Iran plants leaders inside minority faith groups

By December 29, 2021

Iran (MNN) — The Islamic regime in Iran seeks even more power over religious minorities.

As described here, Iran is planting leaders inside different faith groups to protect and advance its interests. “Iranians have opened up with great thirst and hunger towards the Scripture. The Iranian population is open for change,” says Pastor Lazarus*.

“It’s this evil regime that [is] hostile. Not only to Christianity, but they’re hostile to democracy, religious liberty; they’re hostile to freedom.”

Pastor Lazarus leads 222 Ministries, a church planting ministry in Iran. They’re partnering with unfoldingWord to translate God’s Word into minority languages. More about that here.

“There are many scholars in Iran who are disillusioned with their faith! Some are eager to participate in our effort, in translating God’s word into the ethnic languages of Iran. We believe they will meet the resurrected Christ, as they translate His word!” Pastor Lazarus says.


Iran is one of the world’s most hostile environments for Christians, but it wasn’t always this way. Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, religious minorities in Iran flourished as independent communities.

“Churches were free to operate, and we were free to evangelize. We are going out in big numbers and distributing tracts, but nobody was interested,” Pastor Lazarus says.

“Everybody was after fame and making riches for themselves, and living a comfortable life. People were not interested in the Gospel.”

(Graphic courtesy of 222 Ministries)

Religious minorities lost everything when the ayatollahs took over, but God used it for His glory.

“People started being thirsty and hungry for the truth. What they taught is their accommodative, nice religion, peaceful religion; they realize no, this (Islam) is a warring religion,” Pastor Lazarus says.

“People started opening to the Gospel; first hundreds, and then thousands started accepting Jesus Christ.”

Find your place in the story

Today, as the ayatollahs tighten their grip on power, Iranians become even more desperate for truth and freedom. “My encouragement is to pray. But be informed in your praying, and see the progress which your prayers are making,” Pastor Lazarus says.

“Uninformed prayer is shooting into the air without aim. But informed praying is praying with aiming, intention, and knowing what we’re praying for.”

Use the prompts listed alongside this report to guide your intercession. Learn more about church planting in Iran here.


*Name withheld for security purposes.


Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Javad Esmaeili/Unsplash.