying that when your hands are clean nothing can happen to you’’ (Ubok fo ama asana, Mkpo Unamma).



The Itu understanding of atonement is, believed to have a powerful influence in the life of the people, even to a large extent of life after death. This point can be furthered explained by what a man normally called Mr. Iwat said when a sick child was brought to him for prayers:

“this is her fourth time of coming to the world due her sin of stubbornness, so the gods have to send her again and again in other for her to suffer and unless a sacrifice of atonement is done, her suffering will continue and that there is a period of time kept for her to die if nothing is done, but if it is done, you will see a sign of visible peace experience in her life. You are to bring four baskets; each of them has to contain eggs, rappers, foul, forgotten items in the market, olive oil, money” etc.


Although the child later died and though the view of Mr. Iwat here may be popular and interesting to some people, but not universal because, while Itu understanding linked the only effect of atonement with the outward or physical life experience of peace with God, Christians, especially the Reformed faith do not conform to this. The atonement in Itu Clan and its clear differences from the Christian of the reformed faith.

The thesis of this research therefore will be that, although the concept of atonement is central to many religious traditions, whereas this belief with its practices are very known among the Itu people, and whereas it values have been generally pointed out, and whereas there are some similarities of this with the Christian teaching of the same, I shall show that, in spite of the similarities and dissimilarities, the Itu people sees atonement as an outward experience of peace  with God, while the Christian, the Reformed sees it as an inward experience of peace with God.


1.2 Statement Of Problem

The Itu people believed that in atonement, it is the physical that determines the Spiritual. That is, the outward visible sign of experience of peace with God is the actual effect of atonement.  This position is contested and condemned by the Christians, especially the Reformed faith; this work therefore intends to examine the Itu understanding of the atonement critically in the light of the Reformed understanding of the same.


1.3 Purpose Of the Study    

In view of the centrality of atonement in Itu clan and its clear differences from the Christian of the Reformed faith, this thesis would seek to:

  1. Appraise the teaching of atonement with it relevance and necessity.
  2. Recognize the Itu clan practice and belief of atonement for generally knowledge.
  3. Spur up Christians to see the cross of Jesus Christ as the climax of atonement and the heart of the Gospel.
  4. Present the Reformed position on the subject.
  5. Show that the Reformed position is closer to the understanding of the truth about atonement than that of the Itu clan.


1.4   Research Question

  1. How is atonement understood and practiced in Itu clan?
  2. How is it understood and practiced in the Christian tradition?
  3. What is the Reformed position on atonement?
  4. What are the items for atonement?
  5. What are the effects of atonement?
  6. What are the evidences or signs of effective atonement?


1.5      Scope of the Study:

The scope of the research covers the seven units in Itu clan. Namely, Obot-ltu, Asin-Ufot, Clarkquater, Esuk-Itu, Odu-Itu Ikot Ukop, Hospital and Roman.


1.6 Significance of the Study:

The significance of this study lies in the light it would hopefully shed on the controversial subject, trusting that the traditionalist will be helped to know and adopt the Christian understanding of atonement, especially the Reformed position and live in the light of same. The atonement in Itu Clan and its clear differences from the Christian of the reformed faith.


1.7 Research Methodology:

This thesis will rely heavily on information from the field or public and private libraries and from the internet. Opinion of traditionalist in Itu clan and the Christians of the Reformed faith stock will be obtained through the use of questionnaire and textbooks. The information so gotten will be analyzed to arrive at a conclusion.


1.8       Delimitation of the Study:

This study only concentrated on the understanding of atonement in Itu clan. The result of this study remains valid only to Itu clan and will not be generalized. The examination shall present in the light of the Reformed view of the subject. Atonement in Itu Clan in the Light of the Reformed Understanding of Atonement.



In conclusion, therefore, the study shows that the concept of atonement is central to many religious traditions, which Itu people are not exceptional. The character surrounding atonement both in Itu and Christians are to some point similar and to another point different. This is because of the literally understanding than of the Itu traditional practice. The Reformed affirmation in this subject brings us to a closer experience of truth about God’s salvation in Christ’s death on the cross. The atonement in Itu Clan and its clear differences from the Christian of the reformed faith.

Christians are save by Jesus Christ and by His death, the world of elect is restored to God as God’s chosen people called out to be holy and save. The Itu traditional practice of atonement is appreciated for religious self aggrandizement, a starting point for the Reformed Christian desire to know the truth and to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. But traditional conception about the doctrine is too light and as such does not get deep to the truth about atonement.


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Ikemesit Akpan is my name. I am a Nigerian author. I work with I'm a researcher and a writer of academic research.

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