Pub. date: 2012 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI: 10.4135/9781452218458 | Print ISBN: 9781412981767 | Online ISBN: 9781452218458| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Christianity: 1400 to 1900: Africa
Africa played a vital role in the demographic and theological development of early Christianity, but by the beginning of the 14th century, little remained of the African Church of Antiquity. Christianity had given way to Islam, although there were exceptions. The faith persisted in Egypt among a minority, and Ethiopia adhered to its unique vision, a form of Christianity that many considered heretical. A new phase of Christianity in Africa began late in the 15th century when European sailors traveled around the coast of the continent. The Roman Catholics arrived first in that phase, followed by Protestants, who limited their efforts for the most part to serving those within European communities. Three centuries later, another stage began as mission societies began to organize. This time the Protestants led the way, particularly the evangelical denominations. The Roman Catholics soon followed. By the 19th century, Africa was a central part of global ...