Five people, both clergy and lay, from Anglican churches in Iran have recently spent time in Cyprus. Archbishop Michael had invited them to join him and others for two days so that the Province could, in a setting of trust, express concern, care, and encouragement for the remaining congregations of the Diocese of Iran and be better informed about the realities of daily life.
Even after the pandemic all three churches–St Luke Isfahan, St Paul Tehran, and St Simon the Zealot Shiraz–remain closed for formal worship, and ways forward with government authorities were discussed, as well as episcopal oversight of the diocese. The Iranians were keen that their life and its joys and sorrows should be more widely appreciated. The gathering was undergirded by prayer and the eucharist was celebrated on each full day.
Seen with the Iranians and the archbishop are Canon Fuad Dagher (Provincial Secretary), Bishop Guli Francis-Dehqani (Bishop of Chelmsford, daughter of a deeply respected former Bishop in Iran, and translator for this occasion from and into Persian), Archdeacon Christopher Futcher (Provincial Treasurer), Mrs Georgia Katsantonis (Archbishop’s PA), and Canon Don Binder (Chaplain to Archbishop Hosam Naoum of Jerusalem, who joined the meeting remotely by video link for one session).
Your prayers are asked by and for the people of Iran and especially for faithful Christians of its Anglican diocese.