The king who had undertaken the war of 440, Yazdgerd II, showed himself to be increasingly hostile to Christians in his kingdom as his reign progressed. In 449, urged on by his minister Mihr-Narses, and encouraged by the Suanian prince Varazva³an, he required that the Armenians embrace Zoroastrianism. See Chaumont 1987: 430, Rist 1996: 34-6. Cf. E³ishe 15-27/69-80.

´azar, 42-3/78-9: (From a speech of Varazva³an, a pro-Persian Armenian, to Yazdgerd II.) And first and foremost, how suitable and productive is the great country of Armenia, and likewise Georgia (Iberia) and Albania. Merely look at the advantages which you receive from those countries. But (to) what is significant and urgent, namely the salvation of so many lost souls, you pay no attention nor do you concern yourself with it. You do not realise this – that you will have to give a reckoning to the gods for such a great number of persons. For if you care about the salvation of so many souls, know that their welfare and prosperity, which would come about, would bring more profit and advantage to you than all the present prosperity of the kingdom which you possess. And I see further profit and very great and significant advantages in this matter for this country of the Aryans (Persia). Indeed you yourself, and all the Aryans, know (p.43) how great and profitable is Armenia; it is a close neighbour of the emperor’s realm and has the same religion and cult, for the emperor possesses authority over them. (tr. Greenwood)