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Church of England
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Anglican Iranians take Communion in native language for first time

Approximately 450 people attended a service unveiling the new liturgy at Wakefield Cathedral on Saturday, including the Bishop of Loughborough Rt Rev Guli Francis-Dehqani.

Born and raised in Iran, Bishop Guli (pictured centre) was a teenager when her brother was murdered for being a Christian. She fled in 1980 during the early stages of a revolution which toppled the country's monarchy.

She said: "This translated service of Holy Communion is hugely significant within the life of the Church of England as we seek to find ways of recognising the diversity which is increasingly the reality of the Church of England.

"We've had, over the last few years, over 75 clergy contact us to ask how can we best help to integrate the Iranians who we find are coming to our churches, so in this liturgy what we're doing is formally recognising a minority community as part of our wider body and crucially enabling Persian, Farsi speaking people and English speaking people to worship alongside one another."

Church of England

There were almost 85,000 Iranian-born people residing in the UK at the time of the 2011 census. In Iran, the Shi'a branch of Islam is overwhelmingly the most common belief.

Iran has been consistently ranked by Open Doors UK as among nations where persecution against Christians is worst.

On its website, the charity says: "Believers from Muslim backgrounds keep their faith secret.

"Secret house churches are monitored and frequently raided, and dozens of Christians are imprisoned in appalling conditions."


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