Spread of islamWhat factors determined the strength and spread of Islam and Christianity in northern and eastern Africa? How and why did their influences oparate as they did

Expert Answers
vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since I have been calling attention to many of the advantages of Google Books when I have been trying to respond to your questions, let me call attention to a few more.  Not only does Google Books search for books relevant to a particular research topic, but it usually lists them in order of their relevance.  In other words, the books in which the search terms tend to turn up most often are the books that Google will tend to list first.  Don't forget that Google Books also has an "Advanced Searching" feature (upper right-hand corner) that allows you to narrow your search even further.  Let's assume, for instance, that you are interested only in books published within the past ten years.  The "advanced searching" feature allows you to exclude everything published before then.  Yes, verily, Google Books is a wonder for anyone trying to do serious research!  Here's a link that may be helpful to you:


readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a great question and one of reasons why Christianity spread at least is because of the effort of Christian missionaries. In the past England sent many missionaries to Africa. In more recent times, the United States and South Korea have sent thousands of missionaries. Due to their efforts there has been great growth in the African church.

Another point that is important to realize is that Christianity is a missionary religion. Therefore, when the Africans started their own churches, they started a mission as well. For these to reasons, the church has grown tremendously.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Northern Africa was once part of the Roman Empire.  Because Christianity became the state religion around 300, it propagated to all areas of the Empire. But as the Western Empire declined, the cultural vacuum left behind allowed for competing philosophies to take root.  By the 700's, Islam had begun to spread into African areas that had been wholly Christian, and then even moved into Spain.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Let us not forget that Islam is a missionary religion as well, and part of the religious requirements of being a Muslim is to be involved in the propogation of faith. Just as we have seen a growth in the Christian church in N. Africa, similarly it could be argued that we have seen a growth of Islam in other parts of the world.

belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One important factor is that Islam spread the written word much farther than before, as well as more accurate methods of measurement and weight. By educating with these methods and showing how they made trade both accurate and honest, the religion was given a foothold it might not have had otherwise.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Today, most Africans are either Christians or Muslims.  The reason is largely due to colonialism.  If you look at it on a map, the northern part of Africa is mostly Islamic, including the northeast.  The southern portion of Africa is mostly Christian, on the other hand.