Iran (MNN) — A digital church in Iran provides fellowship, teaching, training, and counseling for Christians isolated from each other during Iran’s ongoing health crisis.
Yesterday, churches around the world met digitally to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. A worldwide coronavirus outbreak has closed many church buildings, forcing Christians to move their services online.
But Heart4Iran launched a virtual church back in October 2019, Heart4Iran’s Mike Ansari says. “The conditions in Iran do not afford us the healthy and thriving church model that that we are used to in the West. [Most] of the Iranian believers are coming from [an] Islamic background. These are converts. They are isolated believers.” Heart4Iran calls their digital fellowship Mohabat Virtual Church.
The goal? To train the next wave of Iranian Christian leaders to secure the future of Christianity across Iran – through partnership and collaboration with like-minded individuals and organizations.
How it works
Mohabat’s virtual church connects Iranian believers around the country into one family, Ansari says. “So, the very first virtual church that we launched for Iran in the region, we had roughly 1,000 people participate. And one individual . . . from Afghanistan gave his heart to Christ. This is telling us that there’s a huge demand, especially with a younger audience.”
The Mohabat Virtual Church airs every Thursday on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and www.mykelisa.com. In the next few months, Ansari says, they plan on starting a Sunday school program called Superbook produced by the Christian Broadcasting Network. “It’s a children’s program that has been dubbed and finalized into Farsi and very soon we’ll be able to reach the children of Iran, the parents, and Sunday schools across Iran and the region with a knowledge of God’s love for our children and our families.”
But the online church doesn’t just stream sermons. During the Coronavirus outbreak, they minister to Iran – the epicenter of coronavirus in the Middle East – with a message of hope. This platform is fully staffed by Iranian pastoral, technical and follow-up team members. “These are individuals that all come from a Muslim background, understanding their own people. And they’re available through our call center. Every single individual, every single phone call, every single chat is important to us. Is important to the kingdom. And we try to engage them and pray with them. And let them know that they are not alone in their journey.”
God is working in Iran
In the recent years, Iran has seen a huge growth of indigenous Christian growth in its population.
“You have to understand,” Ansari says, “that the first millennia of Christianity, before there was Islam in Iran, there was Christianity in Iran. And it was eradicated by the Muslims. This organic reemergence of Christianity in Iran is an amazing phenomenon. It’s a miracle. It’s God’s design to bring reconciliation with the people that had Cyrus in Old Testament, that had Xerxes in the Old Testament.”
Iran faces a tumultuous time, but the Holy Spirit works in the country. Pray that the Church in Iran will triumph.
Image from the new Sunday school curriculum the digital church will be using. (courtesy of Heart4Iran’s Facebook page)