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Early Developments

Early AICs differentiated themselves from missionary churches by incorporating local traditions into their practices of Christianity. Often, they permitted the use of African languages, dancing, and drumming in their services and allowed their members to be polygynous and practice female excision.

Schisms and Sects

There are thousands of AICs, each with its own distinct characteristics. Some scholars and practitioners classify them into groups, including Ethiopian, Messianic, Apostolic, Pentecostal, and Zionist.

Missions and Expansion

Due to the work of AIC missionaries, there was a dramatic spread of Christianity throughout the African continent in the 20th century. AIC missionaries also established branches of their churches in parts of western Europe and North America.

Exploration and Conquest

AICs often maintain relatively amicable relations with neighboring Muslims and practitioners of traditional African religions. There have been significant exchanges and sharing of religious ideas and practices among these three groups over time.

Modern Age

AICs help Africans survive in the modern world without losing their African culture. Since the 1930s, there has been a proliferation of Pentecostal or Charismatic AICs, some of which were inspired by Evangelical movements in the United States.