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History Of Christianity In Africa

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History of Christianity in Africa
Introduction
Africa’s history of Christianity can be traced back to the earliest church days when the
spread began from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean North and Northeast coastlands as well as
their hinterlands. Islam had subsequently displaced Christianity in the seventh and eighth
centuries; however, the Orthodox and Coptic churches were active in current Eritrea, Egypt and
Ethiopia. Further down south, Christianity was later introduced by the European Christian
missions. Initially, it started with the Portuguese expansion heels into the Congo and Angola
kingdoms in the sixteen century, the ensuing centuries’ slave trade and the overall expansion of
European colonialism influence in both the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries -a combined
explosion of civilization, Christianity and commerce (Spear).
Christianity conversions increased periodically with the extension of the novel economic
opportunities, formal colonial rule and western education. Through these, Africans were able to
understand the novel faith according to their religious concepts and concerns and turned into one

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they could relate to and make it theirs. In the meantime, African Evangelists slowly replaced the
Western missionaries, and these helped in Bible translation, sought self-interpretation and spread
it far beyond the mission boundaries. Africans fought to gain control of churches and what
messages they spread, with the main message being charismatic healing and prophesy (Spear).
As a result, thousands of churches were founded. It was followed by the rise of popular
movements within Catholicism and Protestantism which play a significant role in contemporary
African politics and the society as a whole. Therefore, in light of comprehending African
Christianity, we must understand where it originated with regards to the ancient church including
the processes that diverse religious African converts and European missionaries have reformed
and reinterpreted to construct a vibrant and varied presence of Christianity in the world today.
The Early Churches in Africa: North Africa (7th and 8th centuries)
Today, many scholars classify the Sahara North as fundamentally religiously oriented in
Islam. Christianity in this region, however, has its history stretching back to the earliest days of
faith- its age could be likened to the Asian Christendom to the extent that it can be categorized as
Africa’s traditional religion. Christianity started spreading in the first century from its Palestinian
origin a few years after Pentecost (Boddy-Evans). Africa from 146BCE had been under the rule
of a Roman official (Emperor Augustus). Similarly to Egypt, Mauritania and Africa were
considered as ‘breadbaskets’ potential (Boddy-Evans). The exploitation and expansion impetus
were as a result of the change from the Roman Republic to an empire. In 27BCCE, the Roman
empire acknowledged the sleeping potential of raising immense wealth and building estates in
North Africa, hence its massive colonization by Rome. Emperor Augustus also added Egypt to
the equation, and by the time of the new Emperor arrival, agriculture was a booming sector, and

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Surname 1 Student’s Name Professor’s Name Course Date History of Christianity in Africa Introduction Africa’s history of Christianity can be traced back to the earliest church days when the spread began from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean North and Northeast coastlands as well as their hinterlands. Islam had subsequently displaced Christianity in the seventh and eighth centuries; however, the Orthodox and Coptic churches were active in current Eritrea, Egypt and Ethiopia. Further down south, Christianity was later introduced by the European Christian missions. Initially, it started with the Portuguese expansion heels into the Congo and Angola kingdoms in the sixteen century, the ensuing centuries’ slave trade and the overall expansion of European colonialism influence in both the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries -a combined explosion of civilization, Christianity and commerce (Spear). Christianity conversions increased periodically with the extension of the novel economic opportunities, formal colonial rule and western education. Through these, Africans were able to understand the novel faith according to their religious concepts and concerns and turned into one Surname 2 they could relate to and make it theirs. In the meantime, African Evangelists slowly replaced the Western missionaries, and these helped in Bible translation, sought self-interpretation and spread it far beyond the mission boundaries. Africans fought to gain control of churches and what ...
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