Christianity in Central Asia: The Jesuit mission in Kyrgyzstan

Issue 1902

15 February 2019

Christianity on the Silk Road

Although Christianity was born in Asia – and until the Arab conquests of the seventh century the center of Christianity remained in Asia – today it is more commonly considered a continent that is characterized by Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. When it comes to religions few people know that, even after Muslims had conquered its places of origin, Christianity spread throughout the territory between Mesopotamia and the Pacific, spanning the whole Eurasian continent. Though there is evidence of Greek-based Christianity in Central Asia in the first centuries AD, the principal credit for the dissemination of Christianity belongs to the Church for a long time known as “Nestorian,” whose followers call themselves the “Apostolic (or Assyrian) Church of the East.”

This is probably the least known and certainly the smallest of the Christian churches in this region although it goes back to communities present in Mesopotamia in the first century, specifically in the Parthian Empire,

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