Iranian youth: disillusioned and desperate for hope

By April 10, 2018

Iran (MNN) — Underemployed, politically disenfranchised, religiously restricted — the youth in Iran make up over two-thirds of the national population and they are desperately searching for purpose.

Mike Ansari with Heart4Iran explains, “The youth of Iran are fed up with Islam. They are looking for new meaning in their life so they are reaching out to the international community to belong to a cause, especially with the latest failed uprising in Iran. The Iranian youth, more than ever, are looking for a reason to have meaning in their life and identity to their existence.”

About 70 percent of the Iranian population is under age 30. Also, out of all developing nations, Iran is one of the most tech-savvy with young people comprising the majority of internet users.

(Photo courtesy of Mohabat TV via Facebook)

Heart4Iran reaches out to Iran’s tech-savvy youth through social media and television broadcasting on Mohabat TV. And their answer to the despair that Iranian youth feel is one of eternal hope. Heart4Iran introduces seekers to the life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ansari says reaching such a large a demographic under 30 in Iran comes with the same unique challenges that are characteristic of this younger generation globally. “In Iran, Google and Facebook and YouTube are blocked but the majority of Iranian youth are following Western pop culture through their own Facebook account and Twitter and others.

“They are very much looking for instant gratification, instant happiness, and they want to see the results…. They only have a minute or two and they are on their mobile devices. And if, within that minute or two, you are not able to package your message and have an impact, you may have lost them.”

Because Iran is a closed country, it’s difficult to assess audience reach, especially with restricted mediums such as satellite TV or the internet.

However, last year, Mohabat TV, the media arm of Heart4Iran, had an independent surveyor assess their audience in Iran. Ansari says they were actually quite surprised and encouraged with the results!

Heart4Iran, Mohabat tv, Iran, Jesus Film

(Photo courtesy of Heart4Iran)

“We found out that roughly about [16] million Iranian[s] within the last 12 [months] have seen one or more of our TV shows on satellite TV, Mohabat TV, or on our Facebook pages. We actually had no idea that such a number existed out there that are tuning into our programs and following Christ! That translates roughly to about 20 percent of Iran’s population, which is a huge number.”

With great reach comes great responsibility. Because of this, Heart4Iran and Mohabat TV are determined to continue sharing the hope of the Gospel in a relevant manner to Iranian youth.

But Iranian soil is not the only place where Christians can be reaching young Iranians. There is also a significant portion of the population scattered around the world as refugees and immigrants.

“There is a very good chance that one or two Iranian families may be living close to any of the listeners of this program right now,” Ansari says. “Wouldn’t it be great to reach out to them, to invite them to your home, to invite them to your church, and slowly but surely tell them about the love of Christ for them?”

To help you better reach Iranian neighbors with God’s love, Heart4Iran has several resources available!

(Image courtesy of Heart4Iran)

Click here to receive Heart4Iran’s free guide, Reaching the Muslims Next Door!

You can also ask Heart4Iran to come speak to your church or event. To invite a Heart4Iran speaker, click here.

Ansari explains, “We are being very intentional in America to go to churches and organizations that would like to know more about Islam and how to reach the Muslims next door. So if anybody is interested in potentially hearing more through their church or through their groups, visit our website Heart4Iran.com and get in touch with us! We would be more than happy to make arrangements to come visit you anywhere in America and spend a day or two with your team, with your leadership, or with your church to tell you what are the best ways for us to share the Gospel with the neighbors next door.”

Finally, please pray for Iranians to commit their lives to Jesus Christ. Pray for young people in Iran to find hope and strength in the truth of the Gospel. And ask God to open doors for you to share His love with Iranian people — both in your community and around the world.

 

(Header photo courtesy of Middle East Concern)

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