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A network of zawiyas traditionally helped proliferate basic literacy and knowledge of Islam in rural regions.Recently, the Christian community of Berber or Arab descent has experienced significant growth, and conversions to Christianity, especially to Evangelicalism, is common in Algeria, Isabelle Adjani, Arnaud Montebourg, Alain Bashung, Dany Boon and many others have Maghrebi ancestry.However, in September 2010, a thorough study about Berber mt DNA by Frigi et al.concluded that most of L haplogroups were much older and introduced by an ancient African gene flow around 20,000 years ago.Followed by Haplogroup J, especially Haplogroup J-M267 which is primarily concentrated in the Chad Basin, though it is also found in the Maghreb at lower frequencies.These Y-DNA haplogroups are observed in both Berber and Arabic speakers.
Like some other religious traditions, this has substantially decreased over the 20th century.
In an autosomal study in 2012 by Henn et al., the authors conclude that North African populations retain a unique signature of early "Maghrebi" ancestry, but are not a homogeneous group and most display varying combinations of five distinct ancestries (Maghrebi, European, Near Eastern, eastern and western sub-Saharan Africa).
The majority of their ancestry derives from populations outside of Africa and is the result of at least three distinct episodes: They observed two distinct, opposite gradients of ancestry : an east-to-west increase in likely autochthonous North African ancestry likely derived from "back-to-Africa" gene flow more than 12,000 years ago and an east-to-west decrease in likely Near Eastern Arabic ancestry.
By the 2nd century common era, the area had become a center of Latin-speaking Christianity.
Both Roman settlers and Romanized populations converted to Christianity.