Ask the question ” where is the greatest rate of Church growth right at this moment in time?”, the answer may well surprise you … The Islamic Republic of Iran.
The situation is bursting with irony. Iran is listed on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List in the top ten hardest countries to be a believer. And yet, last year, Iran saw a 19.6 percent increase in the number of Christians – more than any other country.
Iran is a country that has worked very hard to eliminate Christianity, and particularly to eliminate Muslim conversion to Christianity, which is illegal. In addition, most of the registered churches have been closed down, but it remains the place in the world where the Church is growing the fastest.
According to Iranian Christians, the greatest missionary in Iran, the greatest evangelist they’ve had in Iran, was the Ayatollah Khomeini. When he took power in 1979, he converted Iran to the Islamic Republic [saying], “We’re going to run our country according to what Mohammed would have us do, we’re going to run our country according to the Koran.”
Now, more than thirty years later, many Iranians have rejected Islam precisely because of that. The country is run by the Mullahs, with the government stating, ‘We’re doing everything according to Islamic principles.’
However, if the government doesn’t work, if there’s still corruption and poverty, that leaves some big questions regarding Islam. In essence, the failure of the government has, in the eyes of the people of Iran, become the failure of Islam, with some statistics showing that as many as 70% of Iranians have rejected Islam as the way of truth.
- Pray for the Church in Iran, for perseverance, courage and bold witness.
- Pray for Iranian pastors who often end-up in prison for their faith. Pray for their protection in prison, for the comfort of the Holy Spirit around them and their families, and for their guards to see the truth revealed by their faith in Jesus Christ.
- There is a deep hunger in Iran for the Bible in their own language. Pray for a new translation of the Iranian translation of the New Testament into a more modern Farsi language, and for it to be available for all Iranian believers.
- Pray for the continued growth of the Church in Iran, for many in this nation to see the Truth that is Jesus Christ, and to come to know Him as Lord and Saviour.
Psalm 40 vs 3: “Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.”
Source: Mission Network News, http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/