A small town had three churches: Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist. All three had a serious problem with squirrels in their buildings. And each place of worship had its own way of dealing with the problem. The Presbyterians decided that it was predestined that squirrels be in the church and so they would just have to live with them. The Methodists decided they should deal with the squirrels lovingly in the style of Charles Wesley. They humanely trapped them and released them in a park at the edge of town. However, within three days, they were all back in the church. But the Baptists had the best solution. They baptized the squirrels and voted them into membership. Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.
Where is the fastest growing church in the world? It is not in North America or South America. It is not in Africa or Asia. It is not in the Far East or Near East. No, the fastest growing church in the world is in the Middle East. And what Middle Eastern country? Iran.
According to the international missionary research statistical centre, Operation World, more Iranians have come to Christ in the last 20 years, than in the previous 1,300 years (since Islam swept over the Persian kingdom) combined. Dubbed by missionologists as, “The Iran Awakening” a new 2019 documentary entitled, Sheep Among Wolves, quotes one of the leaders of the underground movement as follows, “What if I told you that here, Islam is dead? What if I told you that the mosques inside Iran are empty? What if I told you that no one follows Islam in Iran? Would you believe me? But that is exactly what is happening. Large numbers of Iranian Muslims are walking away from Islam and into Christianity.” (The Wall Street Journal recently confirmed the above regarding Islam in Iran. “Mosques all over Iran are empty at prayer times. Of the nation’s 57,000 mosques, only 3,000 are fully operational. And of those 3,000, some are only functioning during the religious month of Ramadan.”)
“Ayatollah Khomeini has turned out to be the best evangelist for Jesus Christ. For the ayatollahs brought the true face of Islam to light and the people discovered it was a lie. After 40 years under Islamic law, a utopia according to them, they’ve had the worst devastation in the 5,000-year history of Iran.”
Christian use of communication technology has played a major role in this unprecedented spiritual awakening. The Iran Supreme Council For Cyberspace officially bans things like (Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, You Tube, etc.), but tech-savvy young Iranians (70% of Iran’s population is under age 35) continually figure out how to get around the firewalls. For instance, Heart4Iran is a Christian satellite broadcast ministry that airs 24-hour gospel programs to Iran. Last month they reported 16,000,000 Iranian viewers (one-fifth of the population), a 400% increase in hits compared to just four years earlier. And they are noting more requests for how to disciple new believers and for how to set up house churches (all in secret).
The bottom line? What really struck me is when you hear these Iranian disciples interviewed, how pro-Israel they are. That caught my ear, but even more, God’s.