Christianity Knowledge Base

Africa is a continent, south of Europe and west of Asia. Tradition states that Mark established the first church in Africa, in Alexandria, Egypt, in 42 AD. The Orthodox Church of Alexandria, one of the original four Patriarchates of the Eastern Orthodox Church, is based in Africa. Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea have a sizable Coptic Oriental Orthodox Christian population. Catholics and Evangelical Protestants have also established churches in Africa.

Most of Africa falls in the 10/40 window, where Christians are in the minority. North of the Sahara Desert, the main religion is Islam. South of the desert, the traditional African religions dominate, including animism and ancestor veneration. Some of these religions have been syncretized with Folk Catholicism in the Western Hemisphere, or with Islam in Africa itself. This emphasis on lesser gods in syncretized Christianity can be seen in aspects of the Celestial Church of Christ's view of angels and in Islam some of the African Sufi reverence for saints or views of angels may have adopted African elements.

Syncretic religions based on African religions include Voodoo, Santeria, Candomble, Umbanda, Macumba, Quimbanda, Abacua, Palo Mayombe, Palo Monte, etc. In the Americas African derived religions are generally derived from the traditional religions of West Africa and the Congo. This is due to the Atlantic coast of Africa being the main source of the Atlantic slave trade.

The Lord's Resistance Army of Acholiland in northern Uganda combined the Catholic use of rosaries and making communion with the Islamic practice of praying towards Mecca. In addition, he retained local spiritist beliefs regarding jogi; personal spirits.

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