Somewhat more than half Sudan's
population was Muslim in the early 1990s.
Most Muslims, perhaps 90 percent, lived in
the north, where they constituted 75 percent
or more of the population. Data on
Christians was less reliable; estimates
ranged from 4 to 10 percent of the
population. At least one-third of the
Sudanese were still attached to the
indigenous religions of their forebears.
Most Christian Sudanese and adherents of
local religious systems lived in southern
Sudan. Islam had made inroads into the
south, but more through the need to know
Arabic than a profound belief in the tenets
of the Quran. The SPLM, which in 1991
controlled most of southern Sudan, opposed
the imposition of the sharia (Islamic law).