Saturday, September 24, 2005

Iran Daily - Arts & Culture - 09/13/05 - Iran Repairing Christian Churches

Iran Daily - Arts & Culture - 09/13/05: "ICCO Repairing Churches


A church in Abadan, Khuzestan province

TEHRAN, Sept. 12--Iran will spend five billion rials to repair churches across the country. Islamic Culture and Communications Organization (ICCO) said in a press release that an annual budget has been allocated to repair churches belonging to various Christian communities, including the Armenians, in Iran.
Iran’s cultural attachŽ in Armenia Alireza Otoufi said that Iran accords special importance to Iranian religious minorities and the government has set aside five billion rials to repair the churches in the current fiscal year (March 2005-March 2006).
Otoufi explained that the government’s decision to that effect in a meeting in Yerevan, Armenia with archbishops of Armenian churches in Tehran, northern Iran and Isfahan.
He said that Iran is the only country that extends annual budget for repairing churches.
Archbishop of Armenians in Tehran and northern Iran, Siveh Sarkisyan said that Iran is a unique country and the government and churches enjoyed excellent relations in the field of dialogue among religions.
Archbishop Sarkisyan appreciated the services of Iranian cultural attachŽ in Yerevan and said, “Wherever, we are, we have the same obligations for promoting religion.“
Bobken Charyan, a bishop of Isfahan archdiocese thanked the Iranian government for its cooperation with the churches.
Copies from chapters of holy Qur’an were presented as gifts to the guests"

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