Christian Numbers Growing in Iran
While the Christian faith may be fading in certain parts of the world, the number of professing Christians in Iran is growing. Most contemporary estimates indicate the number of known Christians in Iran to be approximately 370,000 – 400,000. A recent article published by The Times UK reports that Christianity is growing rapidly in Iran. At a growth rate around 20% each year Christianity is growing faster in Iran than anywhere else. At this rate, Iranian-Christians might have a significant impact on the population in less than a decade. In fact, if the current trend continues, many experts predict the number of Christians in Iran will soon exceed 7 million! Even more significant is that, according to various watchdog groups monitoring the situation, the number of Muslim converts who risk prison sentences or even death by secretly worshipping as Christians in Iran’s house church movement has grown to as many as 1 million people!
One of the Most Dangerous Places in the World
It is well known that Iran is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a professing Christian, yet the country has one of the fastest growing Christian populations. According to David Yeghnazar, speaking on behalf of Elam Ministries, much of the rapid increase is coming through the underground house church movement that allows people to attend church services where the gospel of Jesus Christ is clearly taught without being seen by the Muslim extremists in control of the government. Helping to fuel this growth is the recently announced release of a new Bible translated into the language of Iran; modern Persian. This translation is the work of Elam Ministries and will be known as The New Millennium Translation. According to Elam Ministries statements The New Millennium Translation is aimed at alleviating the “Scripture famine” in Iran and meet the needs of a new era of Christians in the country by providing an accurate, clear translation, rooted in the original biblical languages and written in elegant, yet easily understandable, Persian.
Relevant Bible Prophecies
In an article on Christian Today, speaking of the rapid growth in the Iranian church, Open Doors’ president Carl Moeller said, “Men and women, out of emptiness of their current situation spiritually, are turning to faith in Jesus Christ despite the literally lethal risks in doing so. That’s only attributable to the work of the Holy Spirit.” This is exactly the type of growth we expect from the Bible’s recording of similar events. The Book of Acts describes how the earliest church thrived and greatly expanded despite intense persecution at the hands of Jewish and Roman authorities. In one instance, thousands of people were saved to faith in Christ when the Holy Spirit moved (Acts 2:27-34). The Gospel of Matthew teaches that the Gospel will be preached to all the world in an effort of the church’s worldwide evangelistic mission that we are commanded to be engaged in prior to the rapture (Matthew 24:14 cf. 28:18-20). We must therefore be in fervent prayer for the spread of the Gospel in Iran!
PRAY: Pray for the growing number of Christians in Iran to be kept safe through the persecution they will undoubtedly continue to face. Pray for the efforts of the new translation into the Persian language. Pray also for the continued spread of the gospel throughout this region of the world. Likewise, remain in prayer for the Lord to continue to encourage believers in Iran with His Holy Spirit and pray for the continued conversion of multitudes in Iran.