Last week during a trip to western Australia, I spoke in a small church comprised mostly of Iranian immigrants. The worship was in Farsi and English, and the pastor typically gives his sermons only in Farsi. My translator that evening, Mehrzad, told me he encountered Jesus for the first time just a few years ago.
Before I left Australia, I became good friends with three more young Iranian converts to Christianity. All of them left Iran to find a better life in Australia. All of them told me that Iranians back home are disillusioned with Islam and are on a desperate search for spiritual reality.
One of these men, whom I will call Bahram, began developing a strong hunger to know God after he saw the 2016 Mel Gibson film Hacksaw Ridge, in which a framed copy of the Lord’s prayer is shown during a key scene. Bahram had never heard of the prayer. He looked it up on the internet out of curiosity.
A few days later, two random pages of the Bible ended up on his doorstep, blown by the wind. The pages included Luke 11, where the Lord’s prayer appears. Bahram saw this as a sign from God, and he eventually gave his life to Christ.
“Back home in Iran, young people my age have turned away from Islam,” another young convert, Mahmoud, told me.
I was not surprised to hear these testimonies. Missionary strategists have been reporting for some time that Iran is experiencing the most impressive surge of church growth on the planet. Elam Ministries, based in England, says more Iranians have become Christians since 1979 than in the previous 1,300 years. Some organizations estimate that there could be as many as 800,000 to 1 million believers in the country.
But Iran is also one of the most difficult places on earth to be a Christian because of persecution from the hard-line Islamic government. Believers are jailed and tortured. Churches are forced to meet in secrecy. Yet one ministry there has reported that so many people are being converted they can’t keep enough Farsi Bibles in stock to give to new believers.
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SOURCE: Charisma News