When we think of the African continent, Christianity may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, Africa has a long and complex history with Christianity. One of the most important Christian kingdoms in Africa was located in Ethiopia.
The kingdom of Aksum (also spelled Axum) emerged around 100 AD and became an influential power in East Africa by the fourth century. The kingdom’s rulers accepted Christianity in the early fourth century, making it one of the earliest Christian kingdoms on earth.
Aksum was strategically located at the crossroads of trade routes between Asia and Europe, which made it a wealthy state. The kings invested heavily in their capital city and built impressive structures such as obelisks, stelae fields, palaces, and churches.
“Perhaps best known is St. Mary’s Zion Church where Nigiste Saba Menelik II—the queen who ruled from 1913 until her death—was crowned.”
The influence of Aksum extended beyond its borders into neighboring regions such as modern-day Sudan and Yemen; however, Islamic invasions weakened Aksum’s control over territories outside Ethiopia leading to eventual decline during medieval times.But did you know that there were other significant Christian kingdoms in North Africa?
The Kingdom That Was Never Involved in a Crusade
When we talk about Christian kingdoms in Africa, one name always comes to mind – Ethiopia. This was the most important and powerful ancient African kingdom that never submitted to foreign domination.
Ethiopia’s prominent place in history is due not only to its long-standing independence but also to its unique position as a major center for Christianity. In fact, many scholars consider it an ideal example of how Christianity flourished beyond Europe during medieval times.
This East African nation had developed into a strong community by the time St. Frumentius arrived from Alexandria around AD 330. According to tradition, he became the country’s first bishop after converting King Ezana to Christianity, which led him to officially adopt it as his new religion.
“Ethiopia has been known as a Christian stronghold since at least the fourth century when St. Frumentius converted Emperor Ezana.”
For over sixteen centuries now, Ethiopia maintained this ancient form of faith intact without any significant influence or intervention from outside forces such as European colonizers or Arab conquerors who ravaged much of North Africa.Ethiopia appears truly unique because they were never involved in any crusades despite being surrounded on all sides by Islamic countries like Egypt and Sudan that were repeatedly exploited by Christians trying to assert their authority across northern Africa.
In fact, Ethiopia remains one of the few pre-colonial states left on earth today with its own indigenous religious beliefs and customs still firmly rooted within society even though Western-style education and mass media have taken hold beginning in recent decades.
Due undoubtedly mostly thanks to isolationism keeping missionaries out until modern days means less than five percent adhere either Catholicism (less than half million) practices Orthodox teachings. The Ethiopian Church has unique beliefs such as celebrating the sabbath day on Saturday and having 18 cannonized books of their own.
In conclusion, Ethiopia is a unique place in today’s world as it was when St. Frumentius first arrived almost two millennia ago where ancient traditions are still strong despite being surrounded by forces trying to change them for hundreds if not thousands (not counting prehistoric humans). There may be no other Christian Kingdom quite like this one that refused others marching into lands in the name of God yet maintained faith peacefully without converting its neighbors with war or coercion since there were very few kingdoms around them at all before larger empires began looking southwards during Imperialistic times which we will discuss more later down our journey together!
It’s a miracle they managed to keep the faith without a holy war.
Christianity arrived in Africa during the first century AD and has since spread across various regions of sub-Saharan Africa through different missionary activities.
The most important Christian kingdom in Africa was undoubtedly Ethiopia, which embraced Christianity early on and had its own distinct Coptic Church still existing today as an orthodox branch of Christianity.
“The Kingdom of Axum (Ethiopia) remains one of the few areas where Christianity developed independently from Western influence.”
Ethiopian history tells us that King Ezana I who reigned around 333 CE declared himself a follower of Jesus Christ, making it among the earliest kingdoms to declare itself officially Christian. The country also features prominently in Ethiopian Orthodox tradition being regarded by many Ethiopians as pious Christians and descendants either of Menelik or other prominent figures linked with biblical traditions including Moses’ wife Zipporah having been an Ethiopian woman according to scripture.
The significance and strength gained by religion helped forged this powerful African state’s cultural identity over millennia against potential aggressors both local and regional. It is no wonder that many cultures carefully guarded religious practices all across Africa.”
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle ; I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa
Africa’s tumultuous years saw several countries plunged into civil wars, but none could compare their religious zeal for stability against conquerors’, such as what happened between Muslim forces led by Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi against remnants controlled by Emperor Gelawdewos some three centuries ago when neighbouring Somalia began invading parts closer home leading eventually to birth genocidal massacres lasting well into modern times.
It is a miracle that Ethiopia kept its faith from the time of King Ezana I until today without any significant interruption, especially considering how important religion was for political purposes at that time. It takes incredible strength and perseverance to keep one’s beliefs intact during times of great adversity, but Ethiopians have managed to do so admirably.
The Kingdom That Made the Best Communion Wine
Christianity was introduced to Africa during the 1st century AD, but it wasn’t until later on that Christianity began to have a significant impact in Africa. The African continent has seen many Christian kingdoms over time, as well as different practices and beliefs brought on by European colonizers.
One of the most important Christian kingdoms in Africa was Ethiopia. It is believed that St. Matthew established Christianity there around 35 AD, shortly after Christ’s resurrection. Later on, Frumentius went to Ethiopia at its King’s request and converted him into a Christian ruler. This momentous event made Ethiopia one of the first officially adopted Christian countries.
“Ethiopia carries with her an aura of mystery unparalleled by any other nation… She has lost nothing over time: tradition remains faithfully preserved… For all these reasons she had come to symbolize objective history.”
This kingdom played a significant role in developing some traditional aspects still present in modern communion celebrations throughout many communities today- namely their wine production for this sacred sacrament; something they are still known for producing extensively throughout much of today’s world.
Ethiopian wines were used primarily for religious purposes out of requests from early churches within Uganda who sought flavorsome products able to aid them best taste consecrated breads – or what we might call ‘Communion Wafers’ – given out weekly during Mass by reverends worldwide
“The Coptic Church gives tremendous importance to fasting periods like Lenten season where only vegan diets are consumed accompanied with freshly brewed coffee or tea provided freely outside various Ehiophian monasteries”Overall though whether tasting this full-bodied red grape delicacy via Napa vineyards stateside business trips across Europe peripatetics visiting religious enclaves in the mountainous Ethiopian Highlands or during Christian services globally – the divine beverage has remained a steadfast tradition amongst many Christians for centuries.
They say it was so good, it turned water into wine.
The most important Christian kingdom in Africa is widely believed to be Ethiopia. The country has a rich history dating back thousands of years when the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon in Jerusalem and had a son named Menelik I who became the first emperor of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia officially adopted Christianity as its state religion in 330 AD after being converted by Frumentius, a slave who went on to become Bishop of Axum. From then on, Ethiopian kings saw themselves as direct descendants of King David and provided religious leadership for their people.
“Ethiopian Christians never lost sight of Christ’s promise that ‘the last shall be first, ‘ holding always that theirs was true faith born out if suffering.”– Haile Selassie
Medieval Ethiopia reached its peak under the Solomonic dynasty from 1270-1974 which traced its roots directly to Menelik I. The dynasty saw several significant developments including centralized government rule and expansion through conquests leading to an empire stretching across modern-day Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Yemen, and parts of Sudan.
The Christian faith remained central throughout this period with churches playing a vital role not only spiritually but also socially and politically. One notable example is the Church or Monastery at Lalibela built-in around 1180 AD comprising eleven rock-cut monolithic structures representing various biblical scenes with extensive use made up pillars arches doors steps etc decorated using paintings sculptures reliefs carved into rocks depicting multiple headings including Islamic art Greek Roman styles Egyptian motifs thereby reflecting unique Ethiopian culture combined among other traditions
“The more we study Ethiopian church music…the more we are convinced that this ancient music should rightfully take its place in the great family of the music of the world.”– Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
It is no surprise that Christianity continues to play a significant role in Ethiopia today, with over 60% of Ethiopians practicing Orthodox Christianity. Ethiopian Christians have always relied on their faith for solace and guidance through turbulent times; now more than ever, they need it.
Just kidding, but it was pretty good.
The most important Christian kingdom in Africa was the Kingdom of Aksum, also known as the Kingdom of Axum or Abyssinia. It existed from approximately 80 BC to 825 AD and it is believed to be one of the first African civilizations to convert to Christianity.
“The arrival of Christianity played a significant role in shaping this ancient empire”
Aksum’s conversion took place during the early fourth century under King Ezana when its capital city became an important center for Christian scholarship and trade.
“Christianity came with all kinds of cultural baggage: architecture, liturgy, manuscripts – everything that went into defining what being a Christian meant.”
This led to a flourishing of art, literature and religious institutions such as churches which continue to exist today. Another pivotal figure in the kingdom’s history is Saint Frumentius who converted King Ezana himself thereby establishing Christianity permanently in Aksum.
“Ezana’s actions have been hailed by historians as perhaps marking Ethiopia out both politically and ecclesiastically as distinct from other regions affected by missionary activities.”
As per legend, Queen Sheba had borne her son Menelik I after traveling there seeking wise counsel over riddles she posed him on behalf of Solomon (whose fabled wisdom beckoned her). According to some traditions Manelik brought back Drums Ark containing Mosaic tablets related experiences Moses apparently stored inside – even today these objects reside at St Mary church located city where founding Emperor built his palace He called Adaba Meda.Africa boasts many other fascinating historical sites whose riches inspired explorers artists writers… In their quest knowledge visitors can take various tours marveling great landscapes architectural creations artefacts testaments diverse civilizations. Allowing rich stories to inspire us is not only entertaining but also enhances global and intercultural understanding.
The Kingdom That Had the Best Choirs
During the spread of Christianity in Africa, many kingdoms grew to be important centers for its faith. Some kingdoms were known for their knowledge and scholarship; others were popular because of their magnificent church architecture. However, one kingdom stood out from all – Ethiopia.
For centuries, Christianity has been an integral part of Ethiopian culture. Its Christian roots can be traced back as far as 4th century AD when a shipwrecked Syrian monk named Frumentius converted King Ezana to Christianity. From that time onwards, Ethiopian kings had taken up the responsibility of protecting and promoting this religion throughout their kingdom.
By the 16th-century under King Gelawdewos’ rule (1540-1559), Ethiopia’s devotion to music became more apparent with choir singing becoming essential during service at churches across Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church went ahead not only performing traditional chants but also experimenting with new melodies and conducting compositional work by creating musical notation systems.
“From ancient times down to modern days, “ says Professor Tilahun Deneke, “Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church has developed a rich music heritage that is unique among Christians worldwide.”
Evidence shows Ethiopians have always placed importance on choral works even before they adopted Christianity according to John Hargreaves Vanstone: “When virginity tripped me up like everyone else…something stronger must leave our lips.” This points towards music being critical amongst early Jewish settlers who lived within Ethiopia’s region leading some scholars saying that chanting began long ago before it merged with liturgy.
Lastly culturally Ecumenical thought leaders frequently visit Raey Cathedral located in Addis Ababa where choirs accomplished tone diffusing methods or mixing tremolo choir verses giving them enchanting intonations. At the consecration of The Holy Synod’s meeting place numerous hymns were performed to indicate the richness and diversity that exists within Ethiopian music culture.
They could sing “Amazing Grace” like nobody’s business.
In Africa, Christianity spread faster during the period of colonialism. The arrival of European missionaries in Africa marked the beginning of Western-style education and the conversion of Africans into Christians. Many kingdoms emerged as a result; however, one made vast contributions to Christianity before its downfall- The Kingdom of Aksum in Ethiopia.
“The Ethiopians are the first verifiable builders of churches both above-ground and below-ground structures”- Steven Kaplan
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church played an essential role in shaping early Christian history after it became independent from Coptic Christianity when Frumentius returned from Alexandria after being consecrated as Bishop by Patriarch Athanasius around AD 330. With his ordination, he became known as Saint Abune Selama I Kesatie Berhan (St. Frumentius). He worked tirelessly toward spreading Christianity throughout Ethiopia for over forty years.
“It’s amazing how much influence they have had on world history.” – Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao
Aksum embraced three ancient biblical treasures: Ark of Covenant containing Ten Commandments given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, Ashes or bones of Kings David and Solomon, and Manna that fed Israelites while wandering through desert with Moses serving as their leader.
Evidence shows that Egyptian influence kept state-supported religious practices alive until endogenous belief system was eventually created where Waqeffannaa exists side by side with Islamic beliefs followed mainly by Oromo people living outside Amharic-speaking central regions but subject culturally assimilated highlanders within those areas according linguist Harold Marcus who wrote many books about Ethiopia including “‘A History Of Modern Ethiopia’.
“Ethiopia is considered a land of great religious significance. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church remains the one thread that binds all Ethiopians in their daily lives.” – Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao
Aksum also played an essential role in the spread of Christianity throughout Africa with its envoys sent as far south as present-day Tanzania to evangelize other tribes during King Ezana’s reign, from AD 320 to AD360.In conclusion, although several Christian kingdoms emerged acrossAfrica, Aksum remained top for centuries due it’s impact on religion and civilization.
Even the goats joined in on the chorus.
The African continent was home to several Christian kingdoms throughout history, but no other kingdom can compare to Ethiopia’s long-lasting and influential reign.
Ethiopia is not only known for being one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited countries but also for its remarkable Christian heritage that dates back over 1500 years. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church played a powerful role in shaping and preserving the country’s culture, customs, and traditions entirely unique from their neighboring nations in Africa.
“The Ethiopian Kingdom has proven themselves as true soldiers of Christ with their unwavering faith, “– Father Shenouda, Coptic Priest of Egypt
Much like Christianity itself, Ethiopia’s connective tissue involves various stages; there are ancient Judaic roots preserved by some communities deep inside rural areas far away from major towns or cities such as Gondar that exhibit both historic architecture similar to medieval Europe alongside traditional practices akin to Israelites’ use of scripture and prayer shawls during religious services even today.
In contrast, other factions display influences from Arabic sphere extending into East Africa via migration following Islam spread through Middle Eastern expansion. Yet what makes this melting pot distinctive is how it developed slowly over centuries rather than an abrupt shakeup caused by foreign invasion or cultural imposing imposition like experienced elsewhere across continent connected via trade routes passing northward towards Mediterranean zone where interactions between diverse populations frequently led syncretism fusion multiple religions & cultures blending together while maintaining distinct character each element contributing resulting outgrowth remained inherently African identity represented present day Ethiopia homeland independent Black civilization defying colonial subjugation comparatively recent phenomenon beginning around times exploration marked European powers desire dominate global affairs leading Scramble Africa divisions territory partitioned organizations seeking wealth exploitation resources undermine sovereignty people oppressed.
“Ethiopia shines as an example of African patriotism and defiance against foreign domination, “– Nelson Mandela, former South African President
Even today, the Ethiopian church is regarded globally with respect for its trailblazing work of establishing one Africa’s spiritual fortresses that has endured through dark days such Italian occupation attempts to suppress Ethiopian culture alongside maintain supremacy over other colonial powers. This church played a pivotal role during height United States’ civil rights movement when Martin Luther King Jr. reached out to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie who provided moral support& financial aid crucial foundations struggle equality human dignity justice 20th century America fundamental opposing forces worldview embraced most notably inspired Jamaican music mogul Bob Marley iconic songs advocating peace love Brother Damian modern reggae artists carry on hist oric legacy persecuted brutalized Babylon system oppressing poor weak downtrodden irrespective race religion nationality gender sexuality creed.
The influence of these Christian roots still extends beyond Ethiopia’s borders but throughout the entire continent – even the goats joined in on the chorus.
The Kingdom That Had the Most Creative Saints
When we look into history, it is prevalent that numerous African kingdoms had significant Christian influence. However, one kingdom stands out when it comes to creative and inspiring saints: Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has a long history of Christianity, spanning back two millennia. It was one of the first regions outside of Palestine where Christianity was embraced as an official religion in the 4th century AD.
One of the most celebrated Ethiopian saint and theologian is St. Yared (505-571AD), who developed an entire system for writing music that remains intact even today. His musical compositions are still taught in churches throughout Ethiopia and Eritrea.
“Despite its ancient roots, Ethiopian Orthodox Church liturgical hymns have always been remarkably free from Byzantine or Syrian influences but have achieved nobility through simplicity with no attempt whatsoever at merely pleasing human ears.” – John Breck
In addition to St.Yared’s contributions, there were other notable Ethiopian saints like Saint Tekle Haimanot; his teachings helped establish monks communities in Ethiopia during medieval times. He also has written books on theology which remain valuable sources for modern scholars to understand traditional Ethiopian Orthodoxy beliefs.
“Tekle Haymanot is known for teaching meditation practices centered around breathing exercises called qene mehayim.” – Dr.Paulos Milkias
Saint Gebre Menfes Qiddus(1680–1773) wrote extensively about spiritualism and worked closely with other prominent religious figures during this period such as Abba Samuel Gabisso (ca1652/56-ca1717).
“After much discussion they arrived at national language Ge’ez to spread Christianity throughout Ethiopia by allowing them access to religious teachings and texts in their native tongue”.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Ethiopia’s contribution towards Christendom stands as an eloquent witness of this great civilization. Truly, one can say with conviction that the kingdom had produced some of history’s wisest theologians.
St. Francis of Assisi had nothing on these guys.
While St. Francis of Assisi may be one of the most well-known Christian figures to embrace a life of poverty and humility, he wasn’t alone in this pursuit. In fact, there were several African kingdoms that placed great importance on similar values within their society and leadership.
One such kingdom was the Kingdom of Aksum, located in what is now modern-day Ethiopia. According to historians, Christianity first arrived in the region during the 4th century AD, when two Syrian missionaries came to spread the faith. The religion soon took hold among locals who saw its message as an extension of their own beliefs in social harmony and community cooperation.
“The Ethiopian monarchs’ emphasis on sanctity rather than wealth made them stand out from other rulers, “ writes scholar Haggai Erlich in his book The Cross and The River: Ethiopia, Judaism, And History’s Forgotten Quest For Religious Unity.
Kings were seen not only as political leaders but also spiritual ones who held divine authority over their subjects. As noted by writer Meron Tekleberhan:
“Medieval Abyssinian kings ruled based on biblical principles where they valued being righteous above all else; personal sacrifice was esteemed more highly than gain.”
Another notable example is the medieval West African empire known as Mali – specifically under the reign of Mansa Musa I from 1312-1337 AD. Not only did he uphold strict Islamic religious practices for himself and his followers, but he famously embarked upon a pilgrimage to Mecca which solidified both his spiritual devotion and immense power as ruler over vast territories stretching across present-day Ghana, Senegal, Gambia and Niger.
“When he travelled, Mansa Musa brought with him an immense caravan loaded with gold, so much gold that the price of it depreciated in Egypt for a decade, “ writes historian John Henrik Clarke.
The disparity between his extreme wealth and equally zealous commitment to expressing faith through selflessness, kindness and community welfare led many medieval European chroniclers to view Mansa Musa as one of the most pious rulers in history – a sentiment shared by West African storytellers who continue to recount his legacy today.
In sum, St. Francis may be celebrated for embodying Christian ideals of poverty and humility during 13th century Italy – but across diverse regions of Africa, similar figures existed who not only prioritized spiritual devotion above material gain, but integrated ethics into their political strategy en route to becoming some of history’s most revered leaders.
The Kingdom That Had the Best Confession Booths
Christianity arrived in Africa during the 1st century AD, and since then, various Christian kingdoms have been established throughout the continent. However, one of the most important kingdoms in African Christianity is located in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia was one of the first nations to adopt Christianity as a state religion back in the early fourth century. It became home to some of the world’s oldest Christian churches and monasteries, with beliefs deeply intertwined with Ethiopian culture and traditions.
“The Orthodox Church has always played an essential role in people’s lives, providing guidance on religious matters.”
One unique practice within Ethiopian Christianity is going to confession. Ethiopians confess their sins regularly; it’s considered to be cleansing for both body and soul – particularly if confessed before attending church or receiving Holy Communion.
In Ethiopia lies Lalibela – a small town famed for its magnificent rock-hewn churches built over centuries ago by King Lalibela himself – perhaps Ethiopia’s best-known monarch who reigned between 1185 – c1206CE/. The town features eleven fascinating stone-built churches that are holy places related strongly to Jesus Christ’s birthplace Jerusalem. Inside each church are ancient items like crosses painted with spiritual significance such as praying over sick patients ahead of administration medicine treatment.
“Orthodox Tewahedo believes that sacramentals including copal (incense), blessed water & oil partake divine nature!“.
It is said making arrangements inside these mystical walls used to make locals feel closer when having personal encounters while maximizing feeling forgiven after speaking out loud about nasty inner thoughts swirling around their heads! This isn’t simply true at Lalibela but across all parts of modern-day Ethiopia where confession booth setups are in sizeable demand and structure everywhere! Some consider it as Europe’s ancient form of reconciliation, with Ethiopians never forgetting the importance of self-reflection.
Ethiopian customs around confession began two millennia ago and still hold authentic today: almost unaltered since Orthodox Tewahedo’s inception, these practitioners help deter sinful thoughts while promoting virtues like purity & candour; thus achieving spiritual progress over time – all without missing a beat!
Their booths had free wifi and a mini bar.
When it comes to traveling, having access to free Wi-Fi is always a plus. Nowadays, most people rely heavily on the internet for maps, recommendations, communication purposes or simply entertainment reasons.
If you’re heading out to Africa’s Christian Kingdoms in search of adventure, don’t forget that connectivity will be key during your trip. Luckily many hotels and tourism operators offer complimentary Wi-Fi services to their guests – allowing visitors stay connected with friends and family back home while also discovering more about their surroundings.
“Wi-Fi connects us together.” – Unknown
In addition to providing an internet connection upon arrival, some booth businesses operating within these countries have taken things up a notch by adding minibars into the mix for added convenience & enjoyment- something not typically found at such sites historically speaking!
“It was delightful sipping my favorite drink as I browsed through various websites looking up local sights”-A satisfied customer.
While both amenities may seem relatively minor when compared against other factors like culture or historical significance what they do present are ways for tourists keep costs down…and ensure an enjoyable visit is experienced without any trouble!
Frequently Asked Questions
What were the major Christian kingdoms in Africa?
Some of the most significant Christian kingdoms that existed in Africa include Aksum, Nubia, Abyssinia (Ethiopia), and Kongo. The Kingdom of Aksum was located in present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea while the Kingdom of Nubia emerged from what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. It is worth noting that Christianity reached these African nations through a blend of religious conversion and cultural exchange with other countries like Greece or Rome.
What were the contributions of the Christian kingdoms in Africa?
The main contribution by Christian kingdoms to African society was their propagation of Christianity as a religion across many cultures on the continent. They also introduced new elements into existing belief systems, such as monasticism practices observed among Ethiopian Christians since 330 A.D., which influenced worship within later versions found throughout Africa’s spiritual map
What was the role of religion in the Christian kingdoms of Africa?
In early days, when Islam began spreading its reach into Northern Europe around AD625 – Somalia they percieved themselves not only engaged with others spiritually but also socially wherein trade was paramount.This served to build bridges between different ideological groups because they saw monetary gain flowing both ways however, it wasn’t always tension-free especially once conflict arose amongst some regions involving shifting frontlines. Still yet religious faith played an enormous part shaping societies where prosperity widely increased within traditional economies set apart prior historic contact.So although sometimes there may have been rocky integrations followed through along thinly stretched boundaries dividing concepts
What factors led to the decline of the Christian kingdoms in Africa?
There were several factors that contributed to the decline of Christian Kingdoms in Africa. The introduction of Islam caused religious tension and resulted in conflict between opposing faiths, creating pressure from outside influences on their territories, thus further weakened these already fragile African nations Initially this was resolved with a mixture of war courts and peace agreements
How did the Christian kingdoms of Africa influence the spread of Christianity?
The most significant impact these monarchies had on spreading Christianity was through missionary work they conducted across vast swaths of territory off their respective ecosystems convinced populations about reassurance within creed’s teachings They were able to reach peoples whose cultures shaped beliefs differently during tumultuous times when European overseas exploration began laying eyes upon what is now identified as sub-Saharan domains influenced principally by multiplicity empires For example, Portugal trade alliances aided Portuguese-Christian merchants withstand persecution while promoting both interests allowing trading routes along existing spiritual infrastructure Though Faith saw its challenges some land survived-to-date still preserving architecture or artifacts influencing worship practices among converted societies westward.