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Roman Africa

Obscurity shrouds Christian beginnings in Africa, i.e., the Roman provinces of Proconsular Africa, Numidia, and Mauretania (with later subdivisions), extending today from Tripolitania in Libya through Tunisia and Algeria into Morocco. Carthage, second only to Rome in the West and seat of a strong Jewish population, must quickly have attracted missionaries. They may have been Jewish Christians, whether from Palestine via the Jewish colonies of Cyrenaica, Asia Minor, or Rome (alternatively, an African group may early have influenced Roman Christianity; Pope Victor was an African); but Christianity did not prosper there until the later second century. The story begins in martyrdom, with the Scillitans in 180 at Carthage. Most if not all of the NT was already in Latin. Christianity also took root in Greek-speaking communities (perhaps from the first), but there is scant evidence that its coming rejuvenated native Punic or Berber cultures.