Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Iran
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Iran developed out of the work of American Presbyterian and Congregational missionaries, the first of whom came to Iran in 1834. The work started among the Assyrian Christians (Assyrian Church of the East) of Urumia (Rezaieh) district in north-west Iran. The hope was that the old churches of the East might be revitalized so that once again, as in the Middle Ages, they would become powerful and zealous agents of mission. Unfortunately, those members who were touched by the evangelical spirit were forced to leave the old church, and in 1855 several Protestant congregations came into existence in and around Rezaieh. The first presbytery was organized in 1862, and others were established later. In the meantime, Presbyterian missionary work in Iran led to the formation of other congregations in various parts of the country, composed of people from different backgrounds, e.g. Armenian Christians and converts from Islam, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. In 1934 all the Evangelical churches in Iran joined together in a synod, which became an autonomous national Iranian church. In 1963, it adopted a new constitution and took the name of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Iran.
Today services in the congregations are held in Persian, Assyrian and Armenian, and the three presbyteries are organized according to these languages. The common language is Farsi. Two representatives from each presbytery make up the executive committee of the synod. There are six young lay preachers, two part-time Christian educators and about 30 young women and men who are voluntarily involved in different Christian education programmes of the congregations.