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History of Islam in Africa and Conversion to Christianity

History of Islam in Africa and Conversion to Christianity

Islam has a long history through Africa – going all the way back to the 7th century AD, North Africa was conquered by Muslim Arabs when they found refuge here from persecution in the Arab Peninsula. Islam then quickly spread throughout West Africa and into North Africa through merchants, traders, and missionaries.

Living peacefully across much of Africa for many centuries, Islam became more than a religion, but rather a way of life in Africa. Many tribal African rulers adopted the religion in conjunction with their tribal beliefs, forming a unique view of life, tradition, and governance.

Here are some facts about Islam in Africa:

  1. Islam was formed around Prophet, Mohammed, who died in the year 639.
  2. The long origin of Islam has influenced many indigenous African religions, creating a unique blend of African representation and Islamic structure.
  3. Followers of the Islamic religion are called Muslims.
  4. The Islamic religion worships one god – who in Arabic is called “Allah.”
  5. Muslims worship in mosques.
  6. The Quran (or Koran) is the major holy text of Islam.

The start of Christian conversion:

Christianity dates all the way back to the 1st century AD, making its origin technically older than Islam in Africa. Although Christianity makes up half of Africa’s religious beliefs today, this growth did not really take off until the 20th century. The coexisting of these two religions looks different across the 54 countries that make up Africa, but are relatively equally prominent. Many countries throughout Africa have become familiar with religious unrest as both Christianity and Islam rise in popularity.

Set Free in Africa:

Set Free works in Sierra Leone and Liberia, located on the West Coast, where we work with indigenous partners and pastors who are dedicated to spreading the Gospel to rural villages that may not have had a chance to hear it yet. In doing this, they work to provide clean water to those villages as well.

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Christianity in Africa

Christianity in Liberia

Christianity in Sierra Leone


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