Spring is in the air and for millions of people around the world including Iran, it marks the beginning of a new year. Festivities associated with the ancient festival of Nowruz (“new day”) symbolize rebirth, regeneration and the possibility of new beginnings. Though Iranians traditionally prepare for Nowruz by cleaning the house thoroughly, going shopping and planning big family visits, it is markedly different this time around. Due to re-imposed sanctions and other related issues, people are experiencing growing economic hardship. They are being confronted with sky-high inflation on a daily basis. The Iranian currency has been battered badly pushing prices of essential commodities beyond the reach of many. Foodstuffs and medicines exhibit some of the sharpest price increases. These are difficult and demanding times. There is lingering uncertainty about the future. However, the situation has not fully stopped people from holding out hope for the new year. In the midst of increasing challenges, members of the Church are in need of much prayer for strength to witness to their faith. Strict restrictions on church attendance continue and there is close monitoring of worshippers. This, coupled with many other factors, means church attendance continues to drop. Even so, week after week Anglican church members gather faithfully in the three congregations in Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz for worship and fellowship. Please pray for the churches in the Diocese: St Luke’s Isfahan, St Simon the Zealot Shiraz, St Paul’s Tehran. Pray also for the ministry and pastoral care provided by deacons Baba Mohammadi, Ashrafi and Shahram. Pray also for political leaders and those in authority in the nation; the welfare of all people in Iran; diaspora Iranian Christians living in many nations. With the advent of a new year, we hope and pray that people in Iran will live with a renewed sense of perseverance and that Christians here will continue to stand firm in our faith. I finish by expressing my deep gratitude for the continued interest, prayer and concern shown by the Friends of the Diocese for our small and isolated gatherings of the faithful remnant as they worship week by week and seek to live Christianly day by day.
In the midst of increasing challenges, members of the Church are in need of much prayer for strength to witness to their faith.
Albert Walters, Now Ruz 2019
With thanks to the Mustard Seed
Unfortunately, due to visa restrictions The Revd Dr Albert Walters had to leave Iran.