Iran Will Be a Christian Country, Part 2

In a previous post, I explained that the Bible says Iran will become a Christian nation. Even as Islamic terrorists bomb airports and subways in Brussels, even as a disgruntled Muslim Taliban member in Lahore, Pakistan, bombed women and children celebrating Easter at an amusement park, God is right now drawing the people of Iran to Himself in the greatest defeat of Islam in its 14 centuries of existence.

How can I say this?

Reason 2: The Research Confirms That Iran Is Becoming a Christian Nation

Establishing an exact number of people following a forbidden faith in a closed country is difficult, but there are processes that help us.

Operation World is a well-known and respected missions research organization that publishes a manual reviewing the condition of every nation in the world. Its latest edition lists Iran as the fastest growing evangelical population in the world, with yearly growth at 19.6 percent. That means the number of Christians in Iran is doubling almost every four years.

In 1979, at the time of the Islamic Revolution, there were less than 500 Muslim Background Believers (MBB’s) in Iran.

SONY DSC

 By early 2012, Open Doors, a nondenominational organization tracking Christian persecution, estimated that at least 370,000 new Christians from a Muslim background had been added to the rolls, with further growth continuing explosively. Today a conservative estimate of total Christians in Iran puts the number around two million. Iran as a nation has rejected Islam. After 35 years of Islamic rule, the people of Iran have concluded, “Islam is not the answer, but the problem.” As a result, in Iran right now, Islam is experiencing its greatest defeat in history.

The work is far from done, however. The government of Iran and the Revolutionary Guard continue to put obstacles in the way of sharing the Gospel. They are afraid of the growth of Christianity in Iran because they have been powerless to stop it despite arrests, persecution, and torture. They have closed all church buildings, yet they know that the number of MBB’s and underground house churches are growing.

So we can expect the persecution to increase as more and more Muslim-born Iranians turn to Christ.

Will the government be able to stop the nation from becoming a Christian country? God willing, I don’t believe so. By God’s grace, we are seeing the underground church spread throughout the nation, and an “army” of transformed, discipled Christians are loving their family members and neighbors into the arms of Christ.

This transformation that is changing a nation will be the subject of my next post.

How Does ISIS Recruit Operatives in the US?

As we continue to see homegrown terrorist attacks in nations across the globe, it is important to ask certain questions about our own vulnerability:

  • How are Americans radicalized despite the long distance between ISIS (the Islamic State) and us?
  • How does ISIS use social media to indoctrinate Americans so they will kill and die for them?
  • Why are ISIS leaders able to attract so many Muslims around the world who become dedicated enough to the cause even to die for it?
  • How ISIS influence some of the Islamic Centers (mosques) in the West so much that these mosques turn into recruiting centers?

 

Many journalists and researchers have given answers to these questions in past months, but the true answer is simple and shocking: The main strategy of ISIS is not to promote itself on social media and through local mosques. For the most part, the leaders of ISIS do not directly call Muslims around the world to come join them. So why they are so successful?

ISIS Strategy: A Call to Faith

Contrary to what many people believe, the main emphasis of ISIS online and around the world in Islamic Centers is not to promote itself; the main emphasis of ISIS is to call all Muslims to be serious in their Islamic faith.

You see, most Muslims are lukewarm Muslims who do not strictly follow the teachings of Quran. They have learned to pick and choose from the verses they like and obey the ones that they agree with. (Don’t some of us Christians do the same?) The politically correct name for these lukewarm Muslims is “moderate Muslims.”

One question people ask is, “Why don’t the moderate Muslims speak up against ISIS?” The answer is that they cannot speak up because they have no basis in Quran to support their position.

But any Muslim who decidesone-million-irani-school-children-memorizes-holy-quran to dedicate themselves to the teachings of Quran and follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad will easily become a candidate for ISIS recruitment.
Any Islamic Center (mosque) with a leader dedicated to teaching the whole Quran and who asks the people to obey Quran opens the doors to ISIS recruiting, even if the leader does not intend to do so.

Some will take up that challenge to study Quran and the life of Muhammad seriously. They decide in their hearts to do what Quran says and to do what the Prophet did in the first Islamic century to fight with and destroy infidels. It is then that they wake up and realize that ISIS is doing exactly those things: following Quran and Muhammad. It is then that they are attracted to ISIS and its mission. It is then that they are convinced that today’s situation is similar to the situation when the Prophet led the first Muslims, and that Muslims should respond as he did: with violence.

This is when these Muslims start to admire ISIS and believe the Islamic State’s cause is from God. This is when American Muslims decide to join ISIS to advance its cause.

So all ISIS needs to do to radicalize Muslims in America and around the world is to challenge Muslims to read Quran and do what it says. Radicalization follows naturally. They are just asking moderate Muslims to be dedicated Muslims. Becoming radical is automatic.

So what is our answer to this strategy?

Our Response: A Call to Faith

Many of us, my dear Christian brothers and sisters, could also be called “lukewarm.” It is time for us to call our fellow believers in Christ to move from “moderate” to “dedicated”—to study the Bible and the life of Jesus and do what He did: love our enemies, lay down our lives for others, comfort the brokenhearted. If we do these things well, we, too, will be called “radical.” If we do these things well, as Jesus did, we will bring peace to those who have none.

As an army of radical Muslims spreads hatred and brings death around the world, an army of radical Christians can spread love and bring life wherever they go. We will be winners because we are promised that we can overcome evil with good (Ro 12:21). And we know one thing: the light always overcomes the darkness (John 1:5) no matter how dark the darkness appears to be.

Related Articles:

Norris, Daniel K. “Obama Says ISIL Does Not Speak for Islam—Is He Right?” Charisma News.

Iran Will Be a Christian Country, Part 1

Are you shocked? You are not alone. Most people are shocked when I say that Iran will be a Christian country. I don’t blame them. They have formed their view of Iran based on the information they receive from the secular news sources. As a result, when they think of Iran, they may think of nuclear bombs, threats to “wipe Israel off the map,” and chants of “Death to America.”

Knowing what is happening inside Iran, I have a different view.
Over the next several weeks, I will unpack for you the reasons for my confident statement.

 

 

Reason 1: The Bible Says So

Many Christians are familiar with Jeremiah 3:17 where the Lord promises that He will set His throne in Jerusalem:

“At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.” (NIV11)

the persecuted 3_16
Underground Church in Iran

 

This prophecy is indeed an amazing and encouraging statement, inclusive of not only people of Jewish heritage but also “all nations.” Yet I do not rely merely on God’s promise that “all nations” will subject themselves to His throne when I declare that Iran will be a Christian nation.

In Jeremiah 49:38, God specifically declares, “I will set my throne in Elam.” (Elam is an ancient, biblical name for a region that is a part of Iran today.) Most Christians are unaware of this prophecy, made in the sixth century before Christ and as yet unfulfilled.

But what does it mean that the Lord will set His throne in Iran? I believe it means more than seeing millions coming to Christ, as is currently happening in Iran, or having a country with churches on every corner. I live in Dallas, Texas, where a great number of Christians and large churches populate the area, yet I do not think the Lord would say that His throne is established in Dallas.

I believe our Savior would say this only when He is worshipped by the nation and obeyed in every area of personal conduct, in families, the marketplace, the media, and in education, art, and the government. Yes, this is the future of Iran according to Jeremiah 49:38! Do you believe it? I know when you look at the secular news, believing that Iran will be a Christian nation might seem too big a leap of faith. But the Bible says so, and that settles it.

In times like ours, where widespread war and terrorism make it seem like the enemy has the upper hand, fear of the future often rules our hearts. But the Bible clearly declares God’s victory over physical and spiritual evil in Iran and the world. What are you doing to join God in making it happen? Are you hindering or helping the cause? I pray that you would consider the times and the opportunity before us.

Even as terrorists bomb airports and subways in Brussels, God is drawing the people of Iran to himself in the greatest defeat of Islam there in history. How can I say this? The research confirms it. I will share more on this with you in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, especially as we celebrate this week our Lord’s victory on the cross, I pray that when your neighbor or coworker despairs over the battle against Islam, you will tell him or her, “Iran will be a Christian nation, God willing, in our generation.” Then, as the Lord leads, partner with me to make it so.

Will Iran’s Election Bring Change?

Many friends have asked me about the recent election in Iran. We certainly cannot entirely trust what news sources report, especially when the news facts come from the Iranian Government. Below is a Q&A, which I hope is helpful to those who want to know more.

 

What happened?

On Friday, February 26, 2016, there was an election in Iran. The people chose their parliament representatives and also elected members of the Assembly of Experts, whose job is supposedly to keep the supreme leader in check and choose the next leader in case of the death of the current leader, Ali Khamenei. With the age of Khamenei (76) and his failing health, it is very likely that this elected Assembly of Experts will select the next supreme leader.

Who won?

The “moderates” and “reformists” had a great victory. But don’t celebrate and become hopeful for a major and meaningful change yet. These moderates and reformists are not truly moderates and reformists._88448319_88443659 Please remember that all aspiring candidates were vetted for election by the super-conservative clergy who are in power (the Guardian Council). So the terms moderate and reformist are relative terms. When super extremists are running the country, extremists will look like moderates and reformists by comparison.

Why did many people not vote?

A large number of people did not vote, believing that their vote would not make any difference. The Guardian Council approved only 161 of the nearly 800 aspiring candidates registered for the election, leaving an average of fewer than two candidates per seat. Therefore, a large number of the people’s favorite candidates were not put on the ballot, and many “moderate” candidates ran unopposed.

So why did some people vote?

No one knows how many really voted, but we can reliably assume the number is much smaller than Iran has reported. Historically, the Iranian government has reported a hyper-inflated number of those who participated to give the appearance of a democracy and a government supported by the people. Many of those people who voted Friday declared that they did so to choose between “bad and worse.” They voted knowing that their vote would not cause a major change, but their logic was this: “a minor change in the right direction is still better than no change.”

If Iran is a dictatorship, why was there an election?

There are only two centers of power in Iran: (1) The clergy determine the policies, especially the supreme leader, who has final say on all matters both domestic and international. He can veto all decisions made by the elected officials of the parliament and even the president; (2) The Revolutionary Guards have financial and military control of the country. These two centers of power know that for survival, they need each other. Therefore, they always mutually support each other.

What is the role of the elected government in Iran?

The elected government in Iran does not have any true power. Its role is to implement the policies determined by the clergy and the Revolutionary Guards Corps. Its goal is to give an appearance of democracy when in fact the people truly do not have any power. The main responsibility of the government is to keep people in check so that the power of the clergy and the interests of the Revolutionary Guards will not be threatened. Therefore, President Rouhani and all these freshly elected officials do not have any real power. They are there to serve the interest of those in power and NOT the people.  As was President Khatami’s role in the 1990s, Rouhani’s role is to give people false hope and keep them busy and under control for another eight years.

What is the impact of this election?

Do not expect any major change in internal affairs and international policy of Iran. As the supreme leader has said, USA and Israel will continue to be enemies of Iran—and that will never change. The proud and overconfident clergy of Iran used to think that they did not need anybody’s goodwill and that the sanctions would not hurt them. But they were wrong. One lesson they learned is that they need interaction with the rest of the world so they can survive economically. Therefore what we will see happen because of this election is more free trade between Iran and western countries. On the other hand, I predict (and I hope I am wrong) that Iran’s support of terrorism against the United States and its citizens will increase now that they have more financial resources to do so.

Related Articles:

Sabet, Farzan. “Why Iran’s Assembly of Experts Election Is the Real Race to Be Watching.” The Washington Post, February 24, 2016.

Simple Steps to Share Your Faith with Muslims

In last week’s post, I encouraged you not only to participate in what God is doing to transform Iran but also to share—with love—Reaching-Mosques-Clergythe truth of the Gospel with Muslims in your neighborhoods and cities.
Yes, I know that some of you feel shy since you have never done this before. Many of you want to know how to share the Gospel confidently without being rude.  

There are many ways to share the Gospel. A simple way is to remember that the Gospel is good news. (That’s what the Greek word for evangelize means: “proclaiming good news”!)

  1. Receive God’s heart for them. One powerful weapon we have that is non-existent in Islam is our true Love. I mean the agape type of Love that we can receive only from God. But many of us either are fearful of Muslims or are indifferent—both these conditions result from not having God’s heart for people trapped in Islam. So first pray and say, “God please give me your heart for the Muslims. I know you love them. Fill my heart with your heart and my mind with your teaching.” As you begin to talk with Muslims and get to know them, approach them with love. They sense true love and are touched by it. Be hospitable, friendly, and welcoming.
  2. Look for “bad news” in their lives and give them the Good News exactly where they are experiencing the bad news. Of course, I am not talking about the “prosperity” or “feel good” Gospel. I am talking about the power of the Gospel to truly transform lives, not just make circumstances better or easier.
  3. Be confident about the power of the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit. When you see somebody struggling with personal issues (such as anger, addiction, despair) or family issues (trouble with a spouse, children, or other family members), have confidence in the Gospel and say, “I know something that I am totally confident can transform you, your situation, and your family. It all depends on whether you want it or not.”
  4. Make a simple invitation. When they show interest, tell them, “Jesus came to save you not just from this problem but from this miserable life, from this world, and even from yourself. Wait! I am not talking about a religion. I am not talking about you joining our church nor becoming a religious person. Jesus did not come to give you a religion, but to love you and save you. If you are ready to be saved by being changed, Jesus is more than ready. He is ready now. You can experience a new life even now. He will transform your life.”

If you find yourself becoming tongue-tied, remember that you do not have to explain all of Christianity in one session; you merely need do as Jesus did: invite these persons to follow Jesus in all that He has done and said. Invite them to seek and know Him.

Jesus calls us to love. The best way to do that is to be bold and invite people to know the Author of Love.

A few years ago, a survey of 100 converts from Islam asked about the major factor in their conversion. Eighty-five of the 100 people responded that the overwhelming factor that sparked their interest was “the love of Christians toward them.”

My friends, many Christians in Iran risk persecution, torture, and jail time every day for the privilege of sharing the Author of Love with their family, friends, and strangers. In sharing Love, they are transformed by Love. Won’t you find the courage to do the same?

And please pray for our ministry, that God will reach many hearts through us every day with His truth and love.

We Are Obsessed with the End Times, But Not with Its Author

We Christians in the West seem to have a growing appetite for writing and reading books about the end times. We want to know how the events of the Middle East relate to the prophesies in the Bible. We want to know how nuclear Iran and militant ISIS and Russia are part of the end-time events. End-time prophecies get our attention.

Understanding the end times is a good thing.

But what are we doing with all that knowledge? Most of us are satisfied with just knowing and forget what the Lord commands us about doing. We forget that whenever there is talk of the end-time events in the New Testament, that discussion is for three purposes:

(1) to give courage and comfort to persecuted Christians

(2) to motivate Christians to live a holy life

(3) to remind Christians to get busy doing the Lord’s work

Much is happening around the world that should concern us as Christians because we can make a major difference.news-end-times-google God reveals future events with an intention for us to get busy. He wants His church to be a part of History (His Story) and make history.
Most of us, however, are merely observers, at best keeping ourselves busy by matching Bible prophecies to events. Very few get involved in what God is doing.

Bible prophecies should motivate us to keep occupied with His work until He comes back.

You Are the Solution

Every night, we watch news about Islamic violence around the world: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Mali, Paris, San Bernardino. The list goes on and on. It looks like nothing shocks us anymore. Nothing can make us wake up from our spiritual drowsiness. We hear what ISIS and other terror groups (including Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Hamas, and wings of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard) are doing around the world, not realizing that we are called to be a major part of the solution.

We have the answer to ISIS, and we are quiet.

The military alone cannot stop ISIS and other terror groups. Islam is a religion of violence that feeds on, grows, and gets stronger with violence. We have seen this occur in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and many other places. The answer is the love of Jesus. It’s the love of Jesus through you. As Ephesians 4:15 tell us, sharing the truth of the Gospel with love is the key that unlocks the closed doors of Islam and will set Muslim captives free.

So many in the U.S. (and in this election cycle) want to push Muslims out of our country and let the Middle East destroy itself. Will you decide to reach out to your Muslim neighbor and get to know him? Will you share Jesus with the woman wearing a hijab walking down your sidewalk or in your grocery store? Millions of Iranian Muslims are desperately waiting for you and me to do our part. Will you see what God is doing in Iran and join the cause to transform Iran into a Christian nation in this generation?

You have Jesus’s love. What will you do with it? I pray you will join me and get busy.

Iran Frees Iranian-American Prisoners – Now What?

Please Pray for Saeed and Naghmeh

Right after an early morning interview on Saturday, January 16, I heard the good news that the Iranian government had released the four Iranian-American prisoners and an imprisoned American student. I was particularly happy to hear the Saeed Abedini was among those released.

As many of you might know, Saeed is my relative. He is married to my niece, Naghmeh, who in my opinion is a hero, fighting for the release of her husband tirelessly for the past three and a half years. I had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with Naghmeh when she was nine years old. She came to Christ while she stayed with us for a couple months.

I know many of you have been praying for the release of Saeed.pastor-saeed-abediniPlease continue to pray for Naghmeh and Saeed. They face great challenges ahead of them. In November, Naghmeh shared with the public that her relationship with Saeed had been filled with abuse for many years. Now that they are back together, they need our prayers and support even more for personal and relational restoration. I am so glad that Franklin Graham himself has offered to do marriage counseling with them.

 

Why Did the Iranian Government Free the Prisoners?

I believe the Iranian government wanted to project a positive image to the world as the sanctions were being lifted. They wanted no one doubting that removal of the sanctions was and is a good idea. The government released the captured American sailors so promptly and treated them so gently for this same reason.

Iran’s government was struggling to survive because of those sanctions. The nuclear deal threw them a financial lifeline that will help them survive for the next ten years. They are about to receive over $100 billion dollars to pursue their goals around the world. These goals include opposing America in every aspect. Unfortunately Iran will use some of this money to support terrorism against American citizens. I hope I am wrong, but it is very possible that we will see an increase in anti-American terrorism around the world and in the U.S. itself.

One thing is for sure: the release of these American citizens does not mean that the Iranian government is changing its policy towards United States. The Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, was very clear when he warned, after freeing the hostages, that Iran should remain wary of its old enemy the United States and its “deceit and treachery.”

 

Please Continue to Pray for Iranian Christian Prisoners

In many ways, Saeed had become the face of persecution in Iran. This was a good thing because it reminded us to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iran. Now that Saeed is free, let us not forget those who remain.

Christianity continues to grow in Iran, and the government continues to react to it by increasing persecution. Even now, many heroes in Iranian prisons are suffering for their faith. Their names may not be in the media as Saeed’s was, but God knows their names and cares for them. So let us obey the Scripture that says, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Heb. 13:3, NIV).

 

Please Join Us in Supporting the Persecuted Christians in Iran

With your support and the help of organizations such as The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), we are serving persecuted Christians in Iran. We provide assistance with the emotional, spiritual, and financial needs of families who have a member imprisoned for his or her faith. Our 24/7 satellite TV broadcast serves the millions of persecuted Christians in Iran who are living in isolation and in fear of arrest, imprisonment, torture, and even death. Together, we are able not only to inspire and encourage them to stand up for the Lord and not give in to fear and pressure, but also to share their faith with their persecutors. We believe these actions are God’s will for His children—and that is what we will do.

 

Related articles:

Dorell, Oren. “International Sanctions against Iran Lifted in Landmark Nuke Deal.” USA Today, January 16, 2016. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/01/16/usa-iran-diplomats-nuclear-deal/78892802/.

Wilkin, Sam, and Sharafedin Bozorgmehr. “Iran’s Khamenei Welcomes Sanctions Lift, Warns of U.S. ‘Deceit.’” Reuters, January 19, 2016, sec. World. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-khamenei-idUSKCN0UX10Q.

Freedom from Bondage

Islam demands obedience but provides no power to obey. Muslims are desperate for the power and grace to change that Jesus offers. I want to share with you a quick story of how Jesus is transforming Iran by letting His presence and His power become known to Persians through our ministry. Arman contacted us through email to let us know how Iran Alive’s counselors and satellite television broadcasts (Network 7) helped free him from bondage:

My name is Arman, and I’m 32 years old from Iran.

At the age of 18, I became addicted to pornography.417163-p By the time I was 24 years old, I was tired of myself and my addiction, and I didn’t know what to do.
I thought if I got married, I would be healed of needing to watch pornography. But my addiction continued even after my marriage.

It got to a point where I started cheating on my wife. I forced my wife to sleep with others, and I would sometimes find another woman to have a threesome with us.

Then I was introduced to Network 7. When I watched the program, I became disgusted with myself and the things I had done. I felt very filthy!

I contacted your counselors, and little by little the Lord started changing my ways of thinking. I received healing and freedom from this bondage. I now feel God’s presence and strength in my life.

Because of the changes in me, my wife has become interested to learn more about Christ, and she follows Network 7. I have been called to grow in the Lord and work with young people who are in the same bondage. I want to be a soldier for Him.

Arman

Praise God for how He is working in Iran! May He raise up an Army of Love that will transform the whole nation in this generation.

*As with all of my posts, names and faces have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

Terror in the US

Last year, in the months approaching Thanksgiving, I travelled extensively and spoke at many churches and conferences. One thing I said over and over was this: “I hope I am wrong, but soon we will see ISIS sleeping cells in the western countries and the U.S. start their terrorist activities.” It turned out that this prediction came true sooner than even I thought, first in Paris, and then in the United States.

 

The Paris attack and last month’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, has made even more clear the global strategy of the Islamic State (ISIS).San_Bernardino_shooting_suspect_vehicle
They are calling on all sympathizers and sleeper cells to carry out lethal assaults in the West. They want everyone to know that no one is beyond their reach.

 

The overwhelming result of these attacks is a rising fear about terrorism. According to polls, fear has reached a level not seen since the aftermath of 9/11. Such fear gives excuse to political frontrunners like Donald Trump to exercise hatred toward an entire people group. And many leaders and citizens are following in his footsteps. When they do this, they are handing a victory to the prince of darkness.

 

Satan’s plan through ISIS is to put fear in our hearts and foster hatred towards all Muslims so that we do not reach out to them. Sometimes, I can hear his dark voice saying, “They (Muslims) are mine, do not touch them. Fear and hate Muslims. Because if you love them, you will steal my captives from me.”

 

On the other hand, some do not take the threat of terrorism seriously enough. We see this position from political leaders that follow President Obama. They count low-level terrorism as an unavoidable necessity in our world full of “radical fringe” groups. It happens, they say, but not as often as car crashes, shark attacks, or lightening strikes. Fear of terrorism is overrated.

 

Peter Baker, a New York Times news analyst, recently showed this low view of imminent danger in a summary of President Obama’s off-the record comments: “He would send significant numbers of [ground] forces to the Middle East . . . only in the event of a terrorist attack in the United States so catastrophic that it all but paralyzed the country with fear.” The president apparently does not feel that there is a high probability of such a catastrophic event.

 

ISIS and other Muslim groups/nations do have a political agenda. Islam does actively promote the use of fear and terror to spread both its spiritual and political borders. We see this regularly in Iran, not only in the government’s persecution of Christians and its own Muslims but also in Iran’s continued launching of banned missiles despite last year’s nuclear deal and its continued support of Shi’ite terror regimes (such as Hezbollah and the Houthis) in the Middle East.

 

Yes, it is right to be wise about our borders, but not by hating a group of people both within and without. Terrorism from foreigners and domestic sleeping cells, such as the recent New Year’s Eve attacks on women in Cologne, Germany, will continue until we make some changes. Shunning Muslims is not the answer. Embracing them and allowing love to transform them is.

 

The real solution to terrorism and fear is to reach beyond our borders to people who are disillusioned with Islam and Islamic governments, to those who are more open to the Gospel of peace than at any other time in history.

 

God is at work in Iran and among the flood of refugees from Syria and Iraq. He is bringing hearts to Him and breaking down “the barrier of the dividing wall” between Christians and those born captives of Islam (Eph. 2:14, NASB). We must remember that, once, we too lived “according to the prince” of darkness and were “by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:2, 3).

 

We must be cautious, but we must not fear or hate. God calls us to love Muslims so much that we are willing to share life with those who know only death—the life of the Gospel.

 

Won’t you pray for how God wants you to love Muslims this year? Steal Satan’s captives! Prevent more terror by helping bring Muslims to Christ in Iran, in America, and everywhere.

Related Articles:

Howell Jr., Tom. “Chris Coons, Delaware Senator, Calls on White House to Punish Iran.” The Washington Times.

 

Baker, Peter. “Balancing Terror and Reality in State of the Union Address.” The New York Times, January 11, 2016.

Obeidallah, Dean. “Donald Trump’s Horrifying Words about Muslims (Opinion) – CNN.com.” CNN. Accessed January 12, 2016.

Urgent: God Wants to Save Iran

My dear friends, may God richly bless you in this new year. I thank you for all you have accomplished through Iran Alive Ministries in 2015 even as I pray for what God will do through us all in 2016. I pray earnestly for the year ahead because in looking back over what God has done in Iran and the world in the past year, the word on my heart for 2016 is “urgency.”

Major events are happening in the world very fast. Look at ISIS and the spread of terrorism in 2015 alone! Yet there is also another growing trend of which most of the West is unaware. Iran is the most open Muslim country in the world right now to the Gospel. It is the only Muslim country where Christianity is growing and Islam is experiencing its greatest defeat in its 14 centuries of existence. The government is threatened by this, but they haven’t been able to close the door of Christian growth.

“A great door for effective work has opened to me,

and there are many who oppose me.” (1 Corinthians 16:9 NIV)

But because the western Church is afraid of Muslim terrorism and has no working strategy to stop it, many in the Church have stayed spiritually blind to what God is doing in Iran. God wants to save the nation of Iran and make it a light in the Middle East.

We must work with urgency while this great door is open.

“We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day;

night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4 ESV)

I fully believe that Iran will be the first Muslim country to bring the Jews to jealousy according to Romans 11:11 (“salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious”). The Iranian government has continued to proclaim that its greatest enemy is Israel, shouting, “Death to Israel!” and “We will wipe Israel off the map!” But I believe when the Jews see that the country that threatened their existence has suddenly turned friendly and started loving them, they will wake up to Christ’s message and become jealous of Christian faith among Iranians.

This transition is already happening.

In a country where Christianity is forbidden,

Muslim hearts are turning to Jesus

by the thousands every month.

Let us praise God for these Christ connections in 2015:

32,902—Phone and email communications

9,750,914—Total website hits and views on social media

67,810—Evangelistic chat room attendance

8,760—Hours of broadcasts

 

The number of people who have prayed with us

to receive Christ since our first broadcast in 2001:

32,418

 

Praise God for His work in the lives of Persians through Iran Alive Ministries. Our overall strategy is working! Here are a few main parts of that strategy:

  1. We are working toward not just converting people but also transforming lives. We teach not “easy believism” through television (as most Americans think of TV believers) but total surrender of life even unto death.
  2. We are targeting not only the masses to come to Christ but also those at the top: government officials, marketplace leaders, high-ranking military commanders, and top clergy. Yes, these top officials are secretly coming to Christ and sharing with us that they have done so.
  3. We aim not just to train church leaders but also to develop society leaders in government, media, arts, the marketplace, and education. As an example just this past month, a secular media mogul came to Christ. He and his family own the largest network of secular satellite channels in Iran. I am discipling and guiding them to be effective for Christ right where they are.

God wants to save Iran. Pray with me that we can transform it into a Christian nation in this generation!