Member of a Christian sect that originated in Asia Minor and Syria in the 5th century AD, inspired by the views of Nestorius. Nestorians stressed the independence of Christ's divine and human natures. Nestorian scholars played a prominent role in the formation of Arab culture after the Arab conquest of Persia; Nestorianism also spread to India, China, Egypt, and Central Asia, where certain tribes were almost entirely converted. Today the Nestorians are represented by the Church of the East, or Persian church, usually referred to in the West as the Assyrian or Nestorian church. Most of its members, who number more than 200,000, live in Iraq, Syria, and Iran.
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