Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In Iran, government halts Farsi worship

Iran's Ministry of Intelligence has ordered the last two officially registered churches holding Friday Farsi-language services in Tehran to discontinue them.

Emmanuel Protestant Church and St. Peter's Evangelical Church were the last two official churches offering services on Fridays in Tehran in Iran's primary language, according to Middle East Concern (MEC). Officials issued the order on Feb. 10.

Emmanuel and St. Peter's, both Presbyterian churches, are among Tehran's few registered churches that mainly serve the Armenian and Assyrian communities. The churches' Armenian- and Assyrian- language services are typically held on Sundays.

In 2009, authorities had ordered an Assemblies of God congregation, Central Church of Tehran, to close its multiple Friday Farsi services. Friday services in Tehran attracted converts to Christianity as well as Muslims interested in Christianity, as Friday is most Iranians' day off during the week. Authorities told the churches they can hold the services on Sunday, a working day when most Iranians are not able to attend. Keep reading

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