Monday, February 7, 2011

Iranian Church Grows Amid Persecution

From The Living Church-

Few realize that after the Islamic Revolution, from the late 1970s through the 1980s, Iran’s Anglicans were the most severely persecuted Christians. Iranian Anglicans worshiped in Farsi, which angered Islamists wanting to portray Christianity as a Western, imperialist religion. More important, many Anglicans were converts from Islam.

The first post-revolution martyr was an Anglican priest, the Rev. Arastoo Sayyah. Islamists cut the throat of this Muslim convert in his office in Shiraz, southwest Iran, on Feb. 19, 1979, and confiscated the property of the church he led.

In October of the same year, the Rt. Rev. Hassan Dehqani-Tafti, also a Muslim convert, and his wife, Margaret, survived an assassination attempt in their bedroom. Dehqani-Tafti was the first Persian Anglican bishop.

The following May his son, Bahram, 24, was murdered by Iranian government agents. The bishop could not even attend the funeral of his son, whose body had been found riddled with bullets. He sent a prayer that he had composed, forgiving the murderers. Dehqani-Tafti spent the last ten years of his episcopate in exile.

More here-

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