Over recent years the Persian/Iranian community living in Britain has increased. Among them a growing number have been enquiring about, or seeking the Christian faith. An increasing number of the Church of England clergy, and other churches, are finding that a growing number of Persians are joining their congregation or seeking help.
For some time concern has been growing within the Church of England, and other Christian networks, as to how to meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of the Persian community in UK.
An Anglican Chaplain:
Bassi Mirzania, who has served the Church of England over 25 years in the field of Social Responsibility, sensed God calling her to ordination and to minister to the needs of the Persian community. She was born in Iran and became a Christian there and had to flee after the Revolution in 1979. That call was confirmed by the wider Church, and in October 2004 she was ordained by the Rt Revd John Gladwin and the two former Bishops of Iran.
The Scale of the needs:
During the last 11 years the scale of the needs have became apparent, so far she has;
- Met with more than 3500 Persians/Farsi speaking Christians or those seeking the Christian faith in UK, and over 800 in the International Iranian Conference in Holland.
- Been contacted by more than 250 Clergy and church leaders throughout the UK.
- Vsited more than 45 dioceses and different groups across England, Wales and Scotland.
- Established working relationship with many relevant networks.
- Developed special working relationships with CMS, Elam Ministry and other networks.
- lead the monthly Persian Fellowship at St Luke’s, London, and 6 people with their vocation in Ordained ministry.
- Provided ongoing support for the church leaders and the Farsi speaking groups in over 15 dioceses.
- Preached and spoken at more than 60 churches, Cathedrals and conferences.
- Worked with the National Churches’ Network on behalf of the Iranian
- asylum seekers in UK.
The work is overseen by a small management committee mainly from the Persian Christians, chaired by Mr John Clark the chair of the Friends of the Diocese of Iran (FDI).