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Traditionalists, Muslims, and Christians in Africa: Interreligious Encounters and Dia ...

Chapter 1:  Introduction
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Traditionalists, Muslims, and Christians in Africa:

Chapter 1

Introduction

This book, Traditionalists, Muslims, and Christians in Africa: Interreligious Encounters and Dialogue, is about interreligious encounters among ATR, Islam, and Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa,1 with special focus on Sierra Leone.

The primal religion of the indigenes of sub-Saharan Africa is ATR. These indigenes opened up their countries to accommodate foreigners of different backgrounds and walks of life who continue to introduce new social values and religions. Islam first landed on the east coast of Africa in the seventh century (Mbiti 1989a, 237), and later arrived in Sierra Leone in the eleventh century (Parsons 1964, 226). There is evidence that missionaries from Alexandria brought Christianity to Ethiopia by the middle of the fourth century (Groves 1948). However, in modern times, Christianity was brought to sub-Saharan Africa in the sixteenth century by the Portuguese. By 1541, the Portuguese were already in Ethiopia (Nthamburi 1995, 50), and a century later, they arrived in Sierra Leone (Fyle 1981; Alie 1990, 101–111).