Persian New Year, Nowruz – Ending & Rebirth

Haft Sin on the Iran Alive Ministries (Network 7) set

Haft Sin on the Iran Alive Ministries (Network 7) set

Thursday March 20th, Iranians rang in the Persian New Year.  Nowruz, meaning “new day,”  always begins on the first day of spring. It represents two ancient symbolic concepts: Ending and Rebirth, or, more specifically, the ending of evil and rebirth of good.

Awaiting arrival of Nowruz, Iranians prepare the haft sin, or the seven ‘S’s. The haft sin sofreh includes seven items starting with the letter S:

  1. sabzeh - sprouts, symbolizing rebirth
  2. samanu -  a sweet pudding made from wheat germ symbolizing affluence
  3. senjed -  the dried fruit of the oleaster tree, symbolizing love
  4. siib -  apple, symbolizing beauty
  5. somaq - sumac, symbolizing sunrise
  6. serkeh - vinegar, symbolizing age and patience
  7. sombol -  hyacinth, to denote the coming of spring

For the remaining thirteen days of the New Year celebration, Iranians gather together and celebrate. Relatives come and visit the older members of the family and in return, the elders pay their respect by visiting them back. On the last day, as is the tradition, Iranians picnic in the suburbs, dance, sing, and play outside until the night forces them back to their homes.

The clerical establishment ruling Iran have long tried to stop Iranians from celebrating their long tradition of Nowruz. Even under though the people of Iran are under constant oppression, they have not given in and continue to be proud of their Persian heritage and cling to the hope of a fresh start.

Lets us pray that with this New Year that love will conquer hate and that the people of Iran will meet the only Source of true hope, Jesus.


Counting the Days

Sometimes simple statements make large impressions.  A few weeks ago, I received a brief email of encouragement from one of our Church 7 viewers inside Iran:

Hello Pastor Hormoz,

Today we participated in Church 7 with a few friends. Thank you so much for everything you do. Here in Iran, we count the days for the live Church broadcast.

Amir

Amir’s comments were short, but very sweet to me and our staff.  With no other option available to 97% of the believers inside of Iran, Satellite TV provides the only source of spiritual nourishment and encouragement for these hungry people.

Join me in praying for Amir and the hundreds of thousands of believers in Iran who live under the constant threat of persecution for their faith in Christ.  May the Lord grant them grace and mercy as they seek to know and follow Him.


Transforming the Masses by Reaching a Few

Without question, Satellite TV is a tremendous vehicle for reaching vast numbers of people with the saving Message of the Gospel.  In Iran, it is the safest, most effective and efficient method of reaching millions of people who are hungry for hope.

We believe that a conservative estimate of viewers of our network to be between 3 million and 6 million people inside Iran at any given time.  When you consider that there are around 1 million believers in Iran, the overwhelming majority of our viewers are Muslims who are seeking and not yet followers of Christ.  Many of these people are high-ranking government officials, top businessmen and key politicians who are looking for hope themselves.

Recently, one of these men called our Counseling Center Ministry to tell of his experience watching our programming.  Watch the video to hear his story and learn more about our 2-fold strategy.


Hello Blogging World!

It is with great excitement that I write the first post on my new Blog!

My prayer is that you will find this site to be a useful resource to better understanding Iran, it’s people and how the Lord is working there unlike any other time in history.  Each week, I will post my personal thoughts related to Iran and the Middle East based upon my own experiences as a former Muslim who was born and raised in Iran, who later came to a saving knowledge of Christ and who has spent the last 35 years following the Lord’s calling to take the Gospel back to my countrymen.

I will be posting video entries, photos and relaying testimonies of brave brothers and sisters in Christ who are subjected to intense persecution and daily danger inside Iran as they seek to follow Him and make Him known.  I will also comment on current events in Iran and the rest of the Middle East regularly.

Join me as we take a look at one of the least understood countries in the world.  I think you will be surprised!

Shariat Family


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