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When the missionaries first arrive, there seems to be little potential for massive conflict. They have rescued the twins from the forbidden forest but they don't bring them into the village, and converts sometimes get into trouble because they go back into the village and pick fights over whose gods are right, but things are generally calm.
The conflict grows as the converts start to try and work on the church grounds and do things that will require them to interact with other members of the village and to use the same resources, etc.
It is an indirect way of causing the eventual downfall of Okonkwo and leaving the villagers totally in the hands of the white men, but once the villagers revolt against the missionaries and burn down their compound, justice from the white man is swift and spells doom for much of the Igbo culture and opportunity for any self-government.
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