Christian network links for Africa

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Main index of all pages

The home page for this site, with information about the purpose of the site, news of developments etc

Alphabetical list

Alphabetical list of web sites dealing with Christianity in Africa

All Africa

Web sites of churches and organistions that cover more than one country or region

Regional pages

Particular regions and countries

Interests and subjects

Links arranged according to particular topics and interests

Other pages

There are several other pages of links that are not listed above. Some are sub-pages from the main page in each section, and others will deal with different topics. You should find them all on the main index page or on the miscellaneous links page.

Add your page

If you maintain a web page dealing with Christianity in Africa, and would like to add it to this list of links, please go to our contact page.

Welcome to Christian network links for Africa!

The aim of these pages is to provide links to Web pages and other Internet resources concerned with Christianity in Africa. We have even included a few non-internet resources, like computer bulletin board services (BSSs), which can still perform a useful service in providing cheap electronic communications in some parts of Africa.

Christianity in Africa

It is not the purpose of these pages to provide detailed information about Christianity in Africa - the idea is rather to give links to places where such information can be found. But some users of these pages may find a general introduction useful.

Christianity came to Africa in the 1st century AD. Tradition records that it was St Mark who planted the church in Alexandria about AD 65. Even before that, however, the New Testament records that Jesus and his family were refugees in Egypt, and so it would have been in Africa that he learnt to walk and talk.

The first Christians in Egypt were mostly Jews and Greeks who were living there, but by the end of the second century large numbers of native Egyptians were joining the church, and the scriptures were translated into three local languages. In the 3rd century the Christians suffered several persecutions from the Roman rulers, and in Egypt some fled as refugees to the deserts. When the persecutions died down, they stayed to pray, and the first monastic communities were formed. Monasticism spread to other parts of the church as well, and so this was one of the African contributions to global Christianity.

In the 4th century there were several theological controversies in Africa, and one of the most significant was that between Arius and Athanasius. Their dispute forced Christians to define certain articles of the Christian faith more closely, and the Symbol of Faith or Nicene Creed was the result. The statement of faith that (with some variations) is accepted by most Christians around the world has its roots in African theology.

Christianity in Africa therefore goes back a long way!

There were also Christian communities in north-western Africa, in the area today called the Maghreb, which includes Tunisia and northern Algeria. The church there was part of the Western Church, centred on Rome, though it, too, produced some influential theologians, such as Cyprian and Augustine.

The African church enjoyed a respite from persecution for 300 years, from the 4th to the 6th centuries, but in the 7th century Arabs invaded Africa, and conquered most of North Africa. The Arabs were Muslim, and so Christians became second-class citizens except in Ethiopia, which managed to retain its independence. Christianity began to spread southward from Ethiopia in the 12th and 13th centuries, but only slowly, because of Arab naval supremacy in the Indian Ocean.

The Arab naval supremacy was broken by the Portuguese in the 16th century, and they established some Christian missions along parts of the east and west coasts of Africa. In the 17th century the Portuguese lost their naval supremacy to the Dutch, who established a trading outpost in Southern Africa. Other European nations became interested in Africa for purposes of trade, and much of the trade was in human beings, who were forced to emigrate to the Americas as slaves.

In the 19th century many missionaries from Europe and America came to Africa and started churches in various parts of the continent south of the Sahara. The Christian faith spread slowly at first, but then more rapidly. In the 20th century most mission was through African initiative, and done by members of African independent churches, but also by members of international denominations. Now, at the end of the 20th century, Africa is probably the most Christian continent. There are more Anglicans in Nigeria, for example, than in Britain and the USA.

There are more than 7000 Christian denominations in South Africa alone, ranging in size from a couple of dozen to several million. There are many more in other parts of the continent. Most of these are not on line, and there are many things in African Christianity that the wired world can't even begin to imagine. Nevertheless, we hope these links will give something of the varied flavours on Christianity on this continent.

Steve Hayes
Webmaster: Christian network links for Africa Site 
of the Week

How to use these pages

Now that you've got here, where are the links?

You will find a basic navigation guide at the top and bottom of each page, and a fuller one down the left side of each page. The index page gives you the full list of all the pages on this site, with various ways to find them. The red buttons are "hot" buttons - if you click on them they will usually take you somewhere. If they don't, it's probably because you are already on the page they point to. If you're not, and something seems broken, please let me know!

Don't try clicking on the green buttons. They aren't meant to do anything, other than look pretty and draw your attention to the text that follows. If they do do something when you click on one, please let me know about that too, as it's probably a lurking bug I must stomp on.

Enjoy the pages - I hope you find them useful

Steve Hayes
Webmaster: Christian network links for Africa

News and announcements

In August 2000 I began revising these pages, to try to make them a bit easier to navigate.

When I first started compiling these links four years ago, I tried to keep graphics to a minimum. Low bandwidth and slow computers meant that pages with even quite small graphics took ages to load. Back then there were far fewer web sites in Africa, and this list began with one page, and then grew gradually. It eventually reached the point where a radical redesign was needed if people were to be able to find their way about the site.

The old version is still up at but because of the new design, it is much more difficult to update. If you have any links to the old site, it would be better to switch them to this one, because it is updated more frequently.

I started keeping this list because I found a list of Christian web sites at the University of Pretoria, and at first was quite excited by all the interesting stuff to look at, but then I found some links were broken, and e-mail sent to the page compiler bounced, so I decided to start my own.

I sometimes get messages from people asking about things that are not on these pages. I'm not usually able to help much, because if something is not here, it's usually because I don't know about it. But if you find something that's not here, but that you think ought to be here, please let me know, so I can add it if it's relevant to the theme. There's more about adding links on the contact page.

If you couldn't find what you were looking for here, here are some other possibilities you can try. You will also find more of them on our international links page.



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Updated: 17 July 2004