Historical Christian Cemetery in Iran turned into Residential Area

Historical Christian Cemetery in Iran turned into Residential Area

By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BUSHEHR, IRAN (ANS) -- The graveyard of English Christians is one of the historical sites in Bushehr, Iran which was also used by Armenian community of Bushehr for the same purpose, but is in serious disrepair and slated for redevelopment.

Today, all the crosses on graves are broken, the cemetery is in an inappropriate condition and is becoming a ruin, reports Mohabat News (www.mohabatnews.com) on its website.

A photo of the graveyard from 1865.
(Courtesy Mohabat News).

"The burial place of English commanders and soldiers who were killed after the English army entered Iran in 1856 and WW1 become a graveyard. However, now only a small corner of it has survived and can be seen. This place has been turned into a residential area," Mohabat News reports.

The news agency received photos that indicate that all the crosses in the graveyard have been removed and are now in an improper condition.

"These gravesites are being destroyed as days go by. The efforts of some culturally sensitive citizens for informing authorities have born no result," the agency said in its report.

According to the news agency, "This English graveyard is one of the historical sites of Bushehr port in the south of Iran. Although the cemetery was very old, only a limited number of photos from it are available on the internet. The graveyard, which is listed under properties of government organizations of Bushehr province, was used as a place of burial for Armenian Christians, until 30 years ago.

The current condition of the graveyard
(Courtesy Mohabat News).

"For a long time, the graveyard has been intentionally overlooked by state authorities of Bushehr, because it houses the bodies of English veterans. This disregard continued to the extent that in 2003, the tourism organization of Iran built a stone wall around the graveyard and prevented visitors from entering."

Mohabat News said the English cemetery was originally part of a wider area, but much of it was destroyed and exhumed between 1979 and 1989 and then sold for development purposes. Recently, a cinema was also constructed next to the cemetery.

The agency said that according to old photos of the graveyard, large crosses were built on graves, but today nothing is left from them.

One of the few still-remaining headstones
(Courtesy Mohabat News).

"Today, only some broken tombstones remain and brushwood, animal corpses and garbage fill the place. Individual gravesites have become plant beds, and only one stone inscription of a grave remains."

** Michael Ireland is the Senior International Correspondent for ANS. He is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB UK, a British Christian radio station. While in the UK, Michael traveled to Canada and the United States, Albania,Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany,and Czechoslovakia. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China,and Russia. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International of P.O.Box 1649, Brentwood, TN 37024-1649, at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can make a donation online under 'Donate' tab, then look for 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' under 'Donation Category' to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.' Michael is a member in g ood standing of the National Writers Union, Society of Professional Journalists, Religion Newswriters Association, Evangelical Press Association and International Press Association. If you have a news or feature story idea for Michael, please contact him at: ANS Senior International Reporter

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