Christianity is illegal in Iran. Yet despite facing imprisonment, torture, and execution, millions of Iranians are abandoning the Muslim faith and converting to Christianity.
According to Open Doors International, there are more than 1.2 million believers residing within reach of the brutal Iranian Islamic regime.
This phenomenon is happening despite the regime’s efforts to attack believers and spread false information and foster a negative view of Christianity.
Lela Gilbert, International Religious Freedom Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council, suggests that Iran has little power to restrict the Good News of Jesus Christ.
“In my research and interviews, it has become clear that the witness of new Christians to others is shared primarily in quiet conversations, encouraged by low-key online Bible studies, and affirmed by visions, dreams, and miraculously answered prayers,” he explained.
“Because of their perilous circumstances, recent Christian converts enthusiastically communicate about their changed lives with friends and loved ones, but quietly and carefully. Yet their discreet but persistent testimony explains the extraordinary number of new Iranian believers, who meet in small house churches,” Gilbert continued.
“Those involved with the ‘house church’ movement in Iran are convinced that there are probably several million Christian believers there,” he added.
Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, also reports that Christianity is flourishing.
“An evangelical pastor, an Iranian ex-Muslim, already agreed in 2008: ‘We are facing what is more than a conversion to the Christian faith. It is a massive exodus from Islam,'” he explained in Newsweek a few years ago. .
Pipes adds that the house church is key to the growth of the Christian faith in Iran.
He explains: “The practice of what is sometimes referred to as Muslim Background Believers (MBB) lacks clergy and church buildings, instead consisting of self-initiated disciples and tiny four-story house churches.” to five members each, with quiet singing or none at all. Their secular leadership, in stark contrast to Iran’s ruling mullahs, consists mainly of women.”
Women like Marziyeh Amirizadeh have remained formidable in their faith despite being imprisoned and tortured in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison for being Christians.
As CBN News reported, Marzi, as she is known, has finally escaped Iran and started a new life in the US.
But before her exile, she and a friend smuggled 20,000 Bibles into Tehran because God told her to “plant the seeds.”
“We knew how thirsty the Iranians were. And when we returned (to Tehran), we had no idea what to do and how we could serve the Lord. And I remember we just prayed and asked him to give us a vision,” Marzi recalled.
“And one day I was reading the Bible and God showed me that Iran is like a great desert. Now there are seeds in this land. And He said, ‘Plant some seeds, then I’ll make them grow with the power of the Holy Spirit.’ .”
That was the beginning of his effort to put the New Testament in the hands of believers in that nation.
Marzi was eventually jailed for sharing her faith and sent to Evin Prison.
They are truly evil people. Cruel and evil people,” he said, describing Iran’s Islamic leaders.
Marzi now travels the world sharing her inspiring story of faith in the face of persecution and acts as an advocate for the freedom of the Iranian people.
She calls on Christians around the world to pray for the believers in Iran.
“We can pray that they reach more people and share the message of salvation,” Marzi said. “I know how thirsty the Iranians are. And we can pray for those who have their loved ones in prison. We can pray that God will strengthen them and make them braver to defend themselves and fight for their freedoms. The most important thing to pray is for the fall of this evil regime”.
“A great awakening has begun in Iran,” he added.
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