Iran vows nuclear defiance; Christians hunker down.

By October 5, 2006

Iran (MNN)–Sanctions loom over Iran’s defiance in pursuing nuclear energy. The country refuses to its suspend uranium enrichment work.

At the heart of the crisis, lies the question of what the project’s function is. The process can be used to make nuclear fuel and, in highly enriched form, the explosive core of an atomic bomb.

However, Tehran insists its nuclear program is solely for peaceful energy needs, vehemently denying claims that it is seeking to manufacture nuclear weapons.

While the government offers a public face, Iran’s people do not necessarily support her war with the West or her nuclear ambitions.

In fact, there’s quite a different story being told in the days since the Islamic revolution. E3 Partners’ Tom Doyle says, “The latest stats are 70-percent of the country says that they’re atheist or agnostic. This was supposed to be the great Islamic kingdom, and it’s really made their lives worse.”

The end result of disillusionment translates to opportunity. Doyle explains, “People are open to the Gospel and we’re going in and working with the believers there that are very much underground.”

His recent visit it Iran uncovered basic needs shared by the underground church. He says it also revealed how oppression has sharpened the church’s vision. The small but rapidly growing Iranian church is on the brink of unprecedented growth.

Aside from prayer, he said, “The great need there is Bibles and evangelistic tools. They love the Evangecube. Those things are really important there for the church as they’re geared up and the great thing about the church there is nobody sees the job of evangelism as just the pastors’ job.”

A strong church in Iran will impact the entire region. However, in the last year, the intimidation of Christians has intensified. Pray for protection, wisdom and boldness for fellow Christians in Iran.

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