Did you know the church in Iran is exploding? I know, it came as a shock to me too, but it shouldn’t ever come as a shock. The church has always grown when pressured. Desiring God posted an article about the church in Iran here. If you don’t have time to read the article, allow me a quick summary.
The church in Iran is exploding for several reasons. the number one reason is the failure of the Islamic state to deliver on its promises. When the Mullahs took over in 1979, one year before I was born, they promised opportunity and economic stability. Neither have come to pass. The next generation of Muslims has become disenchanted with the government and with Islam because the religion is closely tied with the government.
The next reason is persecution. in 1979, Christianity was outlawed and conversion from Islam to Christianity was punishable by death. Mehdi Dibaj declared just before his martyrdom, “I would rather have the whole world against me, but know that the Almighty God is with me; be called an apostate, but know that I have the approval of the God of glory. . . .
Life for me is an opportunity to serve him, and death is a better opportunity to be with Christ. Therefore I am not only satisfied to be in prison for the honor of his Holy Name, but am ready to give my life for the sake of Jesus my Lord and enter his kingdom sooner, the place where the elect of God enter to everlasting life.” One of whom the world was not worthy.
The third reason: the use of social media by Iranian Christians who live abroad but have a desire and passion to share Christ with their friends and family back home.
Finally, Bible distribution is on the rise in Iran. the Bible is still outlawed literature in Iran, but Christians there are hungry for God’s Word.
How can you pray? Pray for courage, courage for the Iranian Christians who face persecution and either martyrdom. A missionary once told me,
Don’t pray for an end to persecution, pray for persecution to count.”
Pray for unity among the Iranian Christians and the Iranian churches. Pray the words of Jesus in John 17, ““I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. 21 May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be[e] in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. 22 I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.”
Pray for trained leaders to continue leading and discipling Christians.
Finally, be encouraged this Monday morning. Yet another government has tried to stamp out Christianity and yet another government has failed miserably.
Take some time today and pray for our missionaries. For more missionary prayer requests go to Prayers for IMB