16 June 2004

the church of east

"By the year 800 there were more Christians east of Damascus than there were west of that city..." So begins the 1984 book, By Foot to China: Mission of The Church of the East, to 1400 written by John M. L. Young, Chairman of the Japan Presbyterian Mission (also available here in PDF).

The Church of the East is a distinct branch of the Christian church, neither Western nor Byzantine, claiming an independent patriarchate since 424. By the early 600s, missionaries had been sent to China. Young's book is an interesting narrative study of some of this early expansion of the church in Asia.