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North Africa is a culturally and geopolitically bounded region of Africa that includes the modern states of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia and the disputed territory of western Sahara. The United Nations’ definition of northern Africa as a geopolitical subregion also includes Sudan, and Mauritania is also sometimes included. The majority of the regions’ inhabitants are Muslim, although there are significant religious minorities of Jews and Christians, particularly in Egypt.

The region is sometimes referred to as the Maghreb, meaning “west” in Arabic, to denote its position as the western portion of the Islamic world. However, most technical definitions restrict the Maghreb to Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. The region has been of central importance to the development of both Christianity and Islam since its initial ...

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