• The motives which led to the Christianization of Nubia (in the 6th cent.) are much debatable. The Roman emperor Justinian had obviously political reasons, his wife Theodora had more religious ambitions (monophysitic theology).
  • The Nubian church remained dependent on its mother church, the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt.
  • The Nubian church, to our knowledge, never became a mission minded church. No outreach to the neighboring peoples took place.
  • The strong link between religion and state power turned out to be fatal. The Nubian king served the protector of the church. When in the 14th century A.D. the Arabs defeated the Nubian kingdoms the church was doomed to die.
  • The word of God was not available in the Nubian language (only as lectionaries, liturgy and homilies), although it was reduced to writing and the official language of the state.
  • As a minority in an Islamic state, the Nubians gave way to the economic pressure and converted to Islam. The Nubian people were not thoroughly instructed in their Christian faith and therefore not ready to suffer for the sake of Christ.

Vestiges of Christianity remain as superstitious practices. For example, on the seventh day after a baby’s birth, it will be dipped into the Nile, in a style reminiscent of baptism. The sign of the cross is sometimes made as a protection against evil. Nubian doorways or house walls may be decorated with a cross in mud relief. The bridegroom may make the sign of the cross over the forehead of the bride. Usually, the origin and meaning of these practices are forgotten.