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date: 27 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

For a long time, the development of Christian communities within the Sasanian and early Islamic Empires was either neglected or described in terms of a history of persecution and antagonism within a Zoroastrian or Islamic state. Only recently has the perception of the extent of Christianization, the interaction of religious communities, and the importance of Christians within these societies and their upper echelons changed dramatically. The narrative of permanent conflict and oppression of Christian faith has given way to the acknowledgment of a predominant Christian population in the territory of modern Iraq and western Iran in the fifth through seventh centuries. One argument in this context is the growing body of material evidence for Christian churches and images as well as burials, which are expressions of respected and self-assured Christian communities.

Keywords: Eastern Christianity, Sasanian Empire, Arsacids, Adiabene, Babylonia, Iran, Ctesiphon, Hira, missionaries

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