A new SAT-7 PARS initiative is gaining momentum among Persian believers in need of Bible-based support and encouragement. Bible teaching sessions hosted on Zoom, held weekly, are proving invaluable to individuals who struggle to find biblical community or discipleship elsewhere.
I am really grateful for the excellent teaching sessions which have refreshed me and given me new strength,” said Afarin,* a session attendee from Iran. “You don’t know how much you have blessed and encouraged me.”
With the aim of helping each person move forward in their faith and go deeper in their relationship with the Lord, the sessions begin with sung worship before moving onto a discussion topic. These have included praying and fasting, spiritual maturity, and faith in action. Sessions are designed to impact daily life and always centre around a Bible passage.
Attendees – who range from new believers to those who have been following Jesus for a few years – have felt encouraged to read God’s Word for themselves and ask honest questions. The subsequent discussions have made various positive impacts: some attendees have requested counselling; some have told friends about the sessions; one woman even committed her life to Jesus!
A man from Afghanistan called Dalir* has been attending the sessions for months. His first message to us revealed the serious danger he and many Afghans face: “The situation here in Afghanistan is very difficult for believers, and if the Taliban find out about us, they will certainly kill us.” Nevertheless, Dalir has continued to follow Jesus bravely and keeps in regular contact with SAT-7 PARS staff. In one message he said, “I was very blessed by your teaching on the Trinity. It was excellent. Many of the questions I had have been answered.”
There is high demand to join the group, but also some obstacles. “At present about 15 [people] are joining,” says Omeed Jouyandé, SAT-7 PARS Communications Officer. “There is greater demand – we originally had 116 people who wanted to join – but the internet connection in Iran has weakened and this is a work in progress. We hope the situation will improve and we will be able to engage larger numbers of people in the classes.”
The internet issues are not coincidental. Believers in Iran have been dealing with government interference – including internet outages and app restrictions – for a while now. But having served Persian viewers for 21 years, SAT-7 knows how to devise creative workarounds. Staff have been sending audio recordings from the sessions to those who are not able to join live.
Dalir is one of many to have benefitted from the persistence and passion of the SAT-7 PARS team. “Thank God for all the employees of SAT-7 PARS, who work day and night for the glory of God. You are servants who share God’s message with others, and you are God’s plan to bring the Gospel to the world. You dear friends make the church grow.
*Names changed for security reasons