After his 16-year-old brother was arrest and executed by firing squad for a minor political charge in Iran, Hormoz Shariat – who was a believer in the USA at the time – found God saying to him:
“You know who your enemy is? These people – the clergy and the leaders of Iran – are not your enemy. They are lost children. You have only one enemy. Satan… If you want to hurt Satan, evangelise!” This is when he committed himself to sharing the Gospel with Muslims for the rest of his life. In the three decades since, Shariat has seen God reaching out to his people all over the Muslim world.
“It’s amazing,” says Shariat, who founded the satellite broadcasting ministry Iran Alive Ministries in 2001. “God is graciously appearing to people in visions, dreams and through miracles.” He explains that sometimes they have dreams or visions of Jesus, and then hear the Gospel through the satellite broadcasts, and believe in Jesus. Other times they watch the programmes, wondering if this is true or not, and then they have a dream or vision that confirms what they heard.
Since the hostage crisis ended in 1981, the number of Christians in Iran has increased exponentially to a conservative estimate of 1 million. Shariat, however, says the number may be far larger, noting that Iran with 76 million residents – has the fastest-growing evangelical Christian population on the planet, according to the latest edition of Operation World’s manual. In fact, more Persians have come to Christ in the 35 years since the Islamic Revolution than in the prior 1,400 years combined, and most conversions have occurred in the past decade, as an estimated 62 million Iranians have gained access to satellite TV broadcasts.
Shariat points out that Islam is not Iran’s original religion. Christianity pre-dated Islam in Iran, and the heart of the Iranian people is longing for freedom. “This is what explains the pent-up hunger.” Shariat adds that after several decades under the current regime, “I’ve seen a new movement and a new mindset developing among Iranians, especially young people,” he says. “I read more and more young people’s blogs that are saying, ‘If we want to have a future, we need to get rid of Islam.’ I believe Islam is experiencing its greatest defeat in history. It’s so wide and deep that it’s irreversible.”
Shariat believes Iran can become a largely Christian nation. “There is a historical window of opportunity to impact Iran and the Middle East with the Gospel,” Shariat says. “It will not last forever. The task is greater than what one ministry can accomplish. We cannot do it alone. I am making a Macedonian call to our brothers and sisters to join us to transform Iran and the Middle East with the Gospel.”
Source: Charisma News; Breaking Christian News
BIBLE STUDY: John 6:33-40
Day 17 – PRAISE: God that such a move towards Christ is taking place among young Iranians.
Day 18 – PRAY: that a God-sent transformation may take place in Iran and all over the Middle East.