Islam and Christianity have both been present on the African continent for nearly as long as they have existed. ‘Christianity and Islam in Africa’ follows the spread of these religions through Africa and illustrates how traditional religions have changed and adapted as a result. The early Egyptian Coptic Church was the first form of institutional Christianity on the African continent. Islamicization of West and East Africa followed trade routes, presenting its language and culture as a useful lingua franca among merchants from diverse ethnic groups. The militarization of fundamentalist forms of Christianity and Islam has had dire effects on African life, contributing to political instability and endless cycles of preemptive and retributive violence.