The Iranian Bible Society in Diaspora launched a Bible reading plan, uniting Iranian Christians around the world.

Nahid, a local Christian worker said that the program is an effective way for believers to connect with each other, strengthening them in their walk with God.

"If they think they are alone, they get depressed. I'm not just by myself when I know somebody else is in this pain with me. It's healing. When they are reading Bibles together, they know there is another one. There is another sister or brother reading this, and they are together, they are not alone," he said, captured by Mission Network News.

The Christian worker shared that Bible reading plan has been helpful for Christians during the pandemic since in spite of the government's persecution, they know that God is with them, as the LORD was with David when he was pursued by Saul.

Nahid also pointed out that Iranian Christians tend to be misunderstood, especially in the previous years, wherein most people saw them as terrorists and hardly believe them as Christians.

The Open Doors USA's World Watch List ranks Iran as the eighth most challenging country in the world for Christians. Persecution is "extreme" in the nation, in which believers can get imprisoned just because of their faith. The Iranian government regards conversion to Christianity as the Western countries' attempt to undermine its Islamic rule, and thus, Christians with Muslim backgrounds are the most vulnerable from persecution.

But despite the oppression, Newsweek wrote that Christianity flourishes in the country. David Yeghnazar of Elam Ministries revealed that "Iranians have become the most open people to the Gospel."

However, Yeghnazar noted that the citizens are interested in Christianity because they associate it with secularism- something the believer hopes Christian agencies would work to pry Christianity away from.

"Iranians are attracted to Christianity because they think it is part and parcel of the free, secular, and Democratic West," he said.

Newsweek further shared that this growth was also observed by the Christian Broadcast Network, declaring in 2018 that the Christian faith has indeed grown in Iran "than in any other country".

The trend reportedly resulted from the regime's implementation of extreme form of Shi'ite Islam in the land. Instead of the faith's obliteration, the government's move has instead pushed the mass exodus of the citizens from Islam towards Christianity. And that Ayatollah Khomeini, who founded the Islamic Republic, has actually become "the best evangelist for Jesus."

Wybo Nicolai of Open Doors International disclosed that the rapid church growth started in 2004 when the Iranian government enforced the registered churches to minister in Farsi language. The rule has forced the underground operation of the ministry, which "spread like wildfire" through house churches and cell groups.

"The Iranian authorities lost oversight of it. There was nothing they could do to stop the spread of the [G]ospel," Nicolai stated.

Because of the risk of personal evangelism, the Gospel is mainly shared in the country through satellite television. The strategy has become largely effective during the pandemic, wherein a TV network reported an almost ten-fold surge of conversions last year compared to 2019.

Open Doors USA estimates that there are about 800,000 believers in Iran.

Please pray for the safety of the Iranian Christians.