Iran Receives Archbishop After Six Year Gap
03/02/2021 Iran (International Christian Concern) – The Catholic Church in Iran received Fr Dominique Mathieu as Archbishop for one of the smallest Catholic communities in the world. The official Catholic Church in Iran consists of six parishes and around 2,000 members.
Fr Mathieu fills a position that has been vacant for the past six years after the previous archbishop retired. Though the Catholic Church has existed in Iran for around 700 years, the Islamic regime has not always tolerated its presence. Immediately following the revolution, the archbishop at the time was removed from the country for about 10 years.
In his commissioning speech, Fr Mathieu noted the challenges he will face in Iran. As with all Christianity, the Catholic Church is subjected to intense monitoring and intelligence interference. He also mentioned four priests who served Iranians and were killed for their faith. The four have since become saints in the Catholic Church.
The arrival of the Catholic Archbishop does provide a strong international representation for persecuted Iranian Christians. The Catholic hierarchy and connections to the Vatican have been key supports for imprisoned Christians in the past.
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