The Christians in Kyrenaia can look back on a long and sometimes proud history in Kyrenaia. The majority of the several thousand members live in the Ilkhanate of Sarepta, where the Dayr is located as well.
The first recorded Christians came to Kyrenaia in 209 C.E., as part of the trade of Arabic-speaking merchants with Kyrenaia. These people, sold as slaves, were soon expended and replaced by less expensive slaves. A century later, shortly before the cessation of the trade with Arabic merchants, a huge load of Christians was delivered, which, at their core, became the nucleus of the Community.
These early Christians were allowed to freely practice their religion despite their status as slaves. More and more of their faith were brought in, although nearly not as many as other kinds of slaves and
Over the centuries, the Community grew to several thousand members over the entire Ilkhanate. The tenets of their faith were transmitted from the few priests captured to their followers and pupils orally, in rare cases, small tidbits were written down. In 833, the first priests were set free and were allowed to study the tenets of their faith from another enslaved priest, as well as several books.
In 1066, the Christian Slaves were set free by the Ilkhan of Sarepta's Decree to Liberate all Slaves (which did not abolish the practice of Slavery, but that is another story). Soon, the Christians began to concentrate in and around the city of Baalbek, where they would eventually lay the foundations of their organization and faith.
In 1102, a group of former slaves collected money among their number and moved to Sabrata, in the Ilkhanate of Fenchu, where they founded the Mahatahima, a mission station, which separated from the Dayr by ca. 1190 both in spirit and in deed.
The group participated actively in the Fenchu-Rebellion, some even speculate, that they were one of the causes, as, in 1396, they managed to convert Aaron-Ilkhan. In 1406, with the collapse of the Fenchu-Rebellion and a branch line of Aaron's house taking hold of the Ilkhanate by 1410, the newly-minted Adil-Ilkhan secured his power and had all people associated with the rebels executed - which included a major part of the Mahatahima, which effectively ceased to exist, including their Metropolitan Qurjaqos Alralmuqs.
While there are still Christians in the Ilkhanate of Fenchu, the Dayr represents their interests nowadays.
The PatriarchThe Patriarch is the leader of the Kyrenaian Christian Community, both in political and spiritual questions.
The DayrThe Dayr is the only Christian Monastery in Kyrenaia, located near Baalbek. It serves as the political, religious and cultural centre of the Christians in Kyrenaia. It has a staff of
Relationship to the Catholic Church
This relationship to the Catholic Church came into spotlight soon after the State Visit of Prince Damir ibn-Razia and Princess Aurelia bint-Damir to Lux Pulchrae, in which
- Divinity of Christ: Unlike the Catholic Church, where Jesus is the Son of God and is given divine Character, Kyrenaian Christians see Jesus as a unique agent of God without him being divine himself.
- Free Will and Determinism: On that, Kyrenaian Christians sat themselves in the middle: God foreordained a few things, which, according to him, needed to happen, while he was also working with humans, rationally decided, what would happen aside from these pre-determined events.
- Women: Women of faith were and are important to the Christians, as . However, as the rules currently stand, a woman ascending into Priesthood would be impossible. The Convent counts sixty-three nuns in active service.
- Saint Ichthys (nom de guerre):
- Slavery: Following their liberation in 1066, the Christians in the Ilkhanate of Sarepta promised hell and fury to everyone trying to enslave one of them - the Ilkhan, seeing that not as a threat, but as a declaration of intent, made it into law. No Christian should be enslaved in his Lands, as long as two other Christians could testify about his faith. However, that became a two-way-street as the Ilkhan also forbade every Christian to own slaves. The law, while still in effect, became moot with the abolishment of slavery in 1899.
- Calibacy: Much like other Christian Denominations, the Kyrenaian Christians practice calibacy as a voluntary sign of devotion, not only by priests, but also by laypeople.
The Milishia Alsalib
The Milishia Alsalib is a radical group of Christians, which officially serves as the Patriarch's equivalent of the Order of the Tabardariyya. In reality, they are the militant arm of the Christians, comprised of a few dozen members.
Rumours have it, that they are armed despite that being illegal.
- Adil Btryrik, their Patriarch.