Iran (MNN) — Partners International recently hosted 30 Iranians for a Bible training conference outside of their country.
Partners has been assisting the Persian Ministry since 2001. Through a radio broadcast ministry, their associate has been connecting with hundreds of new and existing believers all over the country.
From the Internet and through special relay phone calls, he has discipled a number of Iranian Christians to become leaders of house-church clusters. Each year, he invites those leaders to choose several new believers or keen (and trusted) seekers from their fellowships and bring them to a week-long training event such as this one.
Such gatherings for Christians are prohibited by law within Iran. Christians make up less than one-half of one percent of the population. Open witness to Muslims is banned, and government spies monitor Christian groups.
The 30 are part of a quiet Christian house-church movement that is steadily growing despite persecution. The group was taught how to study and apply the Bible–a first for all of them. It's a risk they're willing to brave.
Iranian Muslims who convert from Islam to another religion are considered apostates. The penalty for apostasy in Iran is severe, often death. Believers are discriminated against in education, employment, and property ownership, and several pastors have been murdered.
Although missions are not allowed to enter Iran, a growing number of Muslims have converted to Christianity.
Please uphold the Iranian brothers and sisters in Christ as they get grounded in their faith. Pray they would remain bold as they share what they've learned, and pray for strength for those who come to Christ, despite the threats and dangers.