The country of Iran has an international reputation, and it is not good. According to the US Department of State, Iran is one of four nations designated a “State Sponsor of Terrorism.” Westerners who receive from secular news sources think of Iran with nuclear bombs, threats to “wipe Israel off the map,” and charges of “Death to America.”
A Fox News report shared that inside Iran, young Iranians are generally well-educated and more modern and moderate than their parents’ generation. They have grown frustrated by the political and economic constraints that have kept them from achieving success and by Islamic fundamentalism that places so many restrictions on their lives. The government uses psychological warfare to oppress people through fear and isolation. They have seen their government arrest people with false charges, and when they protested, many were shot and killed by their authorities. Persians living in Iran are saying they are living in a prison – that Iran is a living coffin!
God loves the people of Iran and has not forgotten them. In the past 20-30 years, Christian television is being broadcast by satellite in the Farsi language to a potential 130 million Farsi-speaking people in Iran and nearby nations.
An example of this is a TV satellite network begun by Dr. Hormoz Shariat, born into a Muslim family in Iran. After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, he became a follower of Jesus Christ while attending a university in the United States. In 2001 he followed the Lord’s leading and founded Iran Alive Ministries, and now, through 24/7 television, they reach millions of lost and broken people of Iran.
Dr. Shariat shared, “My passion for Muslims stems, in part, because of the murder of my brother, Hamraz, who was arrested in Iran at the age of 16 on a minor political charge. After two years in jail, he was executed by a firing squad. God showed me the best way to respond to this tragedy was to dedicate my life to loving Muslims and sharing the Gospel with as many of them as possible.”
Iran is trying to contain the spread of Christianity but is not succeeding. Dr. Shariat declared, “We are seeing the Islamic nation of Iran turning away from Islam and embracing Christianity. Jesus came to set captives free. We see Him doing this as Iranian Muslims are being set free from the dark and enslaving spirit of Islam into the light of the Gospel. As we continue to send the Good News into Iran, we believe it will be the first Islamic nation to turn to Christ!”
As we are nearing the end of Ramadan, we think of the multitudes of Muslims who have not yet heard the gospel of Christ. Pray the dissatisfaction in their hearts will lead them to Christian outreach through television, radio, the internet, and other resources, bringing understanding and a harvest of souls for Jesus.