Things Fall Apart Chapter 18
The church and the village coexisted with few quarrels until several converts went into the village and proclaimed that the gods of the Ibo were impotent and dead and threatened to burn their shrines. They were soundly beaten and sent away, and the relationship between the church and the village went back to its grudging peace for quite a while. Meanwhile the people of Mbanta learned that the white men had not stopped with the introduction of their religion, but they had also set up a place of judgment in Umuofia to protect the missionaries. One man had even been hanged for killing a missionary, but people in Mbanta didn't quite believe the stories because the church had not yet seriously interrupted life in Mbanta and Mr. Kiaga was not a threat.
The little church in Mbanta soon faced its first internal rift over accepting village outcasts. The members of the church still believed that those ostracized by Mbanta were not fit to be Christians either, but Mr. Kiaga disagreed. Finally the missionary convinced his congregation that the village outcasts were welcomed in the Christian church just as much as the twins they had rescued from the Evil Forest. Two of the village outcasts joined the church and were then followed by all the other outcasts. One of these introduced the first conflict between the elders of Mbanta and the Christians because he killed a royal python, a sacred emanation of the god of water for the Ibo. The elders and rulers of the village met to determine the punishment for such insurrection, and Okonkwo was disgusted to see that the men of Mbanta were so womanish that they would not declare war against the Christians. Instead, the Christians were ostracized altogether from Mbanta and all its activities.
The next day when the women converts went to Mbanta and to the stream, they found that there were armed men there to prevent them from entering the village or using the water source that the villagers used. Mr. Kiaga learned that they had been outlawed because one of the converts had killed the sacred python. The convert accused of the crime had fallen ill the night before and was dead before the end of the day. This seemed to prove to the people of Mbanta that their gods were still alive and powerful and so they left the Christians unharmed.