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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

UBMI            THE FUTURE OF CHRISTIANITY              233

preaching among them systematically, explaining in a
very elementary manner the principles of Christianity,
and their application to the life of man They have
also set up a printing press, and have already printed in
Syriac type a number of school books, the Catechism, the
Liturgy of the Apostles, the most venerable of the Syrian
Liturgical documents, the Second and Third Lituryies,
the Baptismal Office, ancient and modern Syriac grammars,
and a Lectionary.

It is the earnest hope of the promoters of this Mission
that if this ancient Oriental church, once the first mission
agency in the world, can be reformed and enlightened,
she may yet be the means of evangelising the two
great sects of Moslems by means of missionaries akin
to them in customs, character, and habits of thoughtó
" Orientals to Orientals."

The subject of Christian missions in Persia is a very
interesting one, and many thoughtful minds are asking
whether Christianity is likely to be a factor in the
future of the Empire ? As things are, no direct efforts to
convert Moslems to Christianity can be made, for the
death penalty for apostasy is not legally abolished, and
even if it were, popular fanaticism would vent itself upon
proselytes. It must be recognised that the Christian
missionary is a disturbing element in Persia He is toler-
ated, not welcomed, and tolerated only while his efforts
to detach people from the national faith are futile
Missions have been in operation in Persia for more than
fifty years, and probably at the present time there are
over seventy-five missionaries at work in the country.
If the value of their work were to be judged of by the
number of Moslem converts they have made it must be
pronounced an absolute failure.

The result of the impossibility of making any direct
attack upon Islam is that these excellent men and women