Former missionary hospital saved from demolition

Former missionary hospital saved from demolition

Masih (“Messiah”) Hospital in Kermanshah was founded by Presbyterian missionaries. (Photo: IRNA)

A hospital founded by Presbyterian missionaries nearly a century ago has regained its nationally-registered status, protecting it from potential demolition.

Masih (“Messiah”) Hospital, in the western city of Kermanshah, was one of several hospitals and other institutions founded by missionaries in the early 1900s.

The missionaries were forced out of Iran in the early days of the revolution, as anti-foreign feeling predominated, but many of the institutions they left behind, including Masih Hospital, continued to function under new, Muslim leadership.

Masih Hospital continued to operate until the end of the last century, but for the two decades since it has stood empty, and seemed set for redevelopment until regaining its nationally-recognised status late last month.

Commenting on the decision, the director general of the Kermanshah Cultural Heritage Office, Omid Ghaderi, said the “valuable” and “historic” building, which was designed by renowned Iranian-Armenian architect Markar Galstiants, would now be protected.

The building had been the target of several acts of vandalism in recent years, including an arson attempt in March of this year.

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