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A member of the Nestorian Church, a sect of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Nestorians followed the teaching of the controversial Syrian Nestorius (died c.451), who was appointed Bishop of Constantinople in 428 and exiled to Egypt in 431. He taught that Jesus Christ was a conjunction of two distinct persons, one divine and the other human, in whom the human and the divine were indivisible. The implication of this doctrine was that Mary was not the mother of God but simply of Jesus the man. This attack on the popular cult of the Virgin Mary led Nestorius' followers to establish a breakaway church in Edessa. They were expelled in 489 and settled in Persia until they were almost completely wiped out by the 14th-century Mongol invasions. A few Nestorian communities survived, mainly in Kurdistan. Missionaries had established other groups as far away as Sri Lanka and China. In 1551 some Nestorians joined the Roman Catholic Church and became Chaldeans. A small group joined the Russian Orthodox Church in 1898.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — World History.

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