Africa is the second-largest and second-most-populous continent in the world with an estimated population of over 1.3 billion people. It is home to the highest linguistic diversity in the world, with over 1500-2,000 different languages (Epstein 1998: 9). The vast linguistic diversity is attributed to historical and political developments not only across the continent but also in the world. It is widely accepted that human ancestors originated in Africa. The fact that Africa has been home to humans for longer than any other continent is one influential factor in terms of language evolution.
Christianity in Africa began shortly after the founding of the church. It was well established in North Africa in the early centuries after its founding. By the A.D. 500s, Christian missionaries had succeeded in spreading their faith into the heart of the continent. Important Africans who influenced the early development of Christianity include Tertullian, Perpetua, Felicity, Clement of Alexandria, Origen of Alexandria, Cyprian, Athanasius, and Augustine of Hippo.