In the last edition of the International Daily Prayer Bulletin we highlighted the growing number of Iranians who are tiring of Islam and its leaders. Now, a report on CBN News tells the story of Mohabat TV, a television channel operating from multiple secret locations that is beaming messages of hope directly into the Islamic country.
“We are seeing a huge, huge number of Iranians who are reaching out to our channel and our phone center just to reach out and find out more about Jesus,” says Iranian Mike Ansari, who oversees the popular channel. Mohabat TV has been beaming Christian programs via satellite to Middle East since 2006. “Many of our viewers that are contacting us from Iran, they claim that Islam has not delivered to their expectations. So when they turn the channel on and see Mohabat TV they hear a new message of Jesus, of forgiveness of love of acceptance,” he said.
Nazanin Baghestani manages the phone call center operations for the channel.“Persians are really thirsty for the truth, they really want to know who is this God that we talk about, who is this Jesus, is He real or is He just a prophet?” Baghestani said. To answer those and many other questions, the channel has deployed Farsi-speaking Christian counselors in different time zones around the world. Baghestani said they take an average between 8,000 and 10,000 calls a month.
But producing Christian programs for Iran is not without its challenges. In June 2011 a Christian man’s house got raided by Iranian authorities as he was on the phone with a Mohabat counselor. The young Christian man was reportedly killed shortly after the conversation. But Ansari said the threats are not stopping Iranians from watching the channel. Open Doors has ranked Iran No. 9 on its list of 50 countries where persecution of Christians is most severe. “We have programming on the channel that is geared just towards that to give them hope and encourage them and yet tell them that persecution is definitely a part of a Christian’s life,” Ansari told CBN.
Ansari said the harsh treatment of Christians is reportedly fueling the flames of church growth. “We are seeing a new season right now, there are so many people who are reaching out on their own account.
(It) seems that they are not afraid they just want to reach out and go beyond any kind of authority or limitations that may exist locally for them to just connect with somebody,” he said. “Our goal is just to be out there and just tell them (Muslims) that there is another choice: that the prophet Jesus whom they know very well through Islam, He is more than a prophet – that believing in Him can bring a sense of hope and a sense of new beginnings,” he added.
Source: CBN News
BIBLE STUDY: Jeremiah 29:11-13
Day 1 – PRAISE: God that Iranians are hungry for Truth and are finding true joy in Christ.
Day 2 – PRAY: That this may happen increasingly all over the Middle East and the Muslim World.