Christians in Iran are regularly targeted and imprisoned for worshipping and praying in their own homes behind closed doors and windows. Despite ongoing targeted persecution, the mission group Elam Ministries recently revealed that more people in Iran are becoming Christians. Compared to roughly 500 known Christians in 1979 there are approximately 360,000.
In 2014 Christians and Muslims protested against Iran’s persecution of Christians.
Despite their efforts, millions of dollars has been spent on Islamic propaganda cracking down on finding newly converted Christians, and imprisoning them. Enforcement also resulted in permanently closing previously allowed public Farsi church services nationwide. Likewise, all Christian materials and books are prohibited and confiscated. Publishing and producing anything related to Christianity results in imprisonment, and more likely, death.
Amidst ongoing persecution, however, is a significant truth. More Iranians are becoming Christians. Elam Ministries recently told BosNewsLife that,
Church leaders believe that millions can be added to the church in the next few years — such is the spiritual hunger that exists and the disillusionment with the Islamic regime.
If we remain faithful to our calling, our conviction is that it is possible to see the nation transformed within our lifetime. Because Iran is a strategic gateway nation, the growing church in Iran will impact Muslim nations across the Islamic world.
One key member of the Elam team who is training Iranian believers for ministry, is Behrang Masoumi. He came to Christ after being invited to a Christmas party at a house church. When he arrived, he learned that one of his relatives had been going to that church for five years and was a Christian. He said, “I was shocked. I was even more shocked to discover that she had been secretly following Jesus for five years. And she had been praying for me all that time.”