Islamic Republic destroys historical Christian monuments

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MIDDLE EAST | PRESS

Photo via mohabatnews.com
Islamic Republic destroys historical Christian monuments

The destruction of historical monuments in Iran is not a new story. Such destructions are conducted so widely that they have even reached ancient monuments which are nationally registered. The Republic Islamic is destroying historical Christian monuments to achieve its ultimate goal of wiping the Christian heritage from the face of Iran.

A large number of historical structures have been demolished by the order of Islamic Republic authorities or gradually decayed due to the lack of attention, insufficient budget and lack of protection. Some experts and others concerned about cultural heritage believe that recently, pre-Islamic historical monuments have come under greater risk of destruction than ever before.

Sometime ago, the pro-regime Sharq daily wrote that from 2003, when the law establishing the Cultural Heritage organization was passed by the Iranian Parliament in 2011, at least 40 monuments or historical areas with national registration or national values were demolished.

Destruction of historical churches and Christian cemeteries were only a small segment of Islamic Republic's irresponsibility towards ancient places and Iranian historical identity.

- Historical church of Haftvan in danger of destruction

Photo via mohabatnews.com

At the same time, according to news sources, "the church of Haftvan, one of the oldest monuments in Haftvan village in Salmas is on the threshold of complete destruction".

Haftvan is a village located at the center of Salmas county (854 KMs North-west of Tehran, the capital), three kilometers south of Salmas. It holds a great number of historical monuments, one of which is the well-known Church of Haftvan. The church is well-known across both this county and even the country. The church belongs to the last years of the Safavi dynasty's rule over Iran and on March 10, 2002, it was officially registered as a national monument. However, despite registration, the church is in tragic condition and its walls are at risk of falling.


Photo via mohabatnews.com
Parts of the church's walls have decayed as a result of the growth of various plants to the extent that the plants have created some cracks in its walls. Only a few bases remain from a hall in the church compound and it is predicted that if it continues like this, the church will collapse in a short time. Also the church has been attacked tens of times by trespassers and antique dealers and the yard in front of the church has been dug up several times in the search for jewelries and antiques. This has caused the soil there to erode and weakened the walls of the church.

The church was restored after the earthquake in 1930 and has existed since the eighth or eleventh century. The church stands on four stone columns and was constructed from milled igneous rocks. Some gravestones are also found in the church yard with Armenian inscriptions and religious patterns on them. There are other churches in Salmas county as well, including Sarnigh, Soor, Pakachik, Doroshk, Golzan, Akhteh-Khan, Molhem, Ghazlajeh and Marghoryaghos.

- Islamic Republic Aims to Eliminate Iran's Christian Heritage

A Christian from Salmas said, "The Islamic Republic is practically destroying monuments of Christians. It is not Haftvan alone! The church of Ashnak village has become the same or even worse because of some trespassers who are actually officials of the regime. But who cares? The laws of the Islamic country do nothing to prevent the destruction of these monuments."

Prior to this report, a historical church building in Kerman, which was registered as a national monument, was brought down using bulldozers. The church building was registered as a national monument in 2009 and so it had to be protected and restored. Nevertheless, it was completely destroyed overnight using heavy machinery for unknown reasons.

Some months later, a 200 year old Christian cemetery was completely ruined in the same province, Kerman. Protesting against this act, Christians from Kerman said, this graveyard has been destroyed without the permission of its owners. The news of the destruction of this cemetery not only shocked cultural activists but also broke the hearts of Christians.

It seems that Islamic Republic officials, unsuccessful in stopping the growth of Christianity among the people by pressuring them, arresting them and banning Christian converts from attending church services, wants to destroy historical Christian monuments to totally wipe the Christian heritage from the face of Iran.

Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News

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