Iran Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Iran, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, findmypast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

A number of Christian denominations are represented in Iran. Many members of the larger, older churches belong to minority ethnic groups – the Armenians and Assyrians-- having their own distinctive culture and language. The members of the newer, smaller churches are drawn both from the traditionally Christian ethnic minorities and converts from non-Christian background.

The main Christian churches are:

  • Armenian Apostolic Church of Iran (between 110,000, 250,000, and 300,000 adherents)
  • Assyrian Church of the East of Iran (about 11,000–20,000 adherents),
  • Chaldean Catholic Church of Iran (3,900 adherents as of 2014)
  • Catholic Church of Iran (about 21,380 adherents)
  • various other denominations, some examples are:
    • Presbyterian, including the Assyrian Evangelical Church
    • Pentecostal, including the Assyrian Pentecostal Church
    • Jama'at-e Rabbani (the Iranian Assemblies of God churches)
    • and the Anglican Diocese of Iran.

According to Operation World, there are between 7,000 and 15,000 members and adherents of the various Protestant, Evangelical and other minority churches in Iran, though these numbers are particularly difficult to verify under the current political circumstances.

The International Religious Freedom Report 2004 by the U.S. State Department quotes a somewhat higher total number of 300,000 Christians in Iran, and states the majority of whom are ethnic Armenians followed by ethnic Assyrians.[1]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name



How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Iran.
b. Click on Places within Iran and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. Use Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters. Next use a Persian translation service. If the church is Armenian, use an Armenian translation service.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Catholic Church in Iran is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. There are about 21,380 Catholics in Iran out of a total population of about 78.9 million. They follow the Chaldean, Armenian and Latin Rites. Aside from some Iranian citizens, Catholics include foreigners in Iran like Spanish-speaking people (Latin Americans and Spanish), and other Europeans.[2]

Anglican Diocese of Iran Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

There are four congregations in Tehran, Isfahan, Julfa (a suburb of Isfahan) and Shiraz.
St. Paul's Cathedral
Hafez Street
Tehran, Iran
St. Luke, Isfahan, Iran

St. Paul, Julfa, Iran

St. Simon the Zealot, Shiraz, Iran

Should you wish to make contact with those in this country who can give you more information, please address a letter to the JMECA office in Farnham, and it will be forwarded. Website

The Jerusalem and the Middle East Church Association
1 Hart House
The Hart, Farnham
Surrey, GU9 7HJ
England

Telephone: +44 (0)1252 726994
E-mail: information@jmeca.org.uk

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Diocese of Iran is one of the four dioceses of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. The diocese was established in 1912 as the Diocese of Persia and was incorporated into the Jerusalem Archbishopric in 1957. The Church Missionary Society (CMS) was active in Persia from 1869, when the Revdd Robert Bruce established a mission station at Julfa in Ispahan. The CMS mission in Persia expanded to include Kerman, Yezd (1893) and Shiraz (1900), with Mary Bird, a medical missionary, establishing hospitals at Kerman and Yezd. The CMS mission operated hospitals and schools. The beginnings of the Anglican Diocese of Iran were in 1883 when Valpy French, an Episcopal bishop, came to Lahore and traveled through Persia. In 1912, Charles Stileman became the first bishop of the new diocese. [3]

Armenian Apostolic Church of Iran Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

See List of religious centers in Tehran, Armenian Orthodox

Assyrian Church of the East of Iran Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

  • Saint George (Mar Gevargiz) Assyrian Church of the East - Bagh-e-Shah, Isfahan Province, Iran - 1962
  • Holy Mary (Mart Maryam) Assyrian Church of the East - Sarbaz St., Iran - 1978

Chaldean Catholic Church of Iran Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Jama'at-e Rabbani (the Iranian Assemblies of God churches) Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Jama'at-e Rabbani (Assemblies of God) Church
Takht-e-Jamshid Ave.
Tehran, Iran

Presbyterian, including the Assyrian Evangelical Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Pentecostal, including the Assyrian Pentecostal Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Christianity in Iran", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Iran, accessed 11 April 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Iran", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Iran, accessed 11 April 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Diocese of Iran", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diocese_of_Iran, accessed 11 April 2020.