In the midst of the raging trials and persecutions that people in Iran go through simply for being a Christian, the gospel continues to spread in the Middle Eastern country at a rate that reports describe as a "sizzling pace."
Believers in Iran continue to face threats for their faith in Christ, but despite that, the country now has become the home to one of the world's fastest-growing churches, CBN reported. The increase in the number of those who turn to God and follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior has increased rapidly even in the face of persecution.
At the moment, there are already about one million Christians in Iran. While this number sounds small when compared to the country's 84 million citizens, believers are praying and anticipating that more Iranians will turn to God.
Earlier this year, the Iranian government implemented a law that bans promoting Christianity online in any form. This includes prohibiting the use of all social media platforms or any virtual platform to promote belief in Jesus as the Lord and Savior.
The government also prohibited the use of Christian chat sessions, as well as the spread of digital discipleship resources online. It also banned online church services and stifled the gathering of believers whether in person or via virtual means.
As the Scripture said that all things work together for good of those who love God and called according to His purpose, the recent rule that the government implemented to prevent the gospel from spreading seemed to work the other way.
Despite the risks involved in continuing to boldly live out their faith in Christ, Iran's gospel-hungry Christians continued to taste and enjoy what seemed to be "forbidden fruit" in their country, Dr. Rex Rogers, president of SAT-7 USA, a Christian broadcasting company focused on spreading God's love in the Middle East and North Africa, wrote in a CBN commentary.
The more they were prevented from stepping on to their faith, the more they explored how the power of modern technology could aid them in their desire to know more about Jesus.
Tech-savvy believers in Iran began to use platforms such as Telegram, WhatsApp, and Facebook to find the truth they are looking for. Some video-streamed Christian worship services from other places to satisfy their thirst for the gospel. A report described the scenario this way: the Holy Spirit is "on fire."
The spread of the gospel continued even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the lockdowns, SAT-7 noticed that there has been an "explosive" increase in the number of people watching its Bible-based programs, as well as the number of people interacting in its social media channels.
SAT-7 reported that there had been more than 4,800 interactions in its social media channels alone in Iran in July and August this year - a "staggering" 34 percent increase compared to last year. Also, thousands of people are tuning into SAT-7 PAR, a channel that broadcasts Christian programming in the native language, Farsi.
Iran's secret police may break into homes to arrest Christian leaders, imprison them and torture them for their faith. Nevertheless, faithful Iranian Christians continue to gather in their homes to watch Bible-based programs, worship in secret, and through the use of social media, encourage one another to continue pursuing God.