Iran (MNN) — Despite the persecution and risk associated with assisting believers there, Bibles are being sent to Iran.
Iran ranks second only to North Korea for its poor treatment of Christians, according to Open Doors' World Watch List. Believers make up a tiny minority of the nation and pay dearly for their faith.
And yet amid this severe atmosphere, Christ followers are determined to remain in their country and spread the Word. Their persistence is working, and the home church movement is booming–especially among Iranian youth.
"We just believe this is a tremendous opportunity to put Scriptures into the hands of young believers; the youth in that country are incredibly open to the Gospel," says Ken Leggatt with WorldServe Ministries in Canada. "It's an incredibly youthful nation as well," Leggatt adds.
The total median age of an Iranian is about 26-years-old (as opposed to the U.S. median of 36-years-old), and the number of these young people in the nation looking for change is high. Many are welcoming digression from the old oppressive regime of Iran and extremism. Getting Bibles into the country so they can read and learn more for themselves is crucial.
With all this in mind, WorldServe has chosen Iran to be the first recipient of their Million Bible Challenge. "We're making our first shipment of Bibles toward the goal, and that's 10,000 Farsi New Testaments and Psalms that is going to be distributed to believers in Iran," says Leggatt.
There's a serious risk to doing this type of distribution. "Back in December, you'll recall that the day after Christmas there was an arrest of about 25 church leaders," Leggatt reminds us. "Many of those people were detained for months and suffered at the hands of their captors. "
But church leaders are determined, and when distribution is finished, the impact could be significant.
Of course, Iran is in need of more than just these 10,000 Bibles. Leggatt says one partner mentioned, "If there was 10 million Bibles to go into the country right now, that wouldn't satisfy the demand for the Word of God."
Still, these initial 10,000 will touch at least that many lives, and the need for more indicates seeking and open people. As Leggatt puts it, "It's another drop in the bucket, but eventually, enough drops and it'll fill it up."
Pray that those who are searching for Truth in Iran would find their way to friends with these Bibles. Pray that the self-authenticating Word of God would transform many Iranian hearts looking for more.
The Million Bible Challenge is just getting started. To help WorldServe send the other 990,000 Bibles to India, Cuba, Ethiopia, Vietnam, China and more, click here.