Iran (MNN) — Iran has one of the world’s fastest-growing Christian populations. Some estimates point to a million converts from Islam in the past decade.
“The church in Iran is a ripe, healthy church that is constantly growing,” Transform Iran’s Lana Silk says.
Secret believers often meet online for security purposes. However, recent government crackdowns on the Internet make digital gatherings challenging to organize.
“With mission to Iran, there’s kind of a ‘reverse migration’ right now back to satellite TV as a primary source because it’s harder for the government to control,” Silk says.
Satellite TV is banned in Iran, but over 70 percent of the population uses satellite dishes to access media outside the country. “As part of our Persian Community Church, we have live broadcasts on Friday night through satellite TV,” Silk says.
“Friday night is primetime in Iran, so that’s an excellent time for a family to [gather] at home, in their living room [to watch the broadcast.] There is an interactive element, so people feel they’re participating in something rather than just watching it.”
Satellite TV, radio, social media, and mobile apps allow Gospel workers to discuss their faith, disciple new believers, and resource church planters. More about Transform Iran’s media ministry here.
Iranian lawmakers tightened the country’s internet censorship legislation last year amid widespread civil unrest. But difficult is not impossible. Most Iranians use VPNs or other workarounds to bypass government restrictions. This opens the door for digital evangelism and discipleship.
“We are mindful of security and take [several] measures to address people’s security concerns. We don’t reveal people’s identities or force anyone to show their video,” Silk says.
“We have a fully interactive Zoom meeting [on Sundays] where hundreds of devices will join. Of course, the most visible will be [those] with their video on. Those are very, very rarely Christians who are [inside] Iran.”
Help Transform Iran share the hope of Christ with Iranians through media. Pray desperate Iranians searching for truth will meet the God of heaven.
Header and story images courtesy of Transform Iran.