Heart4Iran equips Iran’s emerging leaders

By March 8, 2024

Iran (MNN) — Minorities press on despite an increasingly dangerous atmosphere in Iran.

A new report from Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) and France’s Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) says executions surged for the second year in a row in Iran as authorities targeted protestors involved in the ‘Women. Life. Freedom.’ movement.

Official sources noted 125 executions in 2023, but the report lists at least 834 executions – a 43 percent increase since 2022 and the second-highest number of state-sanctioned killings since records began. At least 22 of those who died last year were women, the report says, the highest number since 2013.

Yet those surrendered to Christ do not fear death. “The vast underground church movement inside Iran is primarily led by women. They have left Islam and become Christian,” Mike* with Heart4Iran says.

Heart4Iran recently gathered these young Iranian Christ-followers and their male counterparts for a leadership development discussion.

“God has given these younger believers such amazing tools to contribute to Iranian society,” Mike says.

“These are people who are saying, ‘I matter; I can change the destiny of my nation, and I am brave enough to stand in the gap.’”

Many young believers tell Heart4Iran that their unique giftings don’t have a place in the local church.

“When a young Muslim becomes a Christian, their zeal for Christ translates to an innate desire to serve the Lord. Most often, [young people say,] ‘The only way I can be an effective Christian leader is to be a pastor or serve within the church building,’” Mike says.

(Photo courtesy of Heart4Iran)

“That model is not a holistic model for the growth of a Christian movement within the context of a society and a nation. God is raising Christian believers leading from the context of the marketplace,” he continues.

“Defining a leader goes beyond the church context. The survival of the Church and Christian movement in Iran depends on Christian leaders within the marketplace.”

Heart4Iran is helping young leaders finetune and develop their skills and passions, enabling them to serve God through vocation. The first way you can help is also the easiest and most important.

“Please pray for the younger, emerging leaders to understand that to be an effective, efficient leader does not mean that you have to serve in the church only,” Mike requests.

“Pray [Heart4Iran can] train enough leaders organically so they would stay inside their own countries and have an impact through their skills and love for the Lord.”


*Name withheld for security purposes.



Header image depicts a snapshot from the emerging leaders’ conference hosted by Heart4Iran. Faces blurred for security purposes. (Photo courtesy of Heart4Iran)

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