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Who brought Christianity to Africa?

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Christianity, according to Wikipedia, arrived in Africa in the 1st century.

Egypt is the first country to receive Christianity.

But by the end of the 2nd century, it had reached several regions across Africa.

Even though there are many religions in the continent of Africa, Christianity is the main religion.

Today, around 49 percent of Africans are Christians.

To help you understand more about Christianity and who brought Christianity to Africa, here is everything you need to know.

Who brought Christianity to Africa?

Christianity is a religion that started with the ministry of Jesus Christ.

According to Christianity, Jesus Christ was a teacher, healer, and the Son of God.

Based on various findings, Christianity in Africa was first brought to Alexandria, Egypt from Jerusalem by Mark the Apostle.

Mark the Apostle is the author of the book of Mark in the New Testament.

He went to Egypt in the town of Alexandria and started the Coptic Orthodox Church and Greek Orthodox Church.

Then it spread slowly from Alexandria to Ethiopia.

In the 7th century, the spread of Christianity retreated due to the advancement of the Islam religion.

However, it remained the selected religion in various countries including Ethiopia and other African countries.

In the 15th century, it came to sub-Sahara Africa when the Portuguese arrived.

South Africa

In the south of Africa, Christianity was started by the Dutch in 1652 who started the Dutch Reform Church.

Nevertheless, most people in various parts of the African continent continued to practice African traditional religions.

However, Christian missionaries increased, driven by various vices such as slavery, colonization, and others.

But where people had already converted to Islam, it was hard to change them to Christianity.

Nevertheless, Christianity became a game-changer in Africa.

Apart from learning the good news about Jesus, it brought education, new opportunities, literacy, and hope for many disadvantaged Africans.

Which religion did African practice before Christianity?

Before the introduction of Christianity in Africa, polytheism was common.

There were many ethnic religions in different countries of Africa.

However, the traditions are oral and biblical and were passed from one generation to the other through songs and folk-tales.

African religions had lower and higher gods, and supreme beings.

But the African religions started to decline with the introduction of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Christianity came to Africa in the 1st and 2nd centuries after Christ.

For Islam, it is believed first appeared in Africa when Prophet Mohammed was still alive.

Hence, both Islam and Christianity have been on African Continent for more than 1300 years.

Where did African traditional religion originate from?

Most African religions originated from the west and central Africa.

However, most countries had their own beliefs, customs, and traditions.

Some believed in witchcraft, magic, and traditional healers.

Moreover, there were more similarities than differences between the African religions.

But the introduction of Christianity brought to most of these traditions.

It paved way for education and literacy as well.

However, denied Africans pride in their traditions, culture, and ceremonies.

What are the main religions in Africa?

There are three main religions in Africa namely Christianity, Islam, and traditional religion.

Traditional Religion

Traditional religion is the oldest but it has declined to the introduction of Christianity and Islam.

However, there are no sacred books in this religion.

Nevertheless, it is full of many traditions, cultures, and beliefs.


Christians in Africa have continued to rise since the religion was first introduced in the 1st and the 2nd century.

It is believed Mark the Apostle is the first person to introduce Christianity to Africa.

He started the Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria, Egypt.

Later, the religion spread to other African countries including Sudan, Ethiopia, and other African kingdoms.

Today, almost half of the African population are Christians.

However, there are many Christian denominations in Africa.


The other largest religion in Africa is Islam.

It is a religion that was brought to Africa in the 7th century.

According to Wikipedia, a 1/3 of the world’s Muslims live in Africa.

Islam in Africa is revealed in schools, traditions, and African cultures.

Other religions

Apart from Christianity, Islam, and traditional religions, there are other faiths in Africa.

There are many Africans who are followers of religions such as Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and others.

However, this makes up to 1 percent of the African’s total population.

What is the difference between traditional religion and Christianity?

Christianity and traditional religions have similarities and several differences.

But since Christianity was introduced in Africa, there have been a lot of conflicts.

However, both of them believe there is one Supreme Being.

But Christianity comes from the teachings of Jesus Christ and Christians have the bible.

However, traditional religions are not based on any sacred book.

Also, the traditions are based on work done by human beings, and they believe in what their leaders say.

On the other hand, Christianity is based on faith in Jesus Christ.

True Christians follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and whatever they do, they do it to please God.

Traditional religions believe their founders are their saviors.

However, these founders are men, dead, and buried.

But Christianity believes in Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.

Jesus Christ is the savior of the Christians.

He gave His life to save all those who believe in Him from sins.

Jesus Christ died and rose to save His people.

What is the impact of Christianity in Africa?

Christianity is a religion that has brought many positive changes in Africa.

It is a great agent of change in Africa.

This is because it weakened the status quo and brought many new opportunities.

With Christianity, education and literacy were introduced in Africa.

In addition, Africans were able to do away with negative traditions and customs.

Final Words

Today, the number of African Christians has grown greatly.

Although there are other religions on the continent, the main religion is Christianity.

It has spread from North Africa where it was first introduced to all parts of the continent.

Many people in Africa believe in Jesus Christ as the savior of humans.

They also believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.