Nestorian grave  stone
Frunze, Kirghistan

A Christian gravestone in Frunze, Kirghistan from 8-13th century.  The Eastern church was widespread and influential. Roman Catholicism has  attempted to down play this size and influence by labelling the Eastern  Christians as Nestorians. Nestorius (circa. 382-451 AD), Archbishop of  Constantinople, was deposed in 431 AD following the Council of Ephesus. He was  driven from the Byzantine empire and his followers persecuted. He believed that  Christ had divine and human natures but that these natures did not join to form  a single personality. He therefore rejected the Catholic belief that Mary was  the "mother of God" because he believed that Jesus' divine nature was derived  from God and not Mary, as Jesus was born as a man.
In Kirghiztan two Christian cemeteries were discovered at Semiryechensk, mute  testimony to this once-flourishing church. Inscriptions on the tombstones were  written both in Syriac and Turkish. There lay, side by side, 'Terim the  Chinese', 'Banus the Uigurian', 'Sazik the Indian', 'Kiamata of Kashgar', 'Tatt  the Mongol', and 'Shah Malison of George of Tus'. People from China, India, East  and West Turkestan, Mongolia, manchuria, Siberia and Persia. The inscriptions  mentioned their occupations: Zuma, priest, general and famous amir; Shliha the  celebrated commentator and teacher, who illuminated all the monasteries with  light; Pesoha the renowned exegetist and preacher; the charming maiden Julia,  the betrothed of the bishop Johanan; Sabrisho, the archdeacon, the blessed old  man and the perfect priest. "This is the grave of Chorepiscopus Ama. In the year  1566, (or 1255 according to our time), he departed from this world in the month  of July on Sabbath. May our Lord unite his spirit with those of the pious and  upright. Amen"
Mingana, Bulletin of the John  Rylands Library, Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 39-42. Yohannon, Death of a Nation, p. 102.  See also Aziz Atiya, Eastern Christianity, pp. 260, 261. Stewart, Nestorian  Missionary Enterprise, pp.  198-213.





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