Tag Archives: Christians

Photos: Christians and Muslims celebrate Christmas in Iran

The bell of Surp Karapet Church in Abadan, Khuzestan Province, rang before noon of Christmas Day on December 25, for the only Christian family of the city. Muslim citizens of Abadan joined the feast to wish this family a happy Christmas and to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with them.

Surp Karapet, the church of Abadan’s Gregorian Armenians, lies adjacent to Imam Musa Ibn Ja’far Mosque. It was constructed in the 1950s, repaired in 1996 and reopened in 1999, since 40% of the building was damaged during the eight-year war. It is registered as an Iranian national monument and used to serve as the largest hall of meetings for Abadan’s Armenians.

Iran is one of the safest places in the Middle East for Christians with many Iranians loving the flashy side of Christmas. Shoppers gathered over the past month in the Armenian districts of Somayeh and New Julfa — the biggest Christian areas in Tehran and Isfahan — to pick up fake trees and stock up on baubles, reindeer toys and plastic snowmen.

The majority of Iranian Christians are ethnic Armenians and Assyrians, who follow the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East respectively. Armenians celebrate the Nativity and baptism of Jesus on January 6, at the same time as the Epiphany. The Assyrians today celebrate Christmas on December 25.

Early traditions observed the birth of Jesus Christ on January 6 but by the end of the 3rd century, Christmas in Rome was moved to December 25, to override a pagan feast dedicated to the birth of the sun. Since 1923, the Armenian Apostolic Church has mainly used the Gregorian Calendar. The only exception is the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, where the old Julian calendar is used, putting Nativity celebrations on 19 January in the Gregorian calendar.

Photos: Christmas shopping in Tehran and Isfahan, Surp Karapet Church in Abadan (Khuzestan) and liturgies at Surp Mesrob Church in Arak (Markazi), Vank Cathedral in Isfahan, and St. Grigor Lusavoritch Church, St. Joseph Church, St. Sarkis Cathedral, St. Targmantchats Church and Surp Vardanantz Church in Tehran

Sources: France 24, armenianchurch-ed.net, Wikipedia | Christianity in the Middle East (Iran), Wikipedia | Christmas traditions (Assyrians), Wikipedia | Armenian Apostolic Church, Mehr News Agency (in Persian), Tehran (BORNA 1, BORNA 2, ISNAIRNA, ANA), Isfahan (IRNA), Surp Karapet Church, Abadan (Iran Front Page, Twitter @afptehran, instagram @sara_kaabii, instagram @majid.rahimi1), Surp Mesrob, Arak (ISNA), Vank Cathedral, Isfahan (IRNA, Tasnim News Agency), St. Grigor Lusavoritch, Tehran (BORNA), St. Joseph’s, Tehran (Twitter @ali_noorani_teh, Mail Online), St. Sarkis Cathedral, Tehran (Mehr News Agency, IRNA 1, ANA, IRNA 2), St. Targmantchats, Tehran (ANA), Surp Vardanantz, Tehran (BORNA)

4th Christian-Muslim Summit in Iran: A dialogue against fanaticism and violence

Delegations of Anglican / Episcopal and the Roman Catholic Church, Shia and Sunni Islam,  gathered in Tehran from November 6th to November 9th for the fourth Christian-Muslim Summit of Religious Leaders to reflect and share ideas around the theme of “Respect for human dignity: the foundation for peace and security”.

The summits began in 2007 when former Iranian President Muhammad Khatami spoke at Washington National Cathedral in the US. He called for a gathering of religious and cultural leaders from eastern and western perspectives. The first summit took place at Washington National Cathedral in 2010 and subsequent summits were held in Beirut in 2012 and in Rome in 2014.

At the closing ceremony, the participants issued a ‘Call of Action’ (full text here), in which they underlined the importance that Sacred Texts attach to love, kindness and compassion for fellow human beings, warning against misinterpreting these texts to wrongly justify violence, persecution, intimidation and hate. They called for a “re-reading, renewed comprehension and accurate teaching of our religious beliefs, values and principles, respectful of every human person, of human dignity, and of human rights and responsibilities”, adding that “the willingness to be self-critical can constitute a significant way to counteract fanaticism.”

The statement also condemned desecration of religious sanctities and committed themselves to “promote a culture of non-violence” and to “protect freedom of human thought, belief, and religious practice, by respecting human dignity of all persons.” It also included protection of religious minorities, stating that “the concepts of believer/non-believer, should not affect citizens’ rights and social relationships” and underlined the need for inclusion of women in inter-religious dialogue, promoting the culture of peace, and defending freedom of thought and religion.

The Call to Action was signed on behalf of the four delegations by Ayatollah Professor Sayyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad, director of Islamic studies at the Iran Academy of Sciences (Head of Shia delegation); Shaikh Dr Mahdi al-Sumaidaei, the Grand Mufti of Sunni Muslims in Iraq (Head of Sunni delegation); Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja in Nigeria (Head of Catholic Delegation); and Bishop John Chane, senior advisor on inter-religious dialogue to Washington National Cathedral in the US (Head of Anglican/Episcopal Delegation).

Sources: Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) I, ACNS 2, AsiaNews.it, IQNA, Mehr News Agency, Tehran Times, ISNA

Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Iran (Photos)

Iranian Armenians rallied to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire, demanding the Turkish government to recognize the Armenian Genocide. In Tehran a memorial service was held at the St. Sarkis Cathedral.

Related article: The other Iran | Iranian Armenians rally in Tehran to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Sources: Mehr News Agency, Azad News Agency, Jam-e Jam Online, Tasnim News Agency, Young Journalists Club

Photos: Iranian Christians celebrate New Year in Isfahan

Some Iranian Christians celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25 and New Years’ on Jan. 1, while Iranian Armenians celebrate Christmas at the same time as the Epiphany on Jan. 6.

More content on Iranian Christians on this blog: The other Iran | Christians

Source: http://www.irna.ir/fa/Photo/3022149/

World Cup 2018 Qualifications: Sunni, Christian, Shiite players score goals for Iran in one game

Three Iranian players with three different religions scored goals in the same international match, that Iran won with 3:0.

Iran Christian Sunni and Shia players

It was during the AFC World Cup 2018 Qualification game against India.

Iranian national team’ goals in the match, held in Indian city of Bangalore, were scored by three different players:

Sardar Azmoun, who scored the first goal for Iran, is born in Gonbad-e Kavus in north-eastern Iran into a Sunni family. He is an Iranian Turkmen, and speaks fluently both languages: Turkmen and Persian.

Iran’s second goal was scored by Andranik Teymourian, an Iranian Armenian. Teymourian has become the first Christian to lead Iran’s national football team as its permanent captain.
Some very interesting article on Andranik Teymourian: https://theotheriran.com/tag/andranik-teymourian/

Mehdi Taremi, who is Shiite like many other Iranians, scored last goal in a match that ended with the hosts suffering a 3-0 defeat against Iran in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match at Kanteerava Stadium.

Other interesting articles and photo series regarding Iran’s minorities: https://theotheriran.com/tag/minorities/

Sources: RealIran.com, wikipedia | Sardar Azmoun

Holy muron was celebrated at St. Sarkis Cathedral in Tehran, Iran

In the Armenian Church the Holy Muron is prepared and blessed every seven years. It is composed of olive oil and forty-eight aromas and flowers. The remaining portion of the previous blessed holy oil is poured into the newly prepared oil during the blessing ceremony and passes the blessing from generation to generation. It is said that this very procedure has been followed for nearly 1700 years.

The Catholicos of all Armenians in Etchmiadzin combines a new mixture of holy muron in the cauldron every seven years using a portion of the holy muron from the previous blend. This is distributed to all of the Armenian churches throughout the world. Here are some photos of this years ceremony in Tehran’s St. Sarkis Cathedral:

More post about Iranian Christians: Click here

More information about the ceremony can be found here: Wikipedia

Sources: theorthodoxchurch.info, ISNA | Photos