An Iranian Awakening

Media reports about Iran typically focus on its nuclear weapons ambitions or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's poor human rights record. But an Iranian evangelist says much more is happening inside the biblical land of Persia.

Lazarus Yeghnazar, founder of England-based 222 Ministries, says a vibrant New Testament church is thriving in Iran despite brutal persecution. He claims more than 3,000 Iranians are converted each month through 222's Farsi-language television and Internet broadcasts, even though the Iranian government has cracked down on satellite television and smashed satellite dishes in Tehran and other cities.

Yeghnazar says the churches are growing so fast in Iran that some leaders have wondered if they should stop evangelizing. "One church leader told me they have stopped sharing their faith because every Iranian they witness to comes to Christ," says Yeghnazar, who fled Iran in 1988 with his wife, Maggie, to base their operations in the U.K. "[The leader] told me, 'We don't have enough New Testaments to handle the growth.' There is a huge need for discipleship."

The challenges in Iran are equally as big. The country has an extremely high rate of drug addiction, and at least one-fourth of the people suffer from depression. About 60 percent of the nation's 71 million people are under age 26, and many of these are university students who are growing increasingly restless under Ahmadinejad's dictatorship.

Police brutality is common and often aimed at Christians who gather in groups smaller than 20 to worship. "Believers in Iran are not praying for persecution," Yeghnazar says, "but they know it is helping fuel the growth of their churches."

Iran has exported trained terrorists for 30 years and fueled the growth of Hezbollah, the Palestinian Intifada and suicide bombers in Iraq, as well as radical Islamic movements in North Africa and the Philippines. Yet Yeghnazar believes there is an unprecedented open door for the gospel. The evangelist quotes from Isaiah 65:1 to describe what is happening: "God said, 'I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, "Here am I, here I am," to a nation which did not call My name.'"

Iranians are not only coming to Christ in record numbers, but they are also downloading Farsi New Testaments on MP3 players, receiving smuggled Bibles and training young pastors to start new churches.

"In this repressive atmosphere people are coming to the Lord in record numbers," Yeghnazar says, noting that almost 200,000 unique visitors come to 222's Farsi gospel website each month. He said many are seeking discipleship because they just gave their hearts to Christ." 

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective