History of Eastern Christianity in Asia

History Of Eastern Christianity In Asia

History of Eastern Christianity in Asia

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Judging from the New Testament account of the rise and expansion of the early church, during the first few centuries of Christianity, the most extensive dissemination of the gospel was not in the West but in the East. In fact, conditions in the Parthian empire (250 BC - AD 226), which stretched from the Euphrates to the Indus rivers and the Caspian to the Arabian seas, were in some ways more favourable for the growth of the church than in the Roman world. And though opposition to Christianity increasingly mounted under successive Persian and Islamic rulers, Christian communities were eventually established in the vast territory which stretches from the Near to the Far East possibly as early as the first century of the church.

Easterners at Pentecost

Luke states in Acts 2:5-11 that there were present in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost “devout men from every nation under heaven.” Among these were “Parthians, Medes, Elamites, residents of Mesopotamia...and Arabians”. Moreover, these pilgrims included “both Jews and proselytes”, alike in their familiarity with the culture of their respective countries and the revelation of the Old Testament Scriptures. The most plausible explanation of the early appearance of Christian communities in these lands is that some of these pilgrims were converted and returned to the East as spirit-filled missionaries. Furthermore, the question immediately arises as to whether any of the apostles had a part in this eastern mission....
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