News in Bet-Nahren, Assyria

Iranian official, minorities' MPs meet Vatican official
by IRNA news agency, Tehran - Nov 04, 2000
Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2000 08:13 pm CST


Vatican City, 4th November: Head of the Assembly of Eastern Churches in the Vatican Cardinal Silvesterini here on Friday 3rd November night praised the great efforts made by the Islamic Republic of Iran in securing religious freedom for Christians living in the country.

He expressed his gladness over the satisfactory situation of all religious minorities in Iran and called for cooperation among followers of all divine religions.

Cardinal Silvesterini made the remark in a meeting with a visiting Iranian parliamentary delegation headed by the rapporteur of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Ahmad Borqani.

Stressing the importance of cooperation among all divine religions, Borqani stressed that followers of all divine religions enjoy peaceful coexistence in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The constitution of the Islamic Republic gives due respect to the rights of religious minorities residing in the country, he added.

Warning against the threat posed by world secularism, he called on all those who believe in God to cooperate in order to defuse such a threat.

Meanwhile, Unaten Bet Kelya, representative of Assyrians and Chaldeans to the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis), said that members of his minority in Iran enjoy legitimate rights and have full freedom in performing their religious rituals.

He expressed the hope that Cardinal Silvesterini will become familiar with the situation of religious minorities in Iran by visiting the Islamic Republic.

Khosrow Dabestani, who represents Zoroastrians to the Majlis referred to Iran's ancient history and said that topics or events such as dialogue amongst civilizations and the Millennium Jubilee Celebrations will be of great help in establishing unity among followers of divine religions.

Referring to the 400-year existence of Armenians in Iran, Jerjik Abramian, who represents Armenians living in southern Iran, to the Majlis, said that the Iranian government has financed the reconstruction of the tomb of Tadeaus, one of Jesus Christ's holy apostles, in Iran.

The move by the Iranian government is an indication of its Armenians in the country, he added.

Leon Davidian, who represents the Armenians living in northern Iran, said that the 140,000 Armenians living in Iran have 40 schools at different educational levels. The Iranian Armenians have been publishing their own newspaper for the past 70 years, he added.

The Iranian delegation arrived here on Thursday to attend the two-day Millennium Jubilee Celebrations which starts today.

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