Assyrian Pentecostal Church
|Assyrian Pentecostal Church|
|Distinct fellowships||World Assemblies of God Fellowship|
|Geographical areas||Australia, North America, Iran|
The Assyrian Pentecostal Church (Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܕܐܚܘܢܘ̈ܬܐ ܦܢܛܩܘܣܛܝ̈ܐ ܐܬܘܪ̈ܝܐ, ‘Ittā d-Akhonāwāthā Pēnṭēqosṭāyē Ātūrāyē), in (Persian: کلیسای پنطیکاستی آشوری), began in villages across the Urmia region in Iran, and spread to the Assyrians living in the adjacent cities. The current church's doctrine and tradition is a continuation of the spiritual revival movements that took place in Western Iran during the 1930s. In 1940, with great diligence and personal sacrifice a young pastor, named Tooma (Thomas) Nasseri began his evangelical ministry throughout Western Iran and built churches and established congregations in villages, towns, and major metropolitan cities in Iran. With the seed of Protestant Christianity planted Assyrian Protestant Church's began to emerge throughout greater Iran in the 1950s. Currently, the Assyrian Pentecostal Church has several congregations in California, Illinois, Canada, Australia, Austria, and Iran. The Church is an affiliate with the Assemblies of God. Today, the church may have from 12 to 20 thousand adherents.
Name of the church
The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, or the Jewish Feast of Weeks, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ as described in the Book of Acts, Chapter 2. Thus, the Church's name originates from the biblical passages contained within the Acts of the Apostles which refers to the day of Pentecost.
Statement of beliefs
- The scriptures:
The Bible is the inspired Word of God. (II Timothy 3:16)
- The God Head:
Our God is one, but manifested in three persons, The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (John 16: 13-15)
- Man, His Fall and Redemption:
Through Adam's transgression and fall, sin came into the world. (Romans 5:12-21)
- The New Birth:
Through Jesus' death and resurrection, righteousness comes to all who believe. (John 3:3-5)
- Water Baptism:
Baptism in water, by immersion. (Matt 28:16)
- Baptism in the Holy Ghost:
The baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire is a gift from God. (Mathew 3:11, Acts 1:8, Acts 2: 1-4)
- Divine Healing:
It is provided in the atonement of Christ and is the privilege of every member of the church today. (James 5: 14-15, Mark 16:18, Isaiah 53:4, Matthew 8:17)
- Resurrection of the just and the return of our Lord Jesus Christ:
His coming is imminent. The dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we that are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. (I Thess 4: 16-17, Acts 1:11)
- Pastor William Abraham of Assyrian Pentecostal Church in Turlock
- Pastor Robert Barcham of Assyrian Pentecostal Church in Urmia
- Pastor Jonathan Nader of Assyrian Pentecostal Church in Chicago
- Pastor William Neesan of Assyrian Pentecostal Church in Los Gatos
- Pastor Isac Warda of Assyrian Pentecostal Church in Sydney
- Pastor Victor Tamraz of Assyrian Pentecostal Church in Tehran
- Pastor Johnson Bayati of Assyrian Pentecostal Church in San Jose
The Iranian Government has closed the Church in Tehran (Pr. Victor Tamraz) and the Assembly of God in Urumieh bringing them to a very difficult situation even to subsist. By closing the churches the Islamic regime of Iran is forcing the people to abandon the Christian Faith and encouraging the pastors to emigrate abroad. The secret police call first the pastors for an interview when they are "politely" told to leave the region and better emigrate abroad. When they don't do so, the next step follows... Imprisonment, Church closure and oppression. The aim seems to be the eradication of all Christian Churches in Iran through persecution, imprisonment and torture of Christian leaders like happened to PR. Wilson Issavi (Kermanshah) released from prison in April 2010 after 55 days. The Assyrian Pentecostal Church of Kermanshah has been also closed, Pr. Wilson forbidden of any activity and the Church may not be re-opened. Pr. Wilson was also forced to leave the region and his house and still suffers on emotional and physical disturbances caused by the mistreatment in prison (having been seen recently in June 2010).
The liturgical language spoken by the members, church choir, and the pastor is Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, a language descended and closely entwined with Aramaic. Prayers and scripture is read and recited from an Syriac Aramaic Bible.
The adherents of the Assyrian Pentecostal Church observe the following holidays:
- Christmas: (Eda Surah) also referred to as Christmas Day, is an annual holiday celebrated on December 25 that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.
- New Year's Eve: (Sheetah Khatah)
- Easter: (Eda Gurah) Assyrian Pentecostals celebrate Jesus Christs resurrection from the dead three days after his crucifixion, and celebrate this resurrection on Easter Day, or Easter Sunday, two days after Good Friday.
- Pentecost: (Yomit Pantacostayeh) Assyrian Pentecostals commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the Book of Acts, Chapter 2.
- Christmas, Merriam-Webster. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
"Christmas," MSN Encarta. Retrieved October 6, 2008. Archived 2009-10-31.
- "Christmas", The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913.
- This resurrection is commonly said to have occurred "on the third day", including the day of crucifixion.
- 'Easter Day' is the traditional name in English for the principal feast of Easter, used (for instance) by the Book of Common Prayer, but in the 20th century 'Easter Sunday' became widely used, despite this term also referring to the following Sunday.
- Religion and Nation: http://books.google.com/books?id=xJ8CLhx7pqMC&pg=PA199&lpg=PA199&dq=assyrian+pentecostal+church+in+iran+-east+-iraq&source=web&ots=zIbyi9vTP0&sig=GNz-EhCybrA54a7wHMWZ4PzBhJs&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result#PPA199,M1
- Acts 2:1-13 (New International Version) http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%202:1-13
- Official Website for Turlock Branch: http://www.assyrianpentecostalchurch.org/APC/index.php broken link
- Official Website for San Jose Branch: http://www.assyrianpentecostalchurch.com/ broken link