09:46 GMT27 January 2021
Listen Live
    Viral
    Get short URL
    by
    27987
    Subscribe

    Despite Shia Islam’s status as the official religion of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Middle Eastern nation’s Christian community is thought to number as many as one million people, including some of its oldest denominations, among them the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Catholic Church.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has taken to Twitter to send holiday greetings to Christians all over the world, saying that “the birth of [the] Spirit of God – Jesus, revered by Muslims as a great prophet – is a joyous occasion for ALL mankind.”

    Zarif’s greeting is by no means unusual, with Iranian officials going back all the way to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issuing similar messages in the past.

    The messages are not always taken in their intended spirit, however, with perplexed readers, mostly in the US and other Western countries, regularly expressing their confusion over the greetings.

    The comments under Zarif’s tweet show this year was no different.

    Others, however, reciprocated the greetings.

    Christians in many parts of the world will celebrate Christmas – the annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ – on Friday. Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate the holiday on 7 January, in accordance with the Julian calendar.

    Related:

    Twitterati Outraged by Fauci's Call to Spend Christmas Without Their Families
    COVID That Stole Christmas? People From Around World Tell How Pandemic Will Change Their Holidays
    Denmark Ditches Christmas Services Amid New Mutated Covid-19 Strain
    Community standardsDiscussion