What if I told you that the greatest Christian missionary in the history of Iran was a devout Muslim? You’d think I was crazy, right? Or, at the very least, a liar.
But I’ve heard from more than one Iranian Christian over the past 20 years that the greatest missionary in the history of Iran — a history that predates Daniel in the Lions’ Den — is the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ended 2,500 years of Persian monarchy in Iran.
How is it, you may ask, that a radical Shiite Muslim would be Iran’s greatest missionary for Christ?
Khomeini forced Iran’s last Shah from power and ushered in Islamic rule. He was an expert in Sharia, or Islamic law. He put Islamic leaders, the mullahs, in charge of the whole country. He promised to replace corruption of the West-loving Shah with a government that would run the country according to true Islamic principles. It would be a paradise on Earth, he said, as if Muhammad himself were running things.
Forty years later, Iranians will tell you that the promised paradise hasn’t materialized. Rampant corruption continues under the Revolutionary Guard Corps, the foot soldiers of the Islamic regime. The rate of drug addiction in Iran is one of the highest in the world. Iran’s economy is in a shambles, and in recent weeks Iranians across the country have taken to the streets in protest after the government raised gas prices and enacted strict rations. At least 200 Iranians have paid for the protests with their lives — and that number could be more than 1,000.
Remember: The Islamic government promised, and still claims, to run the country according to Islamic principles. The Supreme Leader says he gets instructions directly from Allah. But after 40 years, Iranians can see very clearly that the government Khomeini established doesn’t work. So it’s no great leap for Iranians to move from “Islamic government doesn’t work” to a correlated truth: Islam doesn’t work.
By some estimates, 70 percent of Iran’s people have rejected Islam. If following the rules laid out by Muhammad doesn’t work for a country, why would it work for an individual? Why should anyone continue to follow his teachings? Many Iranians have become atheists, rejecting the idea of any god. And thousands have tried to fill the void with drugs, sex or money.
But hundreds of thousands of Iranians — some estimate more than a million people! — have found the True God, the One who sent His Son to pay the price for sin. The One who doesn’t ask them to earn His favor by following a set of rules, but instead paid the price Himself for their sins and failures.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Todd Nettleton