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Posted by / 26-Jan-2017 14:34

Nabateans were possibly among the first Arab tribes to arrive to the Southern Levant in the very late first millennium BC.

The Nabataeans initially adopted pagan beliefs, but they became Christians by the time of the Byzantine period around the 4th century.

It is a common agreement that after the rapid expansion of Islam from the 7th century onward, many Christians chose not to convert to Islam.

Many scholars and intellectuals like Edward Said believed Christians in the Arab world have made significant contributions to the Arab civilization since the 7th century AD and still do.

Beirut, Cairo, Damascus and Aleppo were the main centers of the renaissance and this led to the establishment of schools, universities, Arab theater and printing presses.

It also led to the renewal of literary, linguistic and poetic distinctiveness.

Their lands were divided between the new Qahtanite Arab tribal kingdoms of the Byzantine vassals, the Ghassanids and the Himyarite Kingdom, the Kindah in North Arabia.

Many are descended from ancient Arab Christian clans that did not convert to Islam, such as the Kahlani Qahtanite tribes of Yemen (i.e., Ghassanids, and Banu Judham) who settled in Transjordan and Syria, as well as Arabized Christians, such as Melkites and Antiochian Greek Christians.

Arab Christians, forming Greek Orthodox and Latin Christian communities, are estimated to be 520,000 in Israel and around 50,000 in Palestine.

The first Arab tribes to adopt Christianity were likely Nabataeans and Ghassanids.

During the fifth and sixth centuries, the Ghassanids, who adopted Monophysitism, formed one of the most powerful confederations allied to Christian Byzantium, being a buffer against the pagan tribes of Arabia.

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It originally belonged to the Church of the East, an ancient Nestorian branch of Eastern Christianity in the Middle East. Arab Christians are Indigenous peoples of Western Asia, with a presence there predating the seventh-century Early Muslim conquests in the Fertile Crescent.

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