Spread of Christianity in the Middle East
Christianity originated in the Middle East in the 1st century AD and was one of the major religions of the region. Christianity spread rapidly from Jerusalem along major trade routes, encompassing Egypt, North Africa, Syria, Asia Minor, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Southern Europe. The most populous Christian cities included Alexandria, Antioch, Rome, Constantinople (4th century), and Jerusalem (5th century). However, doctrinal disputes in the 4th and 5th centuries provoked conflict in the church. Disagreements on the worship of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary formed the premise of the conflict. As a result, sects such as the Church of the East, Oriental Orthodox Church, and Eastern Orthodox Church were established.