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Book Chapter

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SAGE publications


According to tradition and to the early church historian Eusebius, Christianity was preached in Ethiopia by the apostle Matthew before it reached Europe; Mark the evangelist is said to have established the church in Alexandria in 43 C.E. What is clear is that some of the most important early Christian theologians were from northern Africa: Augustine, from present-day Algeria, and Clement and Origen, from present-day Egypt. The monastic movement in the early church drew its inspiration from these writers. By the 4th century, Christianity was well established in what are today Ethiopia and Eritrea, and was centered in a city called Aksum. From the 6th to 14th centuries, it flourished in what is now Sudan. Coptic Christianity, as it is now known, flourished as the majority faith in this northeastern section of Africa until the end of the 14th century, and is still vibrant in the area. Though considerably diminished by the Arabic conquest of northern Africa, Christianity nonetheless continued in Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria.

Chapter of

Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa


Edward Ramsamy
Andrea L. Stanton
Peter J. Seybolt
Carolyn Elliott


Copyright © 2012 SAGE publications. Reprinted with permission.



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