Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Iran: Churches Forced to Stop Farsi-Language Worship Services in Tehran

Iran: Churches Forced to Stop Farsi-Language Worship Services in Tehran


“ISTANBUL, February 17 (CDN) — 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 Farsi-language services on Fridays in Tehran, according to Middle East Concern (MEC). Officials issued the order on Feb. 10

Authorities had ordered the Central Church of Tehran to close its Friday Farsi services in December 2009. The Central Church, an Assemblies of God (AOG) congregation, had conducted multiple services on Fridays.

Friday services in Tehran attracted the city’s 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.

‘This decision means that there are now no Farsi-language services on Fridays in any officially registered church in Tehran,’ an MEC report issued this week stated.

Emmanuel and St. Peter’s are Presbyterian churches, and, along with the Central Church, are among Tehran’s few registered churches. They exist mainly to serve the Armenian and Assyrian communities. The three churches’ Armenian- and Assyrian- language services are typically held on Sundays.

Because these churches belong to minority groups, government officials cannot stop them from operating but are doing what they can to limit them and the spread of Christianity to Farsi speakers, an Iranian Christian who requested anonymity told Compass.

‘Authorities want church operations to stop, but because these churches are established by Armenians and Assyrians and their leaders are Armenian and Assyrian, they can’t stop them,’ the source said, ‘but they can stop the Farsi-speaking services.’

The source said that the newest restrictions have cut the two churches’ attendance by half.” Read more.

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