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Rome Reports

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A Look At The Lives Of Christians In Iran

Of the 110,000 Christians who live in Iran, 100.000 belong to the Armenian Church.They?ve been in the country for centuries. Some of their churches were built during the 7th century. Their archbishop assures that Christians and Muslims have good relations and that they do not feel threatened. For example, the Constitution explicitly protects their rights. Archbishop Sebouh SarkissianArmenian Diocese of Tehran in IranUnfortunately the media is playing a tremendous role and sometimes they are using black glasses towards Iran. Which is not true, we are living there, we are experiencing our life there, what is heard about Iran is not true. Whenever we need some help, for instance the government is helping us, they have decided and they have given us somehow a budget every year for Christian communities all over Iran, not only Armenians but others. This doesn?t mean there aren?t any problems. The country?s Christians are aware that they are living in a country with a Muslim majority.Archbishop Sebouh SarkissianArmenian Diocese of Tehran in IranIf you by freedom you understand that we have to go and missionary Muslims we don?t have that. Because it is an Islamic country. I myself wouldn?t be happy if a Catholic or a Protestant comes and takes away from my church my believers. So what do you expect from Muslims to be happy when we go and tell them that your religion is false and ours is right. The time has been changed now, we?re living in a mutual understanding, respect and acceptance time and dialogue together. For this reason, the main challenge of Christians in Iran is to keep their churches, schools and culture alive and active. To achieve that they engage in dialogue with other religions in order to protect common values, such as the value of life and family. And Iran?s 100,000 Christians know that it?s worth living as a respected minority.