Since the Islamic revolution in 1979, many Iranians have become open to the life that the Lord offers. In spite of this increasing interest in the gospel, only a very small percent of the 25 million Persian Iranis are believers. An even lower percentage of believers is found among minority ethnic groups who make up nearly half of Iran's population. Yet their growing interest in Jesus has not gone unnoticed. Pressure on the church has intensified, causing many to flee for their lives, while others have forfeited their lives on earth for the gospel. To outside eyes it may appear that the political subjugation of the ancient nation of Persia to Islam is a victory for Satan, but God has other plans. Remember the story of Esther, the young Jew who became queen of Persia when Haman was plotting to annihilate her people? The same God has his people in place to win the day for his name: he is equipping the church in Iran, Persian believers who have fled to other nations, and even you and me as we play our part by praying for such a day as this. Take the words of Esther's uncle, Mordecai to heart: "Perhaps for this very reason you have been brought into the kingdom."
Lord, we pray for the valiant church which has seen pastors killed and many believers fleeing the country. Bring revival in the Orthodox and Armenian churches.
|Tajik||Homeland: Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran|
|Religion: Islam, Animism|
"I had a dream last night," announced the raspy voice on the line. The caller's accent identified him as a Tajik seeker who had attended Amir's Bible study the night before. "A white-robed man approached me, book in hand. When I asked who he was, he replied, 'Jesus.' He extended his hand toward me and said, 'Write your name in the book.' Can you tell me the meaning of this dream?" Amir smiled and began to tell his Tajik friend about the Book of Life into which believers names are written. When the man came to the study two days later, he requested a Bible, declaring, "I want to become a follower of Jesus."
Father, glorify yourself by revealing Jesus to the Tajik people through the Bible and through dreams and visions. Raise up many Tajiks who can lead Bible studies.
The 3.2 million Mazanderani people live primarily in the northern reaches of Iran just south of the Caspian Sea. Those who are educated speak Farsi, the national language, but many, especially women, speak only their native Mazanderani language. They are intensely devoted to their families and to the strict tenets of Shi'a Islam. The Mazanderani live and die virtually untouched by the gospel. Some have access to Christian radio broadcasts, but only in Farsi. There are no broadcasts in Mazanderani and no known missionaries focusing on this huge unreached people group.
Lord of the Harvest, we ask that you would thrust forth laborers into the harvest field of the Mazanderani.
|Iran Religion: Islam|
As he topped the small rise, Mohamad's village came into view. It was evening, and the sun, as well as his long winter of work in the city, was behind him. For the next several months he would live with his family and the flocks, searching out green pasture for the sheep and clean air to ease the distress of his tuberculosis. Mohamad is one of 1.8 million Hazara people living in Afghanistan. They are descendants of Ghengis Khan and nearly all are Muslim. By some reports the Hazara people are more responsive than many Muslims to the gospel. Recent efforts have been made by Christians to minister to their medical needs and a limited amount of Christian radio now reaches them. Some Hazara are also being reached in countries like Pakistan, India, and the United States.
Christ, please lead these shepherds by the still waters and the green pastures of which David sang in Psalm 23.
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