In a country with more than 81 million, Christians make up only 0.2 percent of the total population of Iran. Persecution is a reality of everyday life for Iranian believers who dare to identify with Jesus in a land controlled by an Islamic government.
Iranian Christians need our prayers as they live out their faith. Given the challenges among the church in Iran, there are unique ways to pray for our brothers and sisters there. Below you'll hear about four ways ways you can be praying for believers in Iran:
1. Choose Christ instead of drugs, alcohol or false religions.
Many Iranians are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with Islam after the past several years under the Islamic regime. While this means many Iranians are looking to Christianity, it also means that many others are seeking fulfillment in drugs and alcohol–things that will not satisfy–or in other religions that leave them in the same darkness as before. Pray that Iranians who are looking for something better would find it in Jesus.
2. Deep discipleship to distinguish true and false Christianity.
Even among the Christian voices in Iran, there are false teachers and ideologies that depart from the true gospel. New believers need to be discipled in order to move away from false teachings, such as the prosperity gospel, and cling to the truth of Scripture. Christian workers are trying to provide discipleship for Iranian church leaders. Pray for these efforts (and more) to equip the church in Iran to grow stronger and deeper in the truth.
3. A church body willing to risk it all for Christ.
Although it's good to pray that persecution in Iran would be stopped, believers in Iran don’t necessarily fixate on this request. They would benefit more from us praying for them to be strong and faithful during persecution. One believer said, “What you call persecution, I call the great sweetness of God.” Let’s pray for Iranian believers to know that Jesus is worth risking everything for, and let's pray for our own hearts to believe this too. Pray for Iranian Christians to stand firm in their faith and to be bold witnesses to the lost world around them.
4. Iranian diaspora around the world.
Because of the intensity of persecution in Iran, many believers have fled to neighboring countries or to the United States. Other Iranians live outside of Iran for work. The opportunities are bountiful to welcome Iranians into your neighborhood, share a meal with them, and even share the gospel with them. You might also find some Iranian believers in need of the encouragement of the body of Christ. Would you pray for God to show you how He wants to use you to impact the lives of Iranians living near your home? Pray also for Iranians all over the world who are starting over in new countries to find community and support in their new homes.
At Secret Church 17 we will be praying for the persecuted church in Iran and for the unreached peoples of Iran to put their faith in Jesus Christ. To learn more about Secret Church, or to register for the simulcast, go here.