The coming of Christianity to the continent of Africa has brought a lot of changes and development to the continent specifically Nigeria. The continent was considered by most of the westerners and missionaries to heathen, demonic and backward continent in need of civilization. This led to the coming of missionaries to the continent including the colonial masters through the world powers of some European countries without Africans knowing. However, the church served not only as an agent of transformation but also as secularization in various ways especially the manner the missionaries presented her message that transformed some practices within traditional religion and cultures in Nigeria. The assimilation of traditional Nigerian cultures by western culture in the name of Christianity can be viewed as both transformation and secularization. This paper employs the concept of assimilation within postcolonial theory on the history of the church/Christianity in Nigeria that serves as an agent of transformation of the local cultures and practices. Such an approach helps in understanding how the church plays a vital role in stopping the evil practices within the Nigerian traditional religion and cultures. Church being an agent of transformation also helps in contextualizing and indigenizing the Christian message to respond to Nigeria’s reality so that it will not be a stranger in the land.
Keywords: Church, Transformation, Contextualization, Culture