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Iran

 

In 1834, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) appointed the Rev. Justin Perkins as its first missionary to what was then known as Persia.  The American Presbyterian Mission established the first indigenous evangelical (i.e., Presbyterian) churches, the first modern schools in Iran, the first schools for girls, the first modern hospitals, clinics and nursing schools, and the first college and college for women in Iran.  It was widely recognized that in the 1930s and 1940s. Most of the professional leadership of the country were graduates of the American Presbyterian Alborz College.

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Iran was a Synod of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) until 1934, the centennial year of the commissioning of Samuel Perkins, when it became independent.  For many years, a significant number of the Persian-speaking Christians in Iran were nurtured through the mission work of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

We do not currently have mission co-workers in Iran, but we support partners who work there.

Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church of Iran

A community of about 3,000 members, the Evangelical Church of Iran may be traced to the earliest days of Presbyterian overseas missionary activity. Today this small but vital church makes its witness through three language-aligned presbyteries: Armenian, Assyrian and Persian. Its current pastors receive their theological education by extension. A few are graduates of (or are studying at) the Near East School of Theology. Women, youth, Sunday school teachers and choirs are prominent among the leadership. In recent years the church, together with other Christian churches, has been engaged in a series of healthy Christian-Muslim dialogues facilitated by the semi-governmental Islamic Organization for Christian-Muslim Relations based in Tehran.

Brittney Burrus, Mission Specialist for the Middle East and Europe, Presbyterian World Mission, brittney.burrus@pcusa.org