• Christianity began the early modern period as a faith largely limited to Europe. • But by riding the currents of European empire building and commercial expansion, Christianity was solidly established in the Americas and the Philippines and, to a far more modest degree, in Siberia, China, Japan, and India. • Islam became more than a regional religion much earlier than did Christianity, spreading with the rapidly expanding Arab empire in the seventh and eighth centuries and then through the conversion of some pastoral peoples of Central Asia. • Later, the Mughal and Songhay empires helped to establish Islam more firmly in India and West Africa, respectively. Meanwhile, the conversion of Swahili city-states along the east coast of Africa expanded the presence of Islam in this region. • From early in Islam’s history, Muslim traders and missionaries also brought the faith to regions beyond the control of Islamic states. • In sub-Saharan Africa, in the eastern and western wings of India, and in Central and Southeast Asia, the expansion of the Islamic frontier continued throughout the early modern era. This expansion depended on wandering Muslim holy men, Islamic scholars, and itinerant traders. • During the early modern period, Islam also extended modestly to the Americas, where enslaved African Muslims planted their faith, particularly in Brazil.
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