Religions in West Asia


Jewish Roman War (66-132 CE)

66 CE - 132 CE

66 CE: Rebellion against the Romans in Jerusalem begins, first Jewish Roman War.
-Destruction of the Jewish temple signifies Jerusalem’s fall to the Romans in 70 CE
115 CE: The Kitos War began, the second installment in the Jewish Roman War.
132 CE: Simon Bar Kohkba, a jewish leader leads the third revolt of the Jewish

Rome recovers Jerusalem (135 CE)

135 CE

135 CE: Rome recovers Jerusalem and Jews are expelled from the city.

Mishnah (200)


The standardization of the Jewish oral law, is edited by Judah haNasi in the land of Israel.

New Legislation (315-337)

315 - 337

-Roman Emperor Constantine I enacts new restrictive legislature
-Conversion of Christians to Judaism is outlawed, and congregations for religious services are cut

Jewish Revolt (351-352)

351 - 352

Jews revolt against Emperor Constantine I

End of Exile (438)


-Empress Eudocia removes the ban on Jews' praying at the Temple site

King of Himyarite Kingdom converts to Judaism (500-523)

500 - 523

-Modern Yemen
-Upgrades the Yemenese Jewish center
-Yosef Dhu Nuwas' kingdom falls in a war against Axum and the Christians.

Revolt against Heraclius (610-628)

610 - 628

Jews of Galilee
-led by Benjamin of Tiberias
-gains autonomy in Jerusalem
-joint military campaign with ally Sassanid Empire under Khosrau II and Jewish militias from Persia

Jews immigrate to Palestine (1141)


-Yehuda Halevi issues that Jews immigrate to Palestine
-He then dies in Jerusalem

Jews move to Europe (1200-1655)

1200 - 1655

All Muslims and Jews expelled from Spain (1492)


-200,000 Jews are expelled from Spain
-Expelled Jews relocate to the Netherlands, Turkey, Arab lands, and Judea;
-some eventually go to South and Central America.
-Most go to Poland

Jewish Massacre (1648-1655)

1648 - 1655

-The Ukrainian Cossack Bohdan Chmielnicki leads a massacre of Polish Jews
-65,000 Jews dies

Aliyah to Palestine (1700-1750)

1700 - 1750

-Rabbi Judah HeHasid makes Aliyah to Palestine
-Brings hundreds of followers

Napoleon tries to conquer Jerusalem (1799)


-French troops in Palestine surrounding the city of Acre
-Napoleon prepared a Proclamation requesting Asian and African Jews to help him conquer Jerusalem
-Issue was never passed because he is unable to conquer Acre.

Orthodox Judaism (1820-1860)

1820 - 1860

-Traditionalist movements
-Resisted the influences of modernization that came from the European emancipation and Enlightenment movements
-Interprets and applies laws from the Torah

Defense of Warsaw (1831)


-Jewish militias take defense against Russians

Conservative Judaism (Mid 19th Century)


-Modern stream of Ashkenazi Judaism

Reform Judaism (Mid 19th Century)


-Non Orthodox
-Loose interpretation of the Torah
-More liberal religious positions

The First Aliyah (1882-1903)

1882 - 1903

-A major wave of Jewish immigration to establish a homeland in the land of Palestine

Der Judenstaat


-Book written by Theodore Herzl
-Advocating the creation of a free and independent Jewish state in the land of Israel

Nebi Musa riots (April 4-7, 1920)


-Named after the Nebi Musa festival
-Took place in the Old City of Jerusalem
-5 Jews killed and over 200 wounded
-In reaction to the Balfour Decleration of 1917

The Holocaust (1939-1945)

1939 - 1945

Operation Magic Carpet (1948-1949)

1948 - 1949

-More than 250,000 Holocaust survivors make their way to Israel

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (1948-Present)

1948 - Present

Arab-Israeli War (1948)


-Syria, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon and Egypt invade Israel hours after its creation
-Led by Nasser
-Israel is able to conquer more territory

State of Israel (May 14, 1948)


-Hours before the British Mandate is due to expire

The Six-Day War (June 5-10, 1967)


-Israel launches a strike on Egypt, Syria, and Jordan
-Israeli air force destroys most of the Arab air forces
-Defeat Arab forces and capture the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights.

Yom Kippur War (October 6-24, 1973)


-Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur
-Israel is able to recaptured lost territory and push in Egypt and Syria

The Lebanon War (1982)


-Israel invades Lebanon to push out the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

Oslo Accords (1993)


-Israel and the PLO sign
-Framework that leads to the resolution of the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict

Withdraws from the Gaza Strip (2005)


-Israeli government withdraws military and settlers

Hezbollah cross border raid (July-August 2006)


-Military conflict in Northern Lebanon and Israel
-34 days of fighting
-2,000 Lebanese and 159 Israelis were killed

Operation Cast Lead (2008)


-Against Hamas
-Israel wanted to stop rocket fire into Israel and weapons smuggling into the Gaza strip.


Life of Jesus of Nazareth (7BCE-36CE)

7 BCE - 31 CE

-Begins ministry in 29 CE in Galilee
-Enters Jerusalem on a donkey and “cleanses the temple” in 31 CE
-To many signifies his entrance on a donkey signifies his humility
-Sentenced to death and crucified later that year

First of St. Paul's missionary trips (48-50)

48 CE - 50 CE

-St. Paul, who at a young age (12) went to Jerusalem and was educated by Rabbi Gamaliel (Sanhedrin), takes a ship to Cyprus (48 CE) and begins converting people into the Christian faith, then to goes Greece (50 CE)

-Was one of the many Christians executed by Nero somewhere between 60 CE and 70 CE

Council of Jerusalem (50-62)

50 CE - 62 CE

-Early Christian council
-Decided that Gentile converts to Christianity were not obligated to keep most of the Mosaic law, including the rules concerning circumcision of males
-Retain the prohibitions on eating blood, meat containing blood, and meat of animals not properly slain, and on fornication and idolatry

Earliest Gospel (80)

80 CE

-Mark is typically said to be written first in 55 CE
-Matthew also recorded around this time
-Luke in 63 CE
-John (year unknown)

Armenian Apostolic Church (301)


Armenian Catholic Church (1742)

First Ecumenical Council - Council of Nicaea (325)


-Council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea (present-day Turkey) by the Roman Emperor Constantine I.
-This first ecumenical council was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.
-Fixes Easter date, confirms primacy of the sees of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, and grants the See of Jerusalem a position of honor.

Byzantine Empire (330-1453)

330 - 1453

Constantinople is founded (330)


-Constantine (Roman emperor) founds the new capital of the Roman Empire on the existing site of the ancient Greek city Byzantium
-Byzantium was renamed Constantinople and it would become the capital of the Byzantine Empire
-Modern day Turkey

Hagia Sophia (360)

360 CE

-Hagia Sophia was completed (Istanbul, Turkey) under the rule of Emperor Constanius
-532 Destroyed in the Nika riots
-537 Second church completed
-1453 Sultan Mehmed took control over the area because he wanted to convert the region to Islam. Change the Hagia Sophia to a mosque

Roman Empire becomes Catholic (380)


Second Ecumenical Council - Council of Constantinople (381)


-Reaffirms/revises the Nicene Creed repudiating Arianism (Egypt) and Macedonianism

Latin translation of the Bible completed (405)


-St Jerome, in Bethlehem, completes the Latin translation of the Bible, which later becomes known as the Vulgate
-Commissioned by Pope Damasus I
-The definitive and officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible in the Roman Catholic Church

Maronite Church (410)



Third Ecumenical Council - Council of Ephesus (431)


Held as a result of the controversial teachings of Nestorius, archbishop of Constantinople.
-Repudiates Nestorianism, proclaims the Virgin Mary as the Theotokos ("Birth-giver to God", "God-bearer", "Mother of God"), repudiates Pelagianism, and again reaffirmes the Nicene Creed.

Fourth Ecumenical Council - Council of Chalcedon (451)


-Rejects the Eutychian doctrine of monophysitism
-Adopts the Chalcedonian Creed
-Elevates of the bishoprics of Constantinople and Jerusalem to the status of patriarchates

Church of Cyprus (431)


Independence - 431
Recognition - 478

Georgian Orthodox Church (486)


Fifth Ecumenical Council - Second Council of Constantinople (553)


-Repudiates the Three Chapters (Orthodox Church of Syria/Egypt) as Nestorian and condemns Origen of Alexandria.

Sixth Ecumenical Council - Third Council of Constantinople (680-681)

680 - 681

-Rejects Monothelitism and Monoenergism in Armenia/Syria

Seventh Ecumenical Council - Second Council of Nicaea (787)


-Restores the veneration of icons and denounces iconoclasm.

Great Schism between East and West (1054)


First Crusade (1096-1099)

1096 - 1099

1098 Crusaders take Antioch from Turks
1099 Crusaders recapture Jerusalem from Turks

The Maronites were re-discovered in the mountains near Tripoli, Lebanon. Raymond later returned to besiege Tripoli after his conquest of Jerusalem and relations between the Maronites and European Christianity were re-established.

Second Crusade (1145-1149)

1145 - 1149

Third Crusade (1189-1192)

1189 - 1192

Fourth Crusade (1199-1204)

1199 - 1204

Siege of Constantinople

Fifth Crusade (1217-1221)

1217 - 1221

Sixth Crusade (1228-1229)

1228 - 1229

First Council of Lyon (1245)


Seventh Crusade (1248-1254)

1248 - 1254

Eighth Crusade (1270-1272)

1270 - 1272

Council of Florence (1431-1445)

1431 - 1445

Council of Florence attempts to reunite East and West

Independence of Russian Orthodox Church (1448)


Independence of Russian Orthodox Church from the Church of Constantinople.

Constantinople conquered by the Ottoman Turks (1453)


-1453 Sultan Mehmed II took control over the area because he wanted to convert the region to Islam. Change the Hagia Sophia to a mosque

Maronites return to Lebanon (1516-1840)

1516 - 1840

-The Maronites started returning to southern Mount Lebanon, where they had lived before they were almost exterminated by the Mamelukes in 1307. Thus, the historic Keserwan and all the Druze mountains were repopulated. It was this love and affection between the Maronites and Druze that helped establish the Lebanese identity.

Start of migration of Capuchins and Jesuits to Lebanon (1626)


France declared it would protect Catholics within Ottoman Empire (1638)


Syriac Catholic Church (1662)


Maronite farmer uprising against Sheikhs (1858)


-Farmers of the predominantly Maronite Keserwan District staged an uprising against their Sheikhs and landlords, the Khazen family, the Maronite Patriarch, conscious of Karam's influence and his loyalty to the Church, appealed to Karam to save the Sheikhs and restore peace to the area

Mutual anathemas between Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches lifted (1965)


Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras I nullified the anathemas of 1054, although this nullification of measures taken against a few individuals was essentially a goodwill gesture and did not constitute any sort of reunion between churches

Pope John Paul II visits Lebanon (1997)


-Pope John Paul II visited Lebanon to give hope to Lebanese Catholics.


Life of Muhammad (570-632)

570 - 632

-Muhammad was born in Mecca (Saudi Arabia)

Muhammad travels to Medina (622)


-Muhammad travels to Yathrib (Medina) and builds the first Muslim community and gradually gathers more and more people to his side

Mecca becomes the Holy City (630)


-Mecca becomes the holy city of Islam and soon all Arabia accepts the new religion

Rashidun Caliphate (632-661)

632 - 661

-Brings Arab conquest of Persia, Egypt, Iraq, bringing Islam into those regions.

Qur'an written down (650)


-Caliph Uthman has the standard copy of the Qur’an written down


656 - 827

Capital is moved to Damascus (661)


-Capital is moved to Damascus (Syria)

Umayyad Caliphate (661-750)

661 - 750

Ali is assassinated (661)


-Ali (Rashidun Caliphate) is assassinated and Mu’awiya becomes the fifth Muslim caliph, establishing the Umayyad dynasty
-The emergence of the Shi’a party creates a major schism within Islam

Emergence of Shi'a party (661)


-Creates major schism within Islam

Split between Sunni and Shiites starts to grow (680)


-After death of Muawiya I (first caliph of Umayyad Caliphate)

Dome of the Rock (691)


-The Dome of the Rock is completed as a Muslim shrine on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Great Mosque of Damascus (706)


-Great Mosque of Damascus (Syria)
-It is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. It is considered by some Muslims to be the fourth-holiest place in Islam.

Abbasid Caliphate (750-1258)

750 - 1258

Steady decline of Muslim rule over Persian Empire (750)


Battle of Zab (750)


-Umayyad Caliphate is defeated at the Battle of Zab (Turkey/Iraq)
-Spelled the end of the Umayyad Caliphate and the rise of the Abbasids

Capital moved to Baghdad (762)


Ismailis become a separate Shi'a sect (800)


-The Ismailis become a separate Shi’a sect when they dispute the succession after the death of the sixth imam
-Followers of Shia Islam believe the caliph should be an imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt (Muhammad’s purified progeny)

Mongol invasion (1206-1258)

1206 - 1258

Siege of Baghdad (1258)


Reign of Osman (1281-1324)

1281 - 1324

Ottoman Empire expands into Bursa, Iznik and move into Europe (mid 1300s)


Ottoman Empire expands into the Balkans (late 1300s)


Isma'il becomes the Shah of Persia (1501)


Isma'il was a Twelver Shi'ite. They believe that there are 12 imams, and that God hid an imam who is the savior of mankind. Isma'il claimed to be this imam and made Persia's official religion Twelver Shi'ism

Ottomans conquer Syria and Egypt (1516)


Ottomans take control over Mecca and Medina (1517)


Fall of the Ottoman Empire begins (1600)


Venetians, Habsburgs, and Russians divide Ottoman land (1600-1700)

1600 - 1700

Egypt becomes independent of the Ottomans (1805)


Greece gains independence from Ottomans (1830)


Non-Islamic citizens of the Ottoman empire are granted equality (1850)


Balkan states become independent from Ottoman rule (1878)


Last decade of Ottoman rule (1908-1918)

1908 - 1918

Founding of Islamic Union (1912)


Fall of the Ottoman, land divided. (1918)


Muslim Brothers founded in Egypt (1928)


Jamaat-i Islami reform movement founded in present day Pakistan (1941)


Islam spreads to the west (1945-1960)

1945 - 1960

Pakistan splits from India and becomes an Islamic nation (1947)


Shah is overthrown in Iran, Shi'a principles implemented (1979)


First Intifada (1987)

1987 - 1991

Suicide bombings throughout the Middle East (1990s-Present Day)

1990 - 2012

China sells nuclear secrets to Iran (1995)


Taliban rises to power in Afghanistan (late 1990s)


Second Intifada

2000 - 2005

Egyptian Revolution

2011 - 2013

Syrian Revolution

2011 - 2013