Harsh enforcement of Iran’s Sharia law opens door for Gospel

By April 25, 2008

Iran (MNN) — Iran's security
chief says the "public security plan" will continue–a plan used last year to arrest thousands of
women and youth for violating Sharia law.

The length and severity of the
crackdown has been unprecedented in the Islamic republic in recent years. At the same time, political instability seems
to be growing within the country. The two combined have made an interesting
formula for the introduction of the Gospel.

The harsh crackdown may be having
an opposite effect on the youth. SAT-7's
David Harder says, "There's a great amount of disillusionment with what
people see around them. They're dissatisfied with the economy, with the
government, with the religious system." 

That's where the work of SAT-7
PARS–a
Farsi-language, Christian satellite TV channel–can be most effective. They provide continuous 24-hour broadcasts to
viewers in Iran and Afghanistan and nearby areas where Farsi is widely spoken.

SAT-7's team made an observation
about their audience: "The young
people seem to be drawn either toward a completely secular view of things or to
sort of a negative and hopeless look. In
between that, people are thirsty, and they are watching SAT-7 PARS. We're getting tremendous responses from people
who are coming to know the Lord, who are so appreciative of the programs that
are training them." 

Because of this spiritual
climate, SAT-7 PARS team has been experiencing rapid growth. Viewers have said
that SAT-7 PARS is their only source of Christian teaching, training and
encouragement. Others have worked with
PARS counselors to learn how they can become followers of Christ, so much so,
that more counselors were needed this year.

As the staff grew in their cramped studio space, it
became evident that they would need new offices. Early in 2008 the entire SAT-7
staff in Cyprus gathered in the new PARS office to pray  and dedicate
each room to the work of the Lord.  

Harder says they're planning to continue on the growth track. "They have plans for the future to add some live shows. People in Iran have been asking for that
because they want to engage with the hosts."

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