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Chronology of Persian History
Wisemen from East seeking Jesus
King Darius orders Daniel to the Den of Lions
King Cyrus - First Charter of Human Rights
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by Zarin Behravesh Pakizegi
This book was substantially translated, researched and written in the Persian language during the years 1983-1987.
The basic sources for my study are in the first instance the Persian history books written by the Iranian historians, archeologists, missionaries and theologians.
The inscription of the Achaemenid kings, primarily Darius the Great which has been translated in modern Persian and many other Persian books which give much information about Iran, its people, its culture and religions.
I am indebted to the persons who previously researched, contacted different churches, traveled throughout the country, gathered information, and wrote about all they had found, heard and witnessed.
I am especially indebted to Dr. William Miller, the noted American missionary to Iran who spent forty years in our country. He is the author of the History of the Ancient Church in Rome and Iran. He sent me photocopies of all his research in 1983.
I am also indebted to the following persons for the information and assistance that I have acquired from their books: Bishop Hassan Dehghani-Tafti, Dr. John Elder, Dr. J. Rasooli, Mr. Robin Waterfield, Dr. M. Ali Tajpur, Mr. John Shearman, Dr. Yahya Armajani, Dr. Richard Frye, Mr. Aratoon Catchatoorian and Ms Elisabeth Kay Voorhees.
In addition to those people mentioned, I am indebted to Kenneth Thomas for spending many long hours in reviewing and correcting the manuscript. His careful corrections has provided many great insights for writing this book.
I also owe many thanks to the Rev. John Whorral and Mr. Paul Seto who spent lots of time in reading and giving me valuable hints, and to the Rev. Saro Khachikian for his assistance and typing this manuscript.
I have to acknowledge that any mistakes in this book are my own. I am well aware that this history book may not be suitable for classrooms and scholars. I have tried to collect some facts and information from a great number of books. Much study remains to be done and doubtless additional information will be found. The full history of the church in Iran still awaits the investigation of scholars.
This book deals with the beginning of the church of Christ in Iran, its progress and the failures, and the ups and downs of Christianity during the reign of different dynasties and tribes. It also deals with the activities, sacrifices, and martyrdom of thousands of Iranian Christians. It also about the cooperation, services, and results of so many European and American missionaries whose leadership has had a great role in the progress and life of the church in Iran.
The author and publisher would like to thank the following for giving permission to use some parts from their books:
1. The Background 1
2. The Christians in Iran from the First to the Seventh Centuries 5
3. The Christians in Iran during the Arab and Islamic Occupation 33
4. The Safavids and the Early Missionary Effort 49
5. The Ghajar Dynasty and the Protestant Missionaries 77
6. The American Missionaries in Iran 95
7. Post War Mission Activities in Iran 145
8. The Churches in Iran under the Pahlavi Dynasty 169
9. The Revolution of 1978 and the Persecution of Christians 199
10. Christian Denominations 211
11. Christian Martyrs under the Islamic Republic of Iran 235
12. Literature and radio Ministries 245
Select Bibliography 265
All rights reserved by Zarin Behravesh Pakizegi
Printed in the U.S.A. by Sooner Printing, Inc.
Distributed br Dr. Behzad Pakizegi,
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