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234                      JOURNEYS IN PERSIA                      NOTES

are at present ostensibly engaged in the attempt to
purify the faith and practice of the Syrian and Armenian
churches, to enlighten their members religiously and
intellectually, and to Christianise the Jews, waiting
patiently for the time when an aggressive movement
against Islam may be possible. In the meantime the
Holy Scriptures are being widely disseminated; the
preacher of Christianity itinerates among the villages, the
Christian religion is greatly discussed, and missionary
physicians, the true pioneers of the faith, are modifying
by their personal influence the opposition to the progress
of the missionaries with whom they are associated.

On the whole, and in spite of slow progress and the
apparently insurmountable difficulties presented by hos-
tility or indifference, I believe that Christian missions in
Persia, especially by their educational agencies and the
circulation of the Bible, are producing an increasing
under-current, tending towards secular as well as religious
progress, and are gaining an ever-growing influence, so
that, lamentably slow as the advance of Christianity is,
its prospects cannot justly be overlooked in considering
the probable future of Persia.1

1 The absolute fact, however, is that Christian nations have not shown
any zeal in communicating the blessings of Christianity to Persia and
Southern Turkey. England has sent two missions—one to Baghdad,
the other to Julfa. America has five mission stations in Northern and
Western Persia, but not one in Southern Turkey or Arabia.

The populous shores of the Persian Gulf, the great tribes of the plains
of the Tigris and Euphrates, the Ilyats of Persia, the important cities of
Shiraz, Yezd, Meshed, Kashan, Kum, Kirmanshah, and all Southern,
Eastern, and Western Persia (excepting Hamadan and Urmi), are un-
touched by Christian effort! Propagandism on a scale so contemptible
impresses intelligent Moslems as a sham, and is an injury to the Chris-
tianity which it professes to represent.