Persia is considered by some to have been briefly officially Christian.Khosrau I married a Christian wife, and his son Nushizad was also a Christian.However, a quite different Semitic Christian culture developed on the eastern borders of the Roman Empire and in Persia.Syriac Christianity owed much to preexistent Jewish communities and the Aramaic language.In his tent he was attended by a Christian bishop, probably Mar Aba I, and to this bishop he confessed his sincere repentance for having taken up arms against his father, an act which, he was convinced, could never win the approval of Heaven.Having professed himself a Christian he died, and the rebellion was quickly put down.Christians were feared as a subversive and possibly disloyal minority.In the early 5th century official persecution increased once more.
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However, from the reign of Hormizd III (457–459) serious persecutions grew less frequent and the church began to achieve recognised status.
Through the Battle of Avarayr and the out coming treaty for example, the empire's large amount of Armenian subjects gained the official right to profess Eastern Christianity freely.
Many members of the larger, older churches belong to minority ethnic groups – the Armenians – and Assyrians having their own distinctive culture and language.
The members of the newer, smaller churches are drawn both from the traditionally Christian ethnic minorities and converts from non-Christian background.
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Many old churches remain in Iran from the early days of Christianity. Mary) in northwestern Iran, for example, is considered by some historians to be the second oldest church in Christendom after the Church of Bethlehem in the West Bank.