The Spiritual Leader of the World Armenians Archbishop Jasliq Aram I says Isfahan is a textbook example of peaceful coexistence among followers of monotheistic faiths.
Khabar Online on October 20 covered a news story about a meeting between the Archbishop and Isfahan’s Governor General Rasoul Zargarpour during which the former focused, among other things, on good-neighborliness among people with different religious backgrounds. The following is the translation of the report:
The spiritual leader of the World Armenians said that Isfahan offers a typical example of how followers of monotheistic faiths can live peacefully alongside each other in Islamic countries.
He said that if Tehran is the political capital of Iran, Isfahan is Iran’s cultural and civilizational center, stressing that those who have not visited Isfahan can be said not to have seen Iran at all.
The governor general, for his part, said Isfahan is the focal point of monotheistic faiths, adding that the secretariat of the Monotheistic Religions is acting in full swing.
In light of the fact that Armenians and Muslims live closely together in Isfahan with mutual respect, he said peaceful coexistence between followers of monotheistic religions is a source of pride for this city, adding that we are ready to revive the Safa Khaneh Community [an old congregation hall located in a predominantly Christian neighborhood of Isfahan where followers of divine faiths used to gather for debate] in this historic city.
The governor general thanked the archbishop for his positive take on what is happening in Iran and for his support for Iran’s regional and international stances and said Iran’s realties are slanted in Western media, urging efforts to bring down the curtain on publicity campaigns against Iran.
Zargarpour then touched on the question of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and said that ISIL is the biggest headache for the Middle East.
He said efforts to take on and destroy the terrorist group will misfire in the absence of Iran, adding that it is good that Lebanon has firmly stood up to ISIL militants.
The remarks by the spiritual leader of the world Armenians are indicative of realism and idealism of Christianity, he said, adding that celebrations to mark the 350th anniversary of Vank Church in Isfahan also show that a deep bond exists between Armenians and Iranians.
The meeting comes ahead of a Sixth International Conference of Monotheistic Religions which is to be held in Isfahan in February 2015. Representatives from the Muslim community as well as religious minorities namely Armenians, Assyrians, and followers of Judaism, Zoroastrianism and the Sabians are to attend the interfaith gathering.