By Mark Ellis
Iran is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for followers of Jesus Christ. Almost all of the above-ground, Farsi-speaking churches have been closed and house churches are raided routinely, with their leaders and members arrested, according to a report by SAT-7.
Evangelism by Christians is against the law and may even be punished by death. But despite Iran’s leaders strenuous efforts to bring the furies of hell against believers, God is at work and the church in Iran is growing rapidly!
Iran has the fastest-growing evangelical population in the world, according to statistics compiled by Operation World. Iran’s hardline approach and violence perpetrated in the name of Islam throughout the Middle East has caused disillusionment and a search for truth elsewhere.
But with such an ironclad crackdown by the government against Christian worship and witness, how is the Iranian Church growing so quickly?
Despite the dangers they face, Iranian Christians are sharing their faith – and SAT-7’s broadcasts of Christian programming into Iranian homes have been one tool God is using to penetrate the darkness.
One Muslim woman found healing and transformation from one of SAT-7’s programs. “My husband and I are both from very religious families,” she wrote. “I was doing all the required activities until I was diagnosed with leukemia. A Christian friend told me to repeat, ‘If God is for me, who can be against me?’ I didn’t really understand it but I kept repeating it because I was afraid – my health was deteriorating and I thought I was going to die…”
“One evening, I watched a film on SAT-7 called ‘God is Love,’ and there was a prayer at the end, which spoke to
my heart. I knelt down and repeated the prayer… The leukemia has gone and I feel very good now. I trust that all things have a purpose and I live by faith.”
Every day, SAT-7 receives reports from people telling them they have given their heart to Christ after watching a program on SAT-7 PARS, the Farsi-language satellite television channel.
In addition to the programs, SAT-7 provides 24/7 support for viewers, who often have nowhere else to turn.
“Viewers want to know more about Jesus. Some want to pray with a Christian. Others want to share their testimony and have contact with fellow believers. Along with phone, email and social media, we are now using a new secure messaging app called Telegram. It enables users to share videos and files. SAT-7 is making the most of this, posting program clips, the Bible and Christian books for people to watch and read,” according to SAT-7.
Every day, SAT-7 receives more than 2,000 messages from Iran on Telegram and there have been over 60,000 Bible views.
“Anyone with a satellite dish can turn on SAT-7 and hear the Word of God in his or her language. Our viewers can join a global fellowship of Christians within the privacy of their own homes.”
To learn more about SAT-7’s work in the Middle East, go here