Christianity in Asia has its roots in the very inception of Christianity, which originated from the life and teachings of Jesus in 1st century Roman Judea. Christianity then spread through the missionary work of his apostles, first in the Levant and taking roots in the major cities such as Jerusalem and Antioch. According to tradition, further eastward expansion occurred via the preaching of Thomas the Apostle, who established Christianity in the Parthian Empire (Iran) and India. The very First Ecumenical Council was held in the city of Nicaea in Asia Minor (325). The first nations to adopt Christianity as a state religion were Armenia in 301 and Georgia in 327. By the 4th century, Christianity became the dominant religion in all Asian provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire.

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  • Christianity in Asia has its roots in the very inception of Christianity, which originated from the life and teachings of Jesus in 1st century Roman Judea. Christianity then spread through the missionary work of his apostles, first in the Levant and taking roots in the major cities such as Jerusalem and Antioch. According to tradition, further eastward expansion occurred via the preaching of Thomas the Apostle, who established Christianity in the Parthian Empire (Iran) and India. The very First Ecumenical Council was held in the city of Nicaea in Asia Minor (325). The first nations to adopt Christianity as a state religion were Armenia in 301 and Georgia in 327. By the 4th century, Christianity became the dominant religion in all Asian provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire. After the First Council of Ephesus in 431 and the Nestorian Schism, the Nestorian Christianity developed. Nestorians began converting Mongols around the 7th century, and Nestorian Christianity was probably introduced into China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Mongols tended to be tolerant of multiple religions, with several Mongol tribes being primarily Christian, and under the leadership of Genghis Khan's grandson, the great khan Möngke, Christianity was a small religious influence of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. The Fourth Ecumenical Council was held in Asian city of Chalcedon (451). Christological controversies and disputes that surrounded the Council and its aftermath gradually resulted in division between pro-Chalcedonian (Eastern Orthodox) and anti-Chalcedonian (Oriental Orthodox) Christianity. Father Jordanus Catalani, a French Dominican missionary, followed in 1321-22. He reported to Rome, apparently from somewhere on the west coast of India, that he had given Christian burial to four martyred monks. Jordanus is known for his 1329 "Mirabilia" describing the marvels of the East: he furnished the best account of Indian regions and the Christians, the products, climate, manners, customs, fauna and flori given by any European in the Middle Ages - superior even to Marco Polo's.The Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon or Kollam is the first Catholic diocese in Asia, India in the state of Kerala. First erected on 9 August 1329 and re-erected on 1 September 1886.In 1329 Pope John XXII (in captivity at Avignon) erected Quilon as the first Diocese in the whole of Indies as suffragan to the Archdiocese of Sultany in Persia through the decree "Romanus Pontifix" dated 9 August 1329. By a separate Bull "Venerabili Fratri Jordano", the same Pope, on 21 August 1329 appointed the French Dominican friar Jordanus Catalani de Severac as the first Bishop of Quilon. (Copies of the Orders and the related letters issued by Pope John XXII to Bishop Jordanus Catalani and to the diocese of Quilon are documented and preserved in the diocesan archives). Around that same time, there was some effort to reunite Eastern and Western Christianity. There were also numerous missionary efforts from Europe to Asia, primarily by Franciscan, Dominican, or Jesuit missionaries. In the 16th century, Spain began to convert Filipinos. In the 18th century, Catholicism developed more or less independently in Korea. At present, Christianity continues to be the majority religion in the Philippines, East Timor, Armenia, Georgia, Cyprus and Russia. It has significant minority populations in South Korea, Taiwan, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Israel, Palestine (including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and several other countries in Asia with a total Christian population of more than 295 million. (en)
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  • Christianity in Asia has its roots in the very inception of Christianity, which originated from the life and teachings of Jesus in 1st century Roman Judea. Christianity then spread through the missionary work of his apostles, first in the Levant and taking roots in the major cities such as Jerusalem and Antioch. According to tradition, further eastward expansion occurred via the preaching of Thomas the Apostle, who established Christianity in the Parthian Empire (Iran) and India. The very First Ecumenical Council was held in the city of Nicaea in Asia Minor (325). The first nations to adopt Christianity as a state religion were Armenia in 301 and Georgia in 327. By the 4th century, Christianity became the dominant religion in all Asian provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire. (en)
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  • Christianity in Asia (en)
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