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Christianity links with Africa started nearly two thousand years ago, two weeks after birth of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible…
Ethiopian Christianity endured but did not expand missionary vision elsewhere in Africa or beyond. The 7th century saw retreatment of Christianity under the advance of Islam. However, it remained the chosen religion in Ethiopia and most of the North Africa regions (Olupona 95).
Furthermore, the arrival of Portuguese in 15th introduced Christianity in the Sub-Saharan Africa. In 1652, the Dutch founded the beginnings of the Dutch Reform Church in the South of the Africa. In the rest of Africa, Christianity did not spread much in the 18th century. Rulers in the West Africa mildly received Christianity, seeing it as something to supplement their religions. Later, these rulers grew hostile when told they had to make a choice to take Christianity or traditional religion. South Africa had greater Christian Missionary activity. In 1737, the Moravian Brethren of Eastern Europe a mission and in 1799, the London Missionary Society followed their traditional religions until the 19th Century. At this time, Christian missionaries in Africa were driven by antislavery crusade and the Europeans interest of colonizing Africa. In areas where people had already converted to Islam, Christianity had little success. Missionaries who came in 19th century, hoping to convert the local people, found the natives practicing their own Africanized Christianity (Olupona 100).
The difference between the eastern (Swahili) and the western coasts of Africa as noted by early Portuguese explorers was very clear. This is because, in terms of city and empire configurations, the East Coast was subdivided up into three sections, that is, Barbar which was the horn of Africa’s Cushitic-speaking inhabitants, Zandj; which is found between the Lamu archipelago and the coastal point opposite Zanzibar and Sofala found between south of Zanzibar and southern Mozambique. Most of these coastal settlements appointed chiefs, either Arabs or Persians. The inter-mixing and ...
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