Religious Policy, Islam and Christianity

T he religious policy to be pursued by the Sudan government was first enunciated by Lord Cromer in 1899, in his speech at Omdurman.1 I t was further elaborated by Kitchener in his memo­ randum to the provincial governors :

Cromer had also warned Salisbury against allowing Christian missionary activities in the Muslim provinces of the Sudan, which he feared would be interpreted by the inhabitants as the first result of the British conquest.3 In advocating this policy Cromer enjoyed the full support of the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, who regarded it as wise . . to restrain the undisciplined invasion of the Soudan by missionary agents . . . until the Government of the country is fully and firmly settled . . .’4 This policy which implied the preserva­ tion of the status quo in the Muslim north whilst encouraging the gradual Christianization of the pagan tribes, was the first step in what in later years became known as Southern Policy.