A Cry From Iran

February 16, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A Fresno audience had a rare look at life and death in one of the world's most secretive nations. Hundreds gathered at the Armenian Presbyterian church to watch a documentary film called "A Cry from Iran".

The film is about an Armenian minister whose message angered the Iranian government, and cost him his life.

The story of Haik Hovespian is a modern tragedy. Born of Armenian Christian parents in Iran, he became a minister, and the leader of Iran's evangelical community.

After publicly denouncing the government's plan to execute another Christian minister, Hovespian was kidnapped, and murdered. Through a translator, his widow says Hovespian is a Christian martyr.

Takouhie Hovespian, widow of slain minister, says "Because he knew why he was being sacrificed, tortured and persecuted? It was mainly because of freedom of religion that he was martyred."

Haik Hovespian was killed in 1994. Since then several other Christian ministers in Iran have been killed.

It's hoped this film will serve as a reminder that religious persecution continues around the world.

Mgrdich Melkonian, Pastor, says "We understand there are lots of persecutions, but we're not very much detailed, we don't exactly know what's going on in which country, or which city but we hear it's continuing in some of the parts yes."

The Iranian government has denied any involvement in the deaths of Christian ministers.


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