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When Saint Peter preaches to the people of Jerusalem, they ask, "And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Arab Christians are thus one of the oldest Christian communities.The first mention of Christianity in Arabia occurs in the New Testament as the Apostle Paul refers to his journey in Arabia following his conversion (Galatians 1: 15-17).The leader of the Arabs of Najran during the period of persecution, al-Ḥārith, was canonized by the Catholic Church as Arethas.Some modern scholars suggest that Philip the Arab was the first Christian emperor of Rome.
The Nabataeans initially adopted pagan beliefs, but they became Christians by the time of the Byzantine period around the 4th century.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.There were many Arab tribes which adhered to Christianity beginning with the 1st century, including the Nabateans and the Ghassanids.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.As Muslim army commanders expanded their empire and attacked countries in Asia, North Africa and southern Europe, they would offer three conditions to their enemies: convert to Islam, or pay jizyah (tax) every year, or face war to death.