Assyrian Church in Iran shut down
Barnabas Fund, 4 June 2019
Iranian security agents stormed into a 100-year-old Assyrian church and tore the cross from its tower in Tabriz in the north-west Syria on 9 May.
They changed the locks, installed monitoring equipment and “made it clear that no longer the Assyrian people are allowed to hold any worship service there.
The pastor has called on Christians worldwide to send letters to Iranian embassies in a “strong wave of protest”.
The church had been officially seized by a court order in 2011, but worshippers had been allowed to continue using the building.
The persecution began last Christmas when government agents prevented local pastors in nearby cities and Tehran from visiting Tabriz to hold worship services.
Historic Assyrian and Armenian Christian minorities who have their own languages, not spoken by the Muslim majority, are usually allowed to worship freely in those languages.