Notes and resources on Syriac Christianity and Nestorian Christians in Central and East Asia

File:Museum für Indische Kunst Dahlem Berlin Mai 2006 061.jpg

Nestorian priests in a procession, wall painting from the caves of Bezeklik

The Assyrian Church of the East refused to drop support for Nestorius and denounce him as a heretic, and it has continued to be called “Nestorian” in the West, to distinguish it from other ancient Eastern churches. However, the Church of the East does not regard its doctrine as truly Nestorian, but rather teaches the view of Babai the Great, that Christ has twoqnome (essences) which are unmingled and eternally united in one parsopa (personality). According to some interpretations, the origin of this confusion is mostly historical and linguistic: for example, the Greeks had two words for “person,” which translated poorly into Syriac, and the meanings of these terms were not even quite settled during Nestorius’ lifetime.

Missionaries of the Assyrian Church of the East spread Nestorianism throughout Persia and Central and East Asia. “Nestorian” Christianity reached China by 635, and penetrated Mongolia and Korea. Its relics can still be seen in Chinese cities such as Xi’an.

Nestorian Timeline

Lost Jesus Sutras Reveal Ancient Chinese Christianity by Robert Hutchinson on November 5, 2009 – eight out of the 50,000 manuscripts at Dunhuang contain the Jesus sutras. More than 1,300 years ago, a Persian Christian monk named Aleben traveled 3,000 miles along the ancient caravan route known as the Silk Road all the way to China, carrying precious copies of the New Testament writings (probably in Syriac). Aleben and his fellow Christian monks stopped in the Chinese city of Chang-au (Xian), where, under the protection of the Tang Dynasty Emperor Taizong, he founded a Christian monastery and began the arduous task of translating the Christian texts into Chinese. It was the year A.D. 635. When the Italian explorer Marco Polo arrived in China nearly 600 years later, he was astonished to discover that a tiny Christian community had existed there for centuries

Nestorian inscriptions in Syriac script found on Silk Road in China or pdf version

A study of the history of Nestorian Christianity in China and its literature in Chinese by Li Tang

Christianity in early Tibet by Sam van Schaik

Early Christian architecture in the Iraqi South-western Desert / Butler’s ‘Early churches in Syria’

The church of the East  and Nestorian Christianity in CAS by Mark Dickens

Nestorian Stele replica in Japan (Mt Koya)  A Japanese author …

Nestorian stele in China

See rubbing of Nestorian tablet Dated 781 CE, Tang dynasty

Missionaries of the Assyrian Church of the East spread Nestorianism throughout Persia and Central and East Asia. “Nestorian” Christianity reached China by 635, and penetrated Mongolia and Korea. Its relics can still be seen in Chinese cities such as Xi’an.

The Involvement of the Assyrian Church

After the Council of Ephesus, a strong Nestorian party developed in eastern Syria centering on the School of Edessa. In 433 a theological reconciliation took place between Cyril of Alexandria and John of Antioch, and a number of dissenting bishops affiliated themselves with the Syrian Church of Persia, which held the teachings of Theodore of Mopsuestia in high esteem. The Sassanid Persian kings, who were at constant war with Byzantium, saw the opportunity to assure the loyalty of their Christian subjects and supported the Nestorian schism. They granted protection to Nestorians in 462, and executed the pro-Byzantine Catholicos Babowai who was then replaced by the Nestorian bishop of Nisibis Bar Sauma (484). Nestorianism was officially adopted at the Synod of Seleucia in 486. The Nestorians were expelled from Edessa in 489 by the Emperor Zeno and immigrated to Persia. The Persians allowed the transfer of the school of Edessa, to the Persian city Nisibis, where it became even more famous than at Edessa.

The main theological authorities of the school had always been Theodore of Mopsuestia and his teacher Diodorus of Tarsus. Unfortunately, few of their writings have survived. The writings of Nestorius himself were only added to the curriculum of the school of Edessa-Nisibis in 530, shortly before the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553 condemned Theodore as Nestorius’s predecessor.

At the end of the sixth century. the school went through a theological crisis when its director Henana of Adiabene tried to replace the teachings of Theodore with his own doctrine, which followed Origen. Babai the Great (551–628), the unofficial head of the church at that time who revived the Assyrian monastic movement, refuted him and wrote the normative Christology of the Assyrian Church, based on Theodore of Mopsuestia.

The Book of Union is Babai’s principal surviving work on Christology. In it he explains that Christ has two qnome (essences), which are unmingled and eternally united in one parsopa (personality). This, and not strict Nestorianism, is the teaching of the Assyrian Church. However, the Assyrian Church has continued to be called “Nestorian” in the West to distinguish it from other ancient Eastern churches, despite the fact that Babai’s Christology is basically the same as that of Catholicism and Orthodoxy; the Baltimore Catechism teaches that Christ is one “person” (like Babai’s parsopa) but has two “natures” (Babai’s qnome).

The Spread of Assyrian “Nestorianism”

The Assyrian Church produced many zealous missionaries, who traveled and preached throughout the Persian Empire and Central and East Asia during the seventh and eighth centuries. During the same period many Nestorian scholars, having escaped the Byzantines, settled in Gundishapur, Persia and Muharraq in Bahrain, bringing with them many ancient Greco-Roman philosophical, scientific, and literary texts. Nestorian Christianity reached China by 635, and its relics can still be seen in Chinese cities such as Xi’an. Around this same time, Nestorian Christianity penetrated into Mongolia, eventually reaching as far as Korea. The Nestorian Stele, set up on January 7, 781, at the then-capital of Chang’an, describes the introduction of Christianity into China from Persia in the reign of Tang Taizong.

The legacy of the missionaries remains in the Assyrian churches still to be found in IraqIran, and India.

There is evidence from within the hadith that Muhammad had contact with Nestorian Christians. Particularly of interest are the similarities between Muslim raka’ah (ritual prayer) and the genuflections performed by Nestorians duringLent.

Nestorianism in China

Christianity was first introduced into China through representatives of the Church if the East, popularly known as the Nestorians, during the Tang Dynasty (it has also been suggested that the Patriarch of Seleucia-Ctesiphon created a metropolitan see in China in 411). In China, the religion was known as Jingjiao (景教). The Nestorians initially entered China as traders rather than as official missionaries, and were largely of Hebrew extraction, tracing their lineage to those who did not return to Palestine following the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities.

During the early centuries of Christian expansion, they considered the message of Jesus a fulfillment of their Jewish faith. Eventually, the Nestorians intermarried with other Syriac-speaking peoples east of the Euphrates and spread their faith throughout Turkestan, Mongolia, China and Japan. Some records indicate that Jacobite Christians also visited China during this period, but their impact was minimal. A stone stele erected at the Tang capital of Chang’an in 781 and rediscovered in the seventeenth century describes flourishing communities of Christians throughout China, but beyond this and few other fragmentary records relatively little is known of their history.

What is known, however, is significant. The Nestorians faced the world’s vastest empire at the zenith of its cultural, intellectual and administrative attainment. Tang China possessed a most sophisticated religious and ethical system; its people had long lived in an environment of religious syncretism. When Tang forces conquered Turkestan (630) and reopened the ancient trade route to the West, Alopen, the Persian bishop, felt the time had come to evangelize this mighty empire. He was welcomed by the authorities, in line with their policy of toleration and interest in fostering foreign religions.

When Alopen arrived at Chang-an (635), he was almost immediately commissioned to translate the Nestorian Sutras into Chinese. Scholars were assigned to assist him. In 638, the first Christian book was published, The Sutra of Jesus the Messiah. It sought to introduce the Chinese to the Christian faith and specifically pointed out that the gospel contained nothing subversive to China’s ancient traditions, because loyalty to the state and filial piety were the essence of the law of Christ. This pleased the emperor, and by decree he proclaimed the virtue of the Nestorian religion, gave Alopen the title of “Great Spiritual Lord, Protector of the Empire” (metropolitan Chang’an), and opened China’s doors to the gospel: “Let it be preached freely in our empire.”

The Nestorians established monasteries in China’s key cities and proclaimed their faith aggressively, phrasing the Christian message in the philosophical language of the Confucian court in order to make it intellectually acceptable to the Chinese scholars.

Although the ancient stele says, “The religion spread throughout the ten provinces….monasteries abound in a hundred cities,” the Nestorians experienced a series of setbacks as a result of court intrigues, the jealousy of Daoist and Buddhist leaders, and the upheavals of civil war. Their medical knowledge and surgical skills gave the Nestorians a good name, but Nestorian Christianity was classed with Buddhism and Zoroastrianism as another “foreign religion.” Although their monasteries were self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating, Chinese clergy were only permitted to fill the lowest ranks, which suggests that their priority was serving the foreign trading community.

The vitality of this church diminished with the passage of time and with increased isolation from religious centers in Mesopotamia. In 745 Emperor Xuanzong of Tang (reigned 840–846) issued an edict stating that the temples popularly known as “Persian temples” should be thenceforth known as Da Qin (Roman) temples. By the middle of the ninth century, government hostility toward Buddhism was extended to other foreign religions, and the emperor decreed that Christianity also be proscribed:

As for the Da-chin (Nestorian) and Muhu (Zoroastrianism) temples, these heretical religions must not alone be left when the Buddhists have been suppressed; they must all be compelled to return to lay life and resume their original callings and pay taxes, or if they are foreign they shall be sent back to their native places. (Keung, Ching Feng, p. 120)

The opposition to Buddhist excesses, which had first arisen among Confucian officials, was continued by a pro-Daoist emperor. Christian monks and nuns were evicted from their monasteries and forced to seek a secular living, and their properties were confiscated. Books and artifacts were destroyed and leading figures, especially those of foreign extraction, were forced to hide and hold underground services or to flee. Missions from Persia and Bactria in the eighth, ninth and tenth centuries strengthened the churches in some provinces, but evidence of their condition or survival throughout Tang provinces is fragmentary.

In 986 a Syrian monk reported to the Patriarch:

Christianity is extinct in China; the native Christians have perished in one way or another; the church has been destroyed and there is only one Christian left in the land. ( Keung, Ching Feng, p. 235)

Nestorianism was particularly active in Asia during the twelfth century, being a state religion of Kidans in the times of Elyui Dashi. It was also one of the widespread religions in the empire of Ghenghis Khan.

Under the emperors of the Yuan Dynasty, Nestorian Christianity once again gained a foothold in China. Marco Polo in the 1200s and other medieval Western writers testify that many Nestorian communities remained in China and Mongolia; however, they clearly were not as vibrant as they had been during Tang times. The policies of the Ming emperors, which centralized Chinese government, again proscribed all foreign influences, and Christianity was forced to go underground once more. The last known monument of Nestorian Christianity in China seems to be one dating to c. 1365 and found near Zhoukoudian in the Fangshan District of Beijing.

The Nestorian church continued to flourish throughout Central Asia well into the fourteenth century among the northern tribes, such as the Uigurs, Turks, and Mongols. However, the record of the closing years of the Nestorians in China is replete with references to necrology, a Chinese-influenced practice not found in classical Christianity.

In 1625 the discovery of the Nestorian Stele in Xian—on which the story of the Nestorian missionaries coming to China was written in both Chinese and Syriac—was significant for Christians in China at the time. It proved that Christianity was part of China’s past and not a recent foreign incursion, giving support to Christians against those who called for the religion to be banned.

Dozens of Jingjiao texts have survived. Some of them are translations of the Scriptures, including the Pentateuch

The Involvement of the Assyrian Church

After the Council of Ephesus, a strong Nestorian party developed in eastern Syria centering on the School of Edessa. In 433 a theological reconciliation took place between Cyril of Alexandria and John of Antioch, and a number of dissenting bishops affiliated themselves with the Syrian Church of Persia, which held the teachings of Theodore of Mopsuestia in high esteem. The Sassanid Persian kings, who were at constant war with Byzantium, saw the opportunity to assure the loyalty of their Christian subjects and supported the Nestorian schism. They granted protection to Nestorians in 462, and executed the pro-Byzantine Catholicos Babowai who was then replaced by the Nestorian bishop of Nisibis Bar Sauma (484). Nestorianism was officially adopted at the Synod of Seleucia in 486. The Nestorians were expelled from Edessa in 489 by the Emperor Zeno and immigrated to Persia. The Persians allowed the transfer of the school of Edessa, to the Persian city Nisibis, where it became even more famous than at Edessa.

The main theological authorities of the school had always been Theodore of Mopsuestia and his teacher Diodorus of Tarsus. Unfortunately, few of their writings have survived. The writings of Nestorius himself were only added to the curriculum of the school of Edessa-Nisibis in 530, shortly before the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553 condemned Theodore as Nestorius’s predecessor.

At the end of the sixth century. the school went through a theological crisis when its director Henana of Adiabene tried to replace the teachings of Theodore with his own doctrine, which followed Origen. Babai the Great (551–628), the unofficial head of the church at that time who revived the Assyrian monastic movement, refuted him and wrote the normative Christology of the Assyrian Church, based on Theodore of Mopsuestia.

The Book of Union is Babai’s principal surviving work on Christology. In it he explains that Christ has two qnome (essences), which are unmingled and eternally united in one parsopa (personality). This, and not strict Nestorianism, is the teaching of the Assyrian Church. However, the Assyrian Church has continued to be called “Nestorian” in the West to distinguish it from other ancient Eastern churches, despite the fact that Babai’s Christology is basically the same as that of Catholicism and Orthodoxy; the Baltimore Catechism teaches that Christ is one “person” (like Babai’s parsopa) but has two “natures” (Babai’s qnome).

The Spread of Assyrian “Nestorianism”

The Assyrian Church produced many zealous missionaries, who traveled and preached throughout the Persian Empire and Central and East Asia during the seventh and eighth centuries. During the same period many Nestorian scholars, having escaped the Byzantines, settled in Gundishapur, Persia and Muharraq in Bahrain, bringing with them many ancient Greco-Roman philosophical, scientific, and literary texts. Nestorian Christianity reached China by 635, and its relics can still be seen in Chinese cities such as Xi’an. Around this same time, Nestorian Christianity penetrated into Mongolia, eventually reaching as far as Korea. The Nestorian Stele, set up on January 7, 781, at the then-capital of Chang’an, describes the introduction of Christianity into China from Persia in the reign of Tang Taizong.

The legacy of the missionaries remains in the Assyrian churches still to be found in IraqIran, and India.

There is evidence from within the hadith that Muhammad had contact with Nestorian Christians. Particularly of interest are the similarities between Muslim raka’ah (ritual prayer) and the genuflections performed by Nestorians duringLent.

Nestorianism in China

Christianity was first introduced into China through representatives of the Church if the East, popularly known as the Nestorians, during the Tang Dynasty (it has also been suggested that the Patriarch of Seleucia-Ctesiphon created a metropolitan see in China in 411). In China, the religion was known as Jingjiao (景教). The Nestorians initially entered China as traders rather than as official missionaries, and were largely of Hebrew extraction, tracing their lineage to those who did not return to Palestine following the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities.

During the early centuries of Christian expansion, they considered the message of Jesus a fulfillment of their Jewish faith. Eventually, the Nestorians intermarried with other Syriac-speaking peoples east of the Euphrates and spread their faith throughout Turkestan, Mongolia, China and Japan. Some records indicate that Jacobite Christians also visited China during this period, but their impact was minimal. A stone stele erected at the Tang capital of Chang’an in 781 and rediscovered in the seventeenth century describes flourishing communities of Christians throughout China, but beyond this and few other fragmentary records relatively little is known of their history.

What is known, however, is significant. The Nestorians faced the world’s vastest empire at the zenith of its cultural, intellectual and administrative attainment. Tang China possessed a most sophisticated religious and ethical system; its people had long lived in an environment of religious syncretism. When Tang forces conquered Turkestan (630) and reopened the ancient trade route to the West, Alopen, the Persian bishop, felt the time had come to evangelize this mighty empire. He was welcomed by the authorities, in line with their policy of toleration and interest in fostering foreign religions.

When Alopen arrived at Chang-an (635), he was almost immediately commissioned to translate the Nestorian Sutras into Chinese. Scholars were assigned to assist him. In 638, the first Christian book was published, The Sutra of Jesus the Messiah. It sought to introduce the Chinese to the Christian faith and specifically pointed out that the gospel contained nothing subversive to China’s ancient traditions, because loyalty to the state and filial piety were the essence of the law of Christ. This pleased the emperor, and by decree he proclaimed the virtue of the Nestorian religion, gave Alopen the title of “Great Spiritual Lord, Protector of the Empire” (metropolitan Chang’an), and opened China’s doors to the gospel: “Let it be preached freely in our empire.”

The Nestorians established monasteries in China’s key cities and proclaimed their faith aggressively, phrasing the Christian message in the philosophical language of the Confucian court in order to make it intellectually acceptable to the Chinese scholars.

Although the ancient stele says, “The religion spread throughout the ten provinces….monasteries abound in a hundred cities,” the Nestorians experienced a series of setbacks as a result of court intrigues, the jealousy of Daoist and Buddhist leaders, and the upheavals of civil war. Their medical knowledge and surgical skills gave the Nestorians a good name, but Nestorian Christianity was classed with Buddhism and Zoroastrianism as another “foreign religion.” Although their monasteries were self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating, Chinese clergy were only permitted to fill the lowest ranks, which suggests that their priority was serving the foreign trading community.

The vitality of this church diminished with the passage of time and with increased isolation from religious centers in Mesopotamia. In 745 Emperor Xuanzong of Tang (reigned 840–846) issued an edict stating that the temples popularly known as “Persian temples” should be thenceforth known as Da Qin (Roman) temples. By the middle of the ninth century, government hostility toward Buddhism was extended to other foreign religions, and the emperor decreed that Christianity also be proscribed:

As for the Da-chin (Nestorian) and Muhu (Zoroastrianism) temples, these heretical religions must not alone be left when the Buddhists have been suppressed; they must all be compelled to return to lay life and resume their original callings and pay taxes, or if they are foreign they shall be sent back to their native places. (Keung, Ching Feng, p. 120)

The opposition to Buddhist excesses, which had first arisen among Confucian officials, was continued by a pro-Daoist emperor. Christian monks and nuns were evicted from their monasteries and forced to seek a secular living, and their properties were confiscated. Books and artifacts were destroyed and leading figures, especially those of foreign extraction, were forced to hide and hold underground services or to flee. Missions from Persia and Bactria in the eighth, ninth and tenth centuries strengthened the churches in some provinces, but evidence of their condition or survival throughout Tang provinces is fragmentary.

In 986 a Syrian monk reported to the Patriarch:

Christianity is extinct in China; the native Christians have perished in one way or another; the church has been destroyed and there is only one Christian left in the land. ( Keung, Ching Feng, p. 235)

Nestorianism was particularly active in Asia during the twelfth century, being a state religion of Kidans in the times of Elyui Dashi. It was also one of the widespread religions in the empire of Ghenghis Khan.

Under the emperors of the Yuan Dynasty, Nestorian Christianity once again gained a foothold in China. Marco Polo in the 1200s and other medieval Western writers testify that many Nestorian communities remained in China and Mongolia; however, they clearly were not as vibrant as they had been during Tang times. The policies of the Ming emperors, which centralized Chinese government, again proscribed all foreign influences, and Christianity was forced to go underground once more. The last known monument of Nestorian Christianity in China seems to be one dating to c. 1365 and found near Zhoukoudian in the Fangshan District of Beijing.

The Nestorian church continued to flourish throughout Central Asia well into the fourteenth century among the northern tribes, such as the Uigurs, Turks, and Mongols. However, the record of the closing years of the Nestorians in China is replete with references to necrology, a Chinese-influenced practice not found in classical Christianity.

In 1625 the discovery of the Nestorian Stele in Xian—on which the story of the Nestorian missionaries coming to China was written in both Chinese and Syriac—was significant for Christians in China at the time. It proved that Christianity was part of China’s past and not a recent foreign incursion, giving support to Christians against those who called for the religion to be banned.

Dozens of Jingjiao texts have survived. Some of them are translations of the Scriptures, including the Pentateuch

Source: Nestorian Christianity

Keikyo Syrian Christianity and Japan by Rev Arimasa Kubo

East of the Euphrates: Early Christianity in Asia by T.V. Philip

The Nestorian Missions The Spread of the Gospel in Asia from the X to the XV centuries by James Duncan

History of Nestorian Christianity

Many of them moved fromMesopotamia (now Iraq) to Persia (Iran) in order to have freedom to express their beliefs. In Sassanid Persia, the Nestorians joined forces with early Christian groups who had been deported from the Roman Empire. Persecution by theZoroastrians under Emperor Shapur II (r. 339-79) helped to solidify the pre-Nestorian Christian community there; they declared their independence from other denominations in 424.

The Nestorians arrived in Persia, and by 486 had established themselves among the Sassanid Christians. Their success in proselytizing brought renewed persecution from the Zoroastrian authorities. Soon, due to the missionary activities of churchmen and traders, the Nestorian Church included believers not only in Persia but Egypt, Syria, the Arabian Peninsula,MesopotamiaBactria (now the intersection of AfghanistanPakistan and Tajikistan) and even India. Targets of their missionary work included the Huns.

The Golden Age of the Nestorian Church:

According to the Nestorian Steele, a Persian missionary brought the faith to Tang China in 635 CE. The steele is located in Xi’an, formerly the Tang capital city of Chang’an. Along the way, Nestorianism spread to Turkic, Mongolian and Manchu peoples along the Silk Road. By the ninth century, the belief system had reached Silla Korea, Siberia, and probably even Japan.

Nestorians in Japan

The Hatas were a Syriac tribe who lived originally under Parthian rule in the province of Khotan, which is now in eastern Turkistan. Rather than immigrating to India, as so many other Syriac speaking Christians did, they travelled to China, and then Korea, finally settling on the island nation of Japan. According to Ken Joseph Jr, of the Kyoto Institute, these Christians landed at Sakoshi, near the present city of Himeji in Kyoto prefecture, some 1500 years ago. They erected the first Christian churches long before St. Francis Xavier arrived there in 1549. Later they move to Uzumasa where they erected many other churches. Although they were persecuted by Buddhists in both China and Korea they were granted full freedom in all but name from the time of their arrival in Japan, down to the days of the Empress Suiko.
Under Shotoku, Prince Regent under the Empress Suiko in the Seventh Century, the Hatas were happy indeed since the wise Prince Regent , though himself a Buddhist, granted them full liberty under the provisions of his famous Seventeen-Article Constitution.
In the days of this great Prince Regent the Nestorian church grounds at Kyoto had their own “Well of Israel” attached to a David’s Shrine, and on the well-spring stood a Sacred Tripod symbolizing the Trinity from which a limpid stream flowed. Visitors to Uzumasa can still see a tripod, build in the style of a triangular torii, which marks the exact spot where the original tripod of the Nestorians once stood. These various Nestorian sites have been identified only recently by the writer of this article with the aid of archæology, philology, and the science of folklore. The writer admits, however, that this would have been impossible without the suggestions and hypothesis advanced by the English author, Mrs. E. A. Gordon in her several published works. A study of some historical sources has convinced me that it was a Nestorian, Raca, who directed the first orphan asylum ever established in Japan.
In the days of the Empress Suiko exerted not a little influence on the culture of Japan. It is true that Shotoku may be regarded quite justly as the founder of social work in Japan. It was he who established the Shitennoji Buddhist Temple in Osaka which comprised four separate charitable institutions including the Kyoden-in or a sanctuary of religion, learning and music, The Ryobyo-in or charitable hospital, the Seyaku-in or a charitable dispensary, and the Hiden-in or an asylum for the helpless. To him goes the credit for having been the first to carry on social work on a large scale in Japan, but I believe that it cannot be denied that this work was modeled on the charitable work of the Nestorian church at Uzumasa.
The Bactrian physician, missionary and priest, Milis, visited Japan from Syria in 736. His missionary work was not only to the Syriac Christians living in Japan, helping them renew their work, but also to the whole Japanese nation. Empress Komyo gave the physician an audience in that same year, and immediately thereafter a leper hospital was built at Nara in Kyoto Province. The Empress herself was known to frequent the hospital. It is unknown whether or not the Empress accepted baptism.
It is well established that Syriac Orthodox Christianity, contributed much towards Japanese civilization.

Source: “Syriac Christianity in the Japanese Empire”, The Keikyo Institute

:::

In the Persian Empire, the “East Syrian church” had existed from the Apostolic age. Persian authorities fostered it for political purposes: it was a buttress against the Greco-Roman Empire to the west. The “emigrants” had nothing good to say about Cyril, but the final separation from the Orthodox church took place only after the Muslim conquest (637-640). Extensive missions were launched in Asia, India, Ceylon, Socotra, southwestern Arabia, Turkestan, and farther east in China and Mongolia. A monument at Sian dates their presence to 781. They converted the sister-in-law of Kublai Khan, wife of Hülegü, who conquered Baghdad in 1258. Syriac burial inscriptions in Mongolia bear testimony to their evangelistic zeal, which even gave rise to the story of Prester John. Wherever they went, they retained Syriac as their liturgical language.

Nestorians – History and Cultural Relations http://www.everyculture.com/Africa-Middle-East/Nestorians-History-and-Cultural-Relations.html#ixzz2EOJ9hZtT

The largest Nestorian resource: The Nestorian Suryroyo Syriac Christianity Pages 

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One thought on “Notes and resources on Syriac Christianity and Nestorian Christians in Central and East Asia

  1. […] church and Assyrian Church of the East made many inroads into Japan ( shared here/ here/ and here). Syrian Nestorianism in Japan is hard to avoid historically when it comes to the facts. And with Catholics impacting in positive […]

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