So I was playing empire total war yesterday, and the game crashed, which made me very sad. Before it crashed though I had a bit of a struggle getting my recent islamic conquests to stop rebelling.
I immediately thought of the prospect of training a priest to convert the populace but then found to my dismay that in Empire Total War that you can't train agents.
Now the concept of using religion to maintain control isn't new in these games, but in the past it may have been oversimplified (eg building cathedrals does not convert people to christianity, people convert people to christianity).
I do applaud them for their realism of this aspect of how religion works though.
The fact is, religion is an efficient way to culturally assimilate people. Where religion fails to culturally assimilate though, is where there is another religion present.