JASSD - Journal of African Studies and Sustainable Development (Vol. 6 No. 1, 2023) FAITH AND CULTURE: THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM AS A PANACEA FOR THE OSU-CASTE SYSTEM Ibe, Julian Chukwuemeka, PhD


The Igbo of Southeast Nigeria are a people blessed with a rich religious heritage. No tribe is Nigeria has produced more priests and religious that they have. Their liturgy is rich with all kinds of music that makes worship very soul-lifting. The only Nigerian saint in the making, Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi, is of Igbo origin. Indeed, it can be said that the Gospel has taken deep roots in Igboland. In the midst of all these, one deeply ingrained cultural element casts a dark shadow on the Igbo. This unfortunate tradition creates a stratification system that divides the Igbo into castes. This work is an exposition of the Osu-caste System of the Igbo of Southeast Nigeria. It seeks to expose the ills of the system which amount to a grave affront on the dignity of the human person. The discourse begins with an introduction that sets the background of the study. Having clarified some terms, it discusses the Osu-caste system. It also exposes the indignities of the system against the victims. Then it discusses the sacrament of baptism according the Catechism of the Catholic Church, highlight its implications for the Osu-caste system. After this, recommendations are made drawn from our discourse and the work is concluded.

Keywords: Baptism, culture, human dignity, Osu, Osu-caste system

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