To the Egyptians, Sudan was known as the land of Cush: the source of ivory, incense, ebony, gold and slaves. Sudan was subjected to numerous Egyptian trading and raiding forays until the 8th century BC. Then Cush grew to be a great power, and under their King Piankhi the Cushites conquered Egypt in 712BC. The Assyrians later invaded and seized Egypt from Cushite control in 671BC.
The influences of Egypt, Greece, Rome and India are evident in the temples, tombs and pyramids built in Northern Sudan. The cursive Meroetic script of the Cushite kingdom still remains undeciphered and so most of its history remains mysterious.
The first Sudanese to be converted to Christ was the treasurer of Queen Candace in AD 37 (Acts 8:26-40).
During the 3rd Century many Egyptian Christians fled to Sudan during the persecutions of the Roman emperors Decius (AD 250) and Diocletian (AD 297). A strong Christian community was flourishing in Philae from at least AD 350. Crosses and other Christian objects have been found in the royal tombs of Meroe dating back to the 5th Century.