Environmental Influence On Christian Youth
(A Case Study Of The Apostolic Church Obio Imo Headquater, Akwa Ibom State) 


Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

The field of youth development is expanding in all areas around the world. This is evidenced in the action of both national and international bodies. For instance the commonwealth has instituted youth programs in Africa, Asia Caribbean and the South Pacific United Nations Agencies such as UNICEF, UNESCO and the centre for social Development and Humanitarian Affairs in Vienna have large components dealing with youths.

Similarly in Nigeria the Federal government, State, Local government and Religious organization have instituted ministries of youth, youth departments and have encouraged youth groups of various kinds. These organizations have initiated youth training and production schemes geared towards improving the living standard of the youths and reduce youth restiveness and unemployment.

Whereas the field of youth development is expanding there are very few books dealing with its methods, techniques and skills. Youth development professionals are forced to search for materials scattered in different social, scientific, religious and other related fields. Moreover, the available materials on youth has not been discussed either in relation with or in the context of religion and youth development. This research work is geared toward filling this void. Effort aimed at solving youth development challenges such as restiveness, poverty, unemployment, alienation, maladjustment, low productivity teenage pregnancies etc, have not met with any significant success. To solve youth problem in the society, we must understand a close connection between development, religion and human capital development and we must conceive youth and human capital development as national policies. Thus, the government and the church must appraise and understand economic, social, religious policies and their impact on youth and society. To counter the pervasive sense of social, economic and religious importance, to develop a sense of belonging and to provide the social, economic, religious and developmental needs of the youths in society, new channels, institutions strategies and techniques for action are needed. Thus there is need for structural changes that will create opportunities to develop and improve resources. For youth programmes to succeed there is a call for adequate knowledge of the needs, aspirations and challenges of the youth in the planning of schemes. There is also need for adequate knowledge in the formation, implementation and evaluation of policies concerning the youth. There must be a systematic and adequate understanding of the youth challenges.


1.1 Significant Of The Study

Peer pressure, cultism, drug abuse, drug trafficking, alcoholism, armed robbery, kidnapping, poverty, corruption, unemployment, youth restiveness are but some of the challenges facing Nigeria youths in recent times. A day does not pass without newspapers and other media agencies reporting of the above without youths involvement. The family, the church, Federal, state, local government and Non Governmental organizations are putting efforts in solving these challenges.

The upsurge of armed robbery, kidnapping are posing more challenges to Nigerian society. Efforts by the police and other security organizations has proved to be abortive as new crime tactics are developed by youths. The question now is

What are the causes of these crimes?

What are the consequences of these crimes.

What efforts are made by the government to curb the challenges?



Poverty is a condition of lack and hopelessness. Poverty exist when the people are poorly fed, poorly clothed and are living in an insufficient shelter (Ukpong 2009). Poverty is also a situation in a country or community in which many people are illiterates and cannot afford to buy food or go for medical treatment when illness threatens their lives. Poverty is also a condition of having little money and inability to acquire the basic necessities of life.

Causes of Poverty

Lack of employment

– Unskilled labour

– Poor technology

– Illiteracy

– Lack of financial

– Extended family system

Unemployed youths are bound to take several negative practices like armed robbery, prostitution, drug trafficking, child trafficking, kidnapping, etc. all forms of crime and deviant behavior are punishable by law. The police have the power to arrest and detain criminals and when investigation are concluded on the charges the accused are charged to court. In some societies thieves were publicly disgraced and made to dance around the village naked. Those who committed rape or adultery were usually fined (Duet. 5:18). In Edo state, a woman who stole a baby in 2006 was lynched and burnt to death. Today law enforcement officers have been authorized to deal with criminals and hoodlums. People who commit serious crimes which result in death can be executed.


Poverty Alleviation Strategies

People should learn to have love for their communities. Society depends on the willingness of members to bring out their best. As people are endowed with various talents everyone should be expected to do his best to help and contribute positively to the development of his immediate community. Wealthy men should use their resources to improve the quality of life in their communities by helping to provide some social amenities that are lacking as well as helping the less privileged members of the society. It is on this note, that this research work becomes significantly unique because:-

This work will provide some clue for the improvement of life youths in our community.

This research work will suggest ways of reducing youth restiveness in the society.

It will advice families to improve standard of discipline.

Education our crime preventing and danger

It will help electronic and print media to intensify campaigns against cult and other related practices amongst youths.

Teaching of work moral values will be encourage

It will encourage the government to dialogue with the youths on ways of addressing, margnalization and injustice.


1.2 Purpose Of The Study

The increasing rate of crime and related vices in the world exert such powerful influences on youths. To resist this negative influence, youths need proper education on values. Although the church has responded positively by carrying out religious and moral responsibility to the youths, more has to be done when compared to the increasing youth crime, immorality, bad attitude and deviant behaviour amongst the youths.

This and many more have necessitated this study in order to:

Examine the effort made by the church in bringing up moral spiritual training.

Ensure that youths are brought into a saving relationship with Christ.

Ensure that youths acquire a personalized first hand faith.

Ensure that youths gain knowledge and understanding of biblical truth (2 Tim 3:16).

Ensure that youth be able to apply biblical truth to life issues (Eph 4:13).

Ensure that youths are equipped for ministry and service (Eph 4:12).

13 Limitation Of The Study

There have been a lot of constraints during the research work. Financial constraint was one major factor. Most of the respondents inhibited a non cooperative attitude by not responding to questions.

Financial restrains which did not allow for the indepth study of the environmental influence on the Christian youth.


14 Statement Of The Problem

The Crucial question of who the youth is has not been adequately tackled. The problem of defining youth has confounded politicians, administrations, policy planners, youth workers academicians and Religions leaders alike. The debate on who is a youth has not resolved the confusion surrounding the concept. Generally the period between childhood and adulthood is called youth (Collins 1981, Pearl 1985). In most instances, especially in developing Countries, this period is cut short due to various types of social change, increasing Complexities of Societies, diverse social roles, rapid social economic development of some individual and by various forms of social economic resources.

Again developing the concept youth based on age is problematic because there is no consensus on the age range especially for programme purposes. Both the commonwealth secretariat and the United Nations organization (UNO) defined youth as between the ages l5years and 24years. However a majority of youth programme in most developing countries focus on the age group 14-21. It is also not uncommon to find programme including the age group 10 to l4years. It should also be mentioned that most youth organizations in developing countries include persons over the age of 30 years. For example in Nigeria the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria defines youth as between l5years to 35years.

This difficulty prompted Husselman (1989) to argue that a real definition of youth should not have fixed age limits. He holds that youth is rather a phrase in its own right with a youth as between the ages l5years and 24years.


1.5 Definition Of Terms

Influencing: The capacity to have an effect on the character development or behaviour of someone.

Environment: Ones physical environment, ones physical environments.

Christian: Those who belief in Christ and His teachings.

Youth: Is the time of life when one is going or childhood and adulthood.

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