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    Prayer Powers Growth in Iran

    September 15, 2017 by the TWR Women of Hope Ministry Team
    Filed Under:
    Testimonies
    Azar and Nasrin are pariahs in their own homeland. That’s because the two women have committed their lives to Jesus Christ.

    But the lives of believers like Azar and Nasrin (not their real names), along with the findings of multiple international institutions, indicate that hostility toward Christians is failing to stamp out the faith in Iran. In fact, multiple sources say Christianity is growing faster in this Middle Eastern powerhouse than anywhere else in the world. “My husband and I are leading a house church,” Azar wrote to TWR Women of Hope. “We have about 28 attendees, but we have a lot of problems, such as lacking enough Bibles.”

    In Jesus’ name and for his sake, Azar and Nasrin practice their faith and reach out to others despite the risks. Both listen to Women of Hope, which began reaching Iran in the national Farsi language in 2012, and both worship in house churches.

    “In Iran we can’t attend church,” Nasrin wrote. “We have secret church in our house. [In each broadcast of Women of Hope], there is a section called lessons for your soul. We record that section each week and use them in our meetings as a blessed resource. We thank you for taking the trouble and reaching people like our congregation. Please pray for our growing in faith and for our protection.”

    Informed sources cite two main reasons for what appears to be explosive growth among the Christian population in Iran: first, disillusionment with the dominant religion as a result of the violence that has been done in its name; and second, believers like Azar and Nasrin boldly sharing their faith in the face of persecution. A third factor, said a pastor who baptized hundreds of Iranian refugees, is the fact that millions inside Iran listen every day to Christian radio and TV broadcast from outside the country.

    TWR president Lauren Libby said, “We don’t name all the options used by our teams, because as Human Rights Watch has noted, in some of these countries people get put into prison for a Facebook post. TWR’s high-powered radio transmissions are more critical at this time, not less relevant. Governments can block web addresses or certain apps, but our signals reach across borders.”

    The needs are great for Christ’s followers in Iran, where human-rights groups say women experience pervasive discrimination and are inadequately protected against domestic violence, forced marriage, marital rape and harassment based on compulsory veiling laws. Problems such as the scarcity of Bibles and discipling materials can partly be addressed through the gospel-based content of Women of Hope and other TWR radio programs.

    But believers everywhere can respond to Azar and Nasrin’s fervent, common refrain: Please pray.


    (adapted from article originally published in “The Heartbeat,” Volume 20, Number 2)