Iran (MNN) — Only a few weeks ago, Iran was in the news as a hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic. However, now that the pandemic has touched almost every corner of the world, Iran has mostly fallen out of headlines.
But according to David Curry of Open Doors USA, there’s still plenty to talk about when it comes to Iran. COVID-19’s continued influence, anti-government protests last fall, and recurring unrest leave many Iranians looking for answers and help.
Iran landed ninth on Open Doors’ World Watch List, a ranking of the top ten most difficult countries for Christians. That’s why it’s surprising that the local Church is meeting that call for help.
“It’s a church that’s been forced underground [and] into home and house churches,” Curry says. Despite, this, “People, many people, are coming to know Jesus, not through coercion, not because it’s a Western religion, as the Iranian government will tell you, the extremist Iranian government, but because people are desperate for answers.”
The Church has a unique draw because it understands what it means to thrive under pressure. For many Iranians undergoing current crises, that’s an attractive thing.
“You have populations that are scared, that are nervous,” Curry says. “So when you have a group of people who have an eternal perspective like the Iranian church that’s seen hard, hard times and know what that’s like – this isn’t a soft church by any means.”
What’s more, the local Church doesn’t just survive; they thrive in servitude.
(Photo courtesy of Open Doors USA)
“They’re doing everything that we would be doing: rallying around to get food, water to people who are cut off from health care, who are hurting; serving, caring for families who have have a sick loved one; and prayer groups.”
This is a Church that Curry describes as “Large, young, and underground.” This is a Church that enacts Christ’s love by providing practical help and spiritual guidance. This is a Church that has identified a need and felt God called them to meet it.
And this is a Church that needs your prayer.
“The people of Iran need miracles,” Curry says. “They’re praying and trying to bring the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit to their neighbors. And I think it’s that sort of salt and light that you see, some of it very practical, some of it very much relying on the spiritual side of our faith. This is what’s so transformational about what’s happening in Iran.”
Header photo courtesy of Open Doors USA.