Church – A Matter of Life and Death?
Modern American churches often invite people to visit through slick mailing campaigns or with electronic billboards along the highway. What would you think if one of these invitations included these conditions?
- We can’t tell you exactly when or where we’ll be meeting or on what day.
- We’ll never meet in the same place twice in a row and meetings may be held in abandoned buildings, caves or other outdoor locations.
- You can’t visit us unless someone in the church will personally vouch for you.
- Our pastor, if we have one, has not studied at any seminary, is not affiliated with any denomination and he/she may or may not have had any formal training whatsoever.
- If our church grows to include 10 people, we’ll need to split up.
- If we have music during worship times, we’ll put on headphones and listen to a recording, but you can only lipsynch or whisper the words.
- There will be no handouts, workbooks, hymnbooks, prayer books, quarterlies or curriculum of any kind. Your personal possession of any of these items, including the possession of a Bible could lead to your arrest, imprisonment and/or death.
- If you do own a Bible in hard copy, please leave it at home. If you have downloaded a copy to your phone or laptop, please be aware that it could lead to your arrest, imprisonment and/or death.
- You will not be considered a candidate for church membership or baptism for at least two years.
- Please do not write down or digitize any information relating to the church or its members. Do not send emails about the church, discuss the church on the phone or make any mention of it on any form of social media. Any mention of our church or your affiliation with it could lead to your arrest, imprisonment and/or death, as well as the arrest and/or death of our church members.
- If you are arrested or killed, the other members of the church will immediately attempt to escape the country, but they will pray for you.
The Fastest Growing Church in the World
According to Christianity Today Iran is the fastest growing church in the world. The conditions listed above are just a sampling of the everyday life of a Christian there, so why is the Iranian church growing? Why are Iranians desperate to get their hands on a Bible or meet someone who knows about Jesus?
In IRAN magazine, a publication of Elam, a ministry partner of GHM, three reasons for this growth are cited:
- Disillusionment with the Islamic Republic due to oppression and violence in the name of Islam.
- Warmth towards Jesus because of his reputation in Islam as a peace-maker and healer.
- Iranian identity rooted in Iran’s long history (which precedes Islam and has been historically tolerant) makes it conceivable to leave Islam and remain Iranian.
GHM and Iran
Did you know there are more Azerbaijani-speaking people in Iran than there are in Azerbaijan? GHM is one of only two ministries producing original Christian TV programming in Azerbaijani. Iran is also home to people speaking every language of Central Asia and the Middle East, including Uzbek and Turkmen, two other languages for which we have produced Christian programming. What’s more, our involvement in this exciting church growth is expanding, because we are planning to dub existing programs into Farsi, the official language of Iran.
Help Reap the Harvest
You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.
We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached regions of the world.