Missionaries told ‘not a hair on your head shall be injured!’

The impact of the war in the Middle East was explained to Reading people when a missionary sponsored by St John’s Church wrote home with details. The city he calls Yezd is usually known as Yazd.

NEWS OF ‘OUR OWN MISSIONARY’

Following upon the occupation of Ispahan [now Isfahan], the old capital of Persia, by the Russian forces on March 12th the British Minister at Teheran has consented to the return of C.M.S.

Missionaries to the city. Dr. Emmeline Stuart and Miss J. Biggs have proceeded thither from India and Dr. D.W. Carr, the Acting Secretary of the Mission, is on his way there from England. A telegram from Teheran on April 28th stated that the staff of the Society from Yezd, who had retired within the Russian sphere of influence, would be leaving for their station on May 2nd. Dr. White wrote from Teheran on March 9th:

That the people of Yezd need us very badly and are prepared to give us a great welcome we have heard from various sources. Only last week, among numerous letters from Yezd was one from a large landowner, in which he said how very badly the people needed their hospital and doctor. He went on to say, ‘If you will only come back I will guarantee your safety; in fact, not a hair on your head shall be injured!’ Another Yezd grandee who has been living in Teheran and has just been appointed to a high office in Yezd came to see me before he left and pressed me to go back with him, and said, ‘As soon as I arrive in Yezd I shall begin an agitation to bring you all back again.’

Reading St. John parish magazine, June 1916 (D/P172/28A/24)

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