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In the early centuries the Christians in the Persian and the Roman Empires were subject to religious persecutions, so the Church spread its wings without the help of any of the imperial authorities. After the Roman Emperor accepted Christianity in 315, the church in Rome was spared from atrocities, but from then onwards the Persian rulers adopted a much more hostile attitude towards those Christians in Persia as they were considered as agents of the former. It was during this period that the office of the Great Metropolitan, which later came to be known as the Catholicate of East, was established in Persia. As the enmity between the empires increased, the leaders of the Church in Persia found it nearly impossible to continue ecclesiastical commune with the universal Church. Meanwhile some in the Catholicate of Persia found it more convenient to adopt the Nestorian Christology which was earlier officially rejected by the universal Christian councils for its remarks on the Mother of God; thus they tried to convince the Persian rulers that they distance themselves from the mother Church and the Roman (Byzantine) Empire. By this act, the Christians in Persia who accepted Nestorian Christology could easily win the favour of the Persian rulers while those of non-Nestorian faith suffered severe persecution. As the office of the Catholicate fell into heresy, the Orthodox faithful were wandering in wilderness. The Catholicos of Seleucia meanwhile took over the title 'Patriarch', thus trying to be equal in status with the Patriarch of Antioch.
Even though the Church in Persia had officially accepted Nestorius as a Church father, a substantial group of Christians in Mosul, Niniveh and Tigris (Tagrit) continued to keep their loyalty to the old faith. A few decades later the Orthodox wing of the Church in Persia that continued to be under the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch & all the East, got reorganized under St. Ya`qub Burdono and installed St. Ahudemmeh as 'The Great Metropolitan of the East', but he too found it difficult to discharge his ecclesiastical duties smoothly. However by the 7th century the situation changed for better which finally led to the formation of an office of the 'Maphrianate of the East’ at Tigrit (Tagrit).
In AD 629, Patriarch of Antioch and the East elevated St. Marutha (Marooso) as the first MAPHRIYONO OF THE EAST for the rejuvenated Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite) Church in Persia. Later the center of the Maphrianate was shifted to St. Mathew’s Dayro in the city of Mosul in Iraq and continued there until the middle of the 19th century.
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