Iran is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a Christian. The strict Islamic regime uses various tactics of force and intimidation to try to crush Christianity in the country. Almost all public Farsi-speaking churches have been closed, and house churches are regularly raided by the authorities; their leaders and members arrested. Evangelism by non-Muslims is illegal and may even be punished by death.
But despite the regime’s most brutal efforts, God is at work and the Church in Iran is growing rapidly! According to Operation World, Iran has the fastest-growing evangelical population in the world. The government’s hard-line approach is prompting people to search for truth elsewhere. But with such harsh restrictions on Christian worship and witness, how is the Iranian Church growing so quickly?
“My husband and I are both from very fanatical religious families. I was doing all the required religious activities until I was diagnosed with leukaemia. A Christian friend told me to repeat, ‘If God is for me, who can be against me?’ I didn’t really understand it but I kept repeating it because I was afraid – my health was deteriorating and I thought I was going to die…
“One evening, I watched a film on SAT-7 called ‘God is love’, and there was a prayer at the end, which spoke to my heart. I knelt down and repeated the prayer… Since then I’ve had revelations through dreams and seen lots of miracles. The leukaemia has gone and I feel very good now. I trust that all things have a purpose and I live by faith.”
Yasmin’s story is just one of thousands of remarkable testimonies we receive from viewers in Iran. Every day, people are telling us that they have given their heart to Christ after watching a programme on our Farsi-language satellite TV channel.
Hungry for the truth
While the Iranian authorities can restrict many Christian activities in the country, they cannot control or censor SAT-7’s 24/7 broadcasts. People are watching in the privacy and safety of their own homes – and increasingly on mobile phones and other devices. The channel broadcasts Christian programmes for people of every age and at every stage of their spiritual journey. God is using this ministry to speak to viewers who are hungry for the truth.
Despite the dangers they face, Iranian Christians are sharing their faith – and SAT-7 is helping them to do this. Families and communities are being transformed by the Gospel!
“Wherever I go, I try to be home in the evenings to watch your teaching programmes. Your channel is the only source that can feed us spiritually and help us to grow in our Christian faith. I teach my friends and family members whatever I learn from SAT-7.”
24/7 follow-up support
SAT-7 doesn’t just broadcast programmes; we provide a 24/7 support service for viewers, who often have no one else to turn to. Our programmes provoke questions. Viewers want to know more about Jesus; some want to pray with a Christian; others want to share their testimony and have contact with fellow believers. As well as phone, email and social media, we are now using a new secure messaging app called Telegram. It enables users to share videos and files; SAT-7 is making the most of this, posting programme clips, the Bible and Christian books for people to watch and read.
The response has been overwhelming. Every day, SAT-7 receives more than 2,000 messages on Telegram! And there have been over 60,000 Bible downloads!
SAT-7’s ministry on Telegram is particularly precious to isolated believers like Marianne*, whose family is opposed to her Christian faith. She told us:
“It is a great blessing for someone in my situation, who has to read the Bible secretly because I’m afraid of what my husband might do. Receiving SAT-7’s programmes on Telegram has been the best opportunity for me as it enables me to go on my tablet at the end of each night and study the materials with thirst and hunger in private. Thank you very much.”
The Holy Spirit is moving in hearts and lives in Iran and it is a great privilege – and hugely exciting – for SAT-7 to be a part of this. But the incredible demand is stretching SAT-7’s viewer support service to breaking point. A team of just ten people is trying to respond to over 15,000 contacts every week. They are overwhelmed, and we need to increase the team to meet this growing demand! You can help.
It costs £18 for every hour of viewer follow-up support** .
Would you consider funding two hours and help SAT-7 satisfy the spiritual hunger of the thousands who are contacting us every week? Your gift of £36 will enable SAT-7’s viewer support team to be on hand to answer people’s questions, pray with them and encourage them in their faith.
*names changed. **This includes salaries, equipment, bills and software licences