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The Past

2,000 - 200 years ago
Bet Mazunaye

The name given in Nestorian ecclesiastical sources to the area of the UAE and Oman, called Mazun in Sasanian and some early Islamic geographical sources. Bet Mazunaye was probably evangelised in the mid-fourth century, perhaps by a monk called Jonah. In 424 the region's bishop, named Yohannon, participated in a synod held in Iraq at which the independence of the Nestorian church from its parent church in Antioch (Syria) was proclaimed and ratified. Bishops from Bet Mazunaye are later recorded at synods held in Seleucia-Ctesiphon, the Sasanian capital in Iraq, in 544, 576 and 676. By this time, however, the Nestorian Christians of Bet Mazunaye had begun converting to Islam and the acts of the synods of the Nestorian church make no more mention of bishops from the region.

Archaeological evidence of Nestorian Christianity in the Emirates has been found on Sir Bani Yas, where the remains of a monastery have been excavated.

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