JPost: Iranian intelligence shut down a Presbyterian church and removed its cross from the bell tower, the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) announced Sunday, reported Iran’s Radio Farda.
According to the report, the building was confiscated by the Revolutionary Court in 2011, but its members had been able to continue to use it until earlier this month.
“Intelligence agents stormed the 100-year-old church, officially recognized as a national heritage site in Iran, on Thursday, May 9, changed all the locks, tore down the cross from the church tower, and ordered the churchwarden to leave,” Article 18, a non-profit organization based in London announced. The group’s stated goal is the protection and promotion of religious freedom in Iran.
Eiko, the state agency responsible for the raid together with the Ministry of Intelligence, is under the direct control of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. more …
Opinion: Back in the saddle. For two weeks touring archaeological sites in Israel getting online was a challenge. We had initially thought that Israel would have very hight-tech, high-speed WiFi, but most days we had to wait until we got back to our hotel room to get online. Thanks to Vason for keeping up headlines, I was able to get a quick update on what was happening all over the world.
So Iran is finally giving us a glimpse of their long held ideology of removing or ‘breaking the cross’. It is Shia eschatology that calls for Isa, son of Mary, to remove and break crosses when he comes as the deputy of the 12th Imam, or the Mahdi.
And it is eschatology, study of the last things, that Muslims understand and study – and Christians and Jews mostly ignore: It’s too depressing, or, I just don’t want to hear that stuff, or, only the fringe kooks believe that.
The Shia messiah is known as the “Twelfth Imam” or the “Mahdi”. Iranians believe he will appear soon to establish a global Islamic kingdom known as the caliphate. What’s more, they believe the way to hasten the coming of the Twelfth Imam is to annihilate Israel (Little Satan), and the United States (Great Satan).
Iran’s leaders believe that the destruction of the U.S. is foreordained. They believe that the Twelfth Imam was a real person who, like the eleven Shia leaders who went before him, was an Arab male, a direct descendant of the Muhammad, and was divinely chosen to be the spiritual guide and ultimate human authority of the Muslim people.
Shias believe Al-Mahdi vanished from society as a child. They believe that he fell into a well in Samarra and his body was never recovered. This is where the term “Hidden Imam” is derived, who will remain in hiding until the end of days, when Allah will reveal him once again and bring peace to the world under Islam.
The world ignores Shia ideology at its peril:
Ayatollah Khamenei told Iranians back in July 2010 that he personally met with the Twelfth Imam. He also claimed to be the personal representative of the Mahdi on earth, and said all Muslims must “obey him.”