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Synod of Beth Lapat

The Synod of Beth Lapat was a council of the Church of the East, held in 484 under the leadership of Catholicos Bar Sauma in the Persian city of Gondishapur, the Syriac language Bēth Lapaṭ. It can be regarded as the birth of the Nestorian Church of Persia which eventually seceded from the rest of the Church of the East in 604 rejecting reforms introduced by Babai the Great. The most significant result of the synod was the church's official adoption of the doctrine of Nestorianism. Other decisions made at the council included a disavowal of clerical celibacy. This disavowal became the distinguishing feature of Monasticism in the Nestorian Church of Persia, distinguishing it from the rest of the Church of the East.

The adoption of Nestorius' teaching, who had been condemned at the First Council of Ephesus in 431, effectively separated the Church of the East from the Byzantine church. The decisions were clearly aimed at pleasing the Zoroastrian Persian kings, who were at constant war with the now Christian Byzantine Empire: the previous pro-Byzantine Catholicos Babowai had been executed, and the Persians had given protection to Nestorian refugees since 462. Zoroastrians viewed family life sacred and abhorred the monastic movement of the Christians. For these reasons critics came to refer to the Nestorians who had disavowed clerical celibacy as the Nestorian Church of Persia.

The decision did not improve the Persian state policy against the church. Some members of the church left and joined the Miaphysite Churches.

See alsoEdit

SourcesEdit

  • Chabot, Jean-Baptiste (1902). Synodicon orientale ou recueil de synodes nestoriens (PDF). Paris: Imprimerie Nationale.
  • Meyendorff, John (1989). Imperial unity and Christian divisions: The Church 450-680 A.D. The Church in history. 2. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.
  • Wigram, William Ainger (1910). An Introduction to the History of the Assyrian Church or The Church of the Sassanid Persian Empire 100-640 A.D. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.