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Bishop's Wife Revered Among One Christian Community Well after Her Death


A woman who took a bullet to save the life of her husband during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, is an inspiration even after her death.

Margaret Dehqani-Tafti is now buried beside her husband Bishop Hassan Dehqani-Tafti on the grounds of Winchester Cathedral. She was 85-years-old. She died in October but persecuted Christians are still talking about her and remembering her example.

Margaret met her husband, an Iranian-born Muslim who later converted to Christianity, while working as an interpreter in the Imperial Iranian Army between 1943-1945. 

The UK native married Hassan in 1952 after he spent two years in the UK training for ordination. 

Hassan later became the first Persian-born Anglican Bishop of Iran, but his new position only endangered his family to the rising hostility in Iran during the 1979 revolution. 

During that year, two gunmen broke into the couple's home and opened fire at Hassan's head. 

The shot miraculously missed both of them, but Margaret threw herself across her husband to protect him and was wounded. 

The persecution only continued. In 1980, their son Bahram was ambushed and killed on his way to teach at Tehran University. 

Both Margaret and Hassan quickly forgave their son's killers who was never found. 

'It is just by the grace of God that you can forgive; I have not forgiven them once – forgiveness does not happen once and forever. I have been forgiving them every day for more than 20 years, as God has forgiven me," Margaret explained. 

The couple's story of God's love and faithfulness is chronicled in two books titled The Unfolding Design of My World and 'The Hard Awakening.'

Their testimony still speaks to many Christians in Iran, who are surviving extreme persecution in the country. 

"Throughout their life together, Margaret was a constant support to Hassan and as the mother of a martyr, an uncompromising witness to truth," an Iranian Christian told World Watch Monitor. "The events of our time remind Christians that the history of their faith is inseparable from the sacrifices and examples that people like the Dehqani-Tafti family set, representing the eternal challenge that believers witness in this fallen world."

"Their lives have influenced the way we think about faith in God, justice, social engagement and what it means to be the follower of Christ, and stand as testimony to the vast violence that we experience in the present age," they added. 

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