Iranian believers undergo training for the house church movement.

By January 23, 2006

Iran (MNN)–Nuclear tensions are affecting international goodwill. Global concerns are growing as countries are looking for ways to halt Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.

Open punishment is not likely a road that will be taken, which leaves diplomacy. Even as government officials prepare to talk, the rest of the world is sitting down to mark the 25 year anniversary of the release of the Embassy hostages.

That’s the backdrop for Interserve’s Doug VanBronkhorst who recently trained a group of Iranian house church leaders.

At a time when the West is putting pressure on the Iranian government, the risk of ministry is especially high for them. “If it were known that these people were meeting with a couple of American pastors for training, it wouldn’t matter if it were, as it was, entirely based on Scripture and related to spiritual, doctrinal things. Assumptions would be made that there was something else going on, and they would be persecuted for it.”

Vanbronkhorst says the biblical training is especially important because it reveals a healthy growth. “The church is alive and well in Iran. It’s doing better in Iran than perhaps in some other Muslim countries. We just sort of saw the tip of the iceberg in terms of the network of house churches that we were able to work with here. There are many others. Nobody knows for sure how many.”

As the believers in Iran are already bold, pray for continued growth in outreach. Vanbronkhorst also urges prayer that they would have the courage to endure the petty things, that they would know and teach correct biblical truths.

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