Iran is home to one of the world’s fastest-growing Christian populations.
We’ve known this — our partners working secretly inside Iran have told us over and over how the underground church is exploding so fast that they can’t even keep up with the demand for Bibles! But last month, the Iranian government admitted it publicly for the first time in a speech by Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi.
This is huge! Even in a country that is ranked among the 10 most dangerous countries for Christians — where it is illegal to preach and extremely dangerous to convert — those in power cannot deny the power of the Gospel.
But there is a dark side to this announcement. Now that the growth of the church is no longer under the government’s radar, many Christians are facing increased persecution.
Here’s what our partners in Iran had to say about it:
“Christianity is spreading in parts of Iran,” announced Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s minister of intelligence during a speech to Shia Muslim clerics at Qom (an Iranian city full of Islamic seminaries) on May 4.
Alavi also confirmed that his Intelligence ministry has been summoning Christian converts for questioning. This is a public admission of the systematic violation of Iran’s own constitution, which states, “no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.”
He failed to mention that many converts also face arbitrary detention — often in solitary confinement — for weeks or months without charge or access to a lawyer. Some face physical, psychological, and sexual abuse while in custody.
Seemingly in an attempt to downplay the significance of the conversions, Alavi declared that “these converts are ordinary people, whose jobs are selling sandwiches or similar things.” However, the reality is that people from all kinds of religious and socio-economic backgrounds are coming to Christ across Iran.
Please pray for the international community to use Alavi’s assertions to hold Iran to account for its abuse of Christian converts. Pray also for the clerics who were listening to Alavi to become curious about Christ as a result.
Please pray for Christians who are currently detained and being questioned — for wisdom in the answers they give and for peace, strength, and comfort.
Already, the testimony of these Christians being questioned has sent a powerful message to Islamic leaders in Iran.
“Some of them said they were looking for a religion that gives them peace,” Alavi said in his speech. “We told them that Islam is the religion of brotherhood and peace. They responded by saying that ‘All the time we see Muslim clerics and those who preach from the pulpit talk against each other.’”
After being dominated by Islam for more than a millennium, Iran is waking up to the truth of the Gospel. The people want unity, peace, and love — things that can ultimately be found only in Jesus Christ.
And you can help introduce them to Him.
For just $10, you can send one copy of God’s Word to an Iranian seeking the Truth or a persecuted believer who has never owned a Bible before.
Our partners will make sure that the Bible you send gets delivered through an underground network of trusted believers to someone who needs it, so please give today.
The secret is out — Christianity is spreading across Iran. And YOU can be a part of it!