Silicon Valley's Iranian Christians Celebrate Persian New Year; Traditional Community ‘No Ruz’ will be Broadcast Live into Iran

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The Iranian Christian Church, under the auspices of International Antioch Ministries (IAM), will host a traditional Persian New Year (“No Ruz”) celebration on Sunday, March 25th, at The Iranian Christian Church in Sunnyvale, Calif.

The Iranian Christian Church, under the auspices of International Antioch Ministries (IAM), will host a traditional Persian New Year (“No Ruz”) celebration on Sunday, March 25th, at The Iranian Christian Church in Sunnyvale, Calif. Open to the community, media are cordially invited to attend this traditional celebration with authentic dancing, music, cultural displays and delicious Persian food. There will be a live feed of the festivities into Iran via satellite TV.

No Ruz or “New Day” is an ancient holiday that pre-dates Cyrus the Great , king of Persia, who reigned from 580-529 BCE and is mentioned in the Bible as God's anointed (Isaiah 45:1). Cyrus freed the Hebrew captives from exile in Babylon, allowing them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, which is well documented in the Bible as well as in history (Ezra 1; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23). For over 2500 years, on March 21st, Iranians have commemorated this time of renewal which occurs during the vernal equinox, or spring solstice, with a variety of rituals. These include a table called the “Haft Seen” with seven objects that begin with the letter “S,” as well as other objects such as painted eggs, a mirror, goldfish and candles. The meaning of much of No Ruz's ancient traditions are lost in the mists of time, but it is a much beloved family and community holiday that has survived invasion, foreign rule and Iran's Islamic revolution.

Pastor Hormoz Shariat , president of IAM and senior pastor of The Iranian Christian Church said, “We are delighted to invite the community to share in our traditional celebration of Iranian New Year. This No Ruz celebration is our contribution to the diversity of the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area. We are grateful for the freedom that we enjoy to celebrate our ancient holiday. Thus, we will be broadcasting into Iran live coverage of the festivities, so that our brothers and sisters in Iran, who celebrate No Ruz under Iranian Islamic government disapproval, can benefit from our ability to freely enjoy No Ruz. Viewers in Iran will be able to participate in the morning's fellowship, which is led equally by female and male pastors, and then share in our No Ruz festivities from the safety of their homes via our live broadcast over satellite TV.”

On the “Haft Seen” Table at The Iranian Christian Church

1.    Seeb (apple): fragrant and succulent symbol of freshness

2.    Seer (garlic): symbol of physical healing and protection; passing of calamity

3.    Sairkeh (vinegar) and Sumac: for the spice of life

4.    Sabzeh (wheat grass): symbol of a fresh and pleasant life

5.    Saikeh (coin): prosperity, richness and possessions

6.    Samanou (wheat paste): increase and growth in life

7.    Sainjedd (a kind of dry fruit): symbol of love and kindness

There will also be colored eggs to represent new beginning; candles, for light (and goodness); blossomed branches and flowers (tulips and hyacinths) for life and freshness, as well as goldfish and a mirror – probably symbolizing blessings, fertility and prosperity.

Event Information: Sunday, March 25

Location: The Iranian Christian Church/IAM , 740 E. Arques Ave, Sunnyvale, Calif. 94085. Tel: + 1 408 732 5050. Events will be held in the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall on Sunday, March 25th. Time: Fellowship at 10:00 am. No Ruz festivities, including traditional costumes, musical instruments, singing and displays, will occur from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Traditional No Ruz pastries and refreshments will be served after 12:30 pm. Child care available. No charge, but donations are welcome.

Media RSVP: Maxine or Ron Bingham of Agora Marketing: email maxine-at-agorapr.com, ron-at-gorapr.com or call 408-962-4914.

About International Antioch Ministries

IAM is part of 24-hour satellite TV broadcasts into Iran that have been the catalyst for bringing some one million Iranian Muslims to Christ. IAM plants churches, trains Iranian-speaking Christian leaders for ministry and provides humanitarian support to Iranians worldwide. IAM's California-based church plant, The Iranian Christian Church, is the largest MMB (Mostly Muslim Background) church in the USA. IAM is a non-denominational, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to fulfilling The Great Commission: first to Iranian Muslims and then to the rest of the Muslim world. Organizational supporters include CBN, VOM, Sammy Tippit and Joyce Meyer ministries. International Antioch Ministries, 740 E. Arques Ave., Sunnyvale, Calif. 94085. T: 408 732 5050, F: +1 408 732 7575. Visit the English site: http://www.iam-online.net or Persian: http://www.24hourchurch.com

Media Contacts:

Maxine Bingham of Agora Marketing at maxine-at-agorapr.com or 308-375-7702 M

Ron Bingham of Agora Marketing at ron-at-agorapr.com or 408-375-7382 M

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