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It is not known when or how the first Bedouin bishop died. There was a double series of successors – as bishop of Parembole and as sheik of the Arabs – and the list of these successors is long and impressive. It was sheik Terebon II, the great-grandson of Aspebet-Peter, who told the story of his tribe to Cyrille of Scythopolis.

The merciless winds of the desert finally finished by burying the diocese of the Christian Bedouins in the sand. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Sarrasin hordes devastated Phoenicia, Syria and Palestine. After four successive, bloody raids, all traces of the Bedouin diocese had vanished by 636 A.D.

At a time when the Church is seeking new facts about its past, it is fitting to recall the magnificent springtime of the Judaean desert. The noble figure of the sheik-bishop, Aspebet-Peter, will never be erased from our minds.

What a marvelous story lies behind those simple words which Aspebet affixed under the Acts of the Council of Ephesus so long ago: Petros episcopos Parembolon – Peter, Bishop of Parembole!

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Tags: Holy Land Christianity Pilgrimage/pilgrims