Tehran church faces threat of complete closure

Tehran church faces threat of complete closure

The leaders of the Central Assemblies of God Church in Tehran have invited church members to a meeting next Sunday, when they will inform them of their final decision regarding the church’s future, amidst the threat of its complete closure. 

The announcement, made during the Sunday service on 19 May, comes amidst increased pressure on church members and leaders from intelligence agents belonging to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Revolutionary Guard Corps.

There are even fears the church may be forced to close completely within the next month.

This announcement is the latest in a series of concerning developments involving Persian-speaking churches in Tehran, which have faced growing restrictions in the past few years in an attempt to gradually suffocate them into extinction.

The Central AoG Church has long been under pressure from intelligence agents to stop its Persian-language meetings, and to hold services in Armenian only. (Armenians, like Assyrians, are recognised as Christian-minority groups in Iran.)

In 2009, the church was forced to discontinue its popular Friday services for Persian speakers (Friday is Iran’s day off), under pressure from Ministry of Intelligence agents.

Last year, two other officially registered churches in Tehran, Emmanuel Protestant Church and St Peter’s Evangelical Church, were also forced to stop their Friday services.

Following that development, Middle East Concern noted that there were “now no Farsi-language services on Fridays in any officially registered church in Tehran”.

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