The Shahrara church of Assyrians in Tehran will be permanently closed following a court order by the revolutionary court and the announcement by the parliamentary member of the Assyrian community of Iran.
According to reports received by the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN), March 19th has been declared “Fathers’ Day” in the Assyrian community of Iran. On this day, March 19, 2009, the Assyrian member of the Islamic Parliament, Mr. Younatan Bet-Kelia, in speaking to the Assyrian community has announced that the Shahrara Church will be closed in the very near future by the order of the revolutionary court.
In this report it has been emphasized that primary reason for the closure of the church is the attendance of many newly converted Muslims in the worship and fellowship services of the church.
This announcement has been made in the context of recent comments by the Assyrian member if the Islamic Parliament, who represents more than 35,000 Assyrians in Iran, and in his opposition and protest regarding the manner in which the pastor and the leaders of the church are permitting the attendance of non-Assyrians into the services, has been predicting the soon closure of the church building in the near future.
In reaction to these developments, on first Sunday of the new Persian New Year, Pastor Victor announced, in protest to the comments made by the Assyrian Member of Parliament that either the church will revert to being a purely Assyrian speaking church or it will be shut down.
The committee of Christian Representatives of the International Human Rights Organizations considers this order by the islamic revolutionary court a direct assault on the Farsi-speaking Christian community of Iran in an attempt to eradicate the growth of the Christian community and the preaching of the gospel.
This action is a direct violation of the basic human rights of these citizens in the freedom of changing religious beliefs and the freedom of thought and expression.
It is important to mention that even from a month ago, the special Farsi spoken worship services were temporarily suspended by the pastor and the leadership of the church. No reasons were given for this action.
The Pentecostal church of Shahrara, for more than 8 years, has been conducting special gospel and worship services in the Farsi Language on Fridays and Sunday for the Farsi speaking members and seekers.
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009