Just a few days ago while in the Middle East, we had the chance to sit and talk with several young believers from Iran.
Listening to their stories was like a breath of fresh air. Ali, one of the leaders, confirmed the existence of a movement taking place in Iran we have heard about from many other believers in the country. It has stirred us again to do all we can to reach their nation.
Iran currently has nearly 76.4 million people. 60% of the total population are under the age of 30, over 45 million young people! Ali believes that 90% of those under 30 want nothing to do with Islam and are “seeking” other belief systems in search of truth. If this is accurate (I would say from what we’ve heard from other sources it is at least close), then this is an epidemic and a huge opportunity for the church.
This generation in Iran has grown up under an iron-fisted, radical Muslim government and has seen “behind the veil” of Islam and wants nothing to do with it. They are seeking another way.
The thing about seekers is they don’t necessarily know where to look for the Truth they seek. Our job must be to help make it easier for them to find the Truth in Jesus. If we can get Bibles into the hands of these young seekers, the Word of Truth will speak for itself. We don’t just believe this to be true, but have seen it happen a number of times.
One of the young men we met, Mohammad, shared how he had grown up in Iran and was raised as a good Muslim. He attended the mosque regularly, said his prayers, and memorized several verses from the Koran.
However, as Mohammad grew older, he began to see things in Islam that made him question his religion. He set off on a journey of seeking truth – a story similar to many young Iranians.
Mohammad found a cult that he thought would lead him to truth, but not long after starting down this path, he realized it did not. Continuing on, he found another cult with a distorted view of the Bible mixed with other beliefs from various religions. Still, he knew he had not found what he was looking for.
Ultimately, Mohammad ran across a small group of Christians in his quest for truth and asked if he could have a Bible. Another common theme.
After reading through some of the New Testament Mohammad was convinced that Jesus, the Son of God, was the Truth and gave his life to Christ. Mohammad simply needed the opportunity to encounter the Word of God for himself to find the Truth he had been searching for.
Despite what we hear in the news media about Iran, there is a generation rising in the nation genuinely seeking a better way. If this generation is given the opportunity to experience the Truth of God in Jesus Christ for themselves, they could radically change the spiritual landscape of one of the most closed countries to the Gospel in the world.
God is moving among the people of Iran. As the Church, we need to keep praying for God to continue drawing the hearts of these young seekers to Jesus, for the believers in Iran to have the courage and resources they need to continue sharing the Gospel, and for Christians around the world to respond to this window of opportunity.
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