Relief efforts somewhat effective in Iran

By February 23, 2004

Iran (MNN) — The earthquake in Iran took the lives of more than 40,000 people. It literally destroyed the city of Bam. The needs in that Muslim nation’s city are great, but Christian relief reaching the needy has been limited. And, ministry to those suffering has been even more so.

Trans World Radio’s Iranian program producer says, “even though (the) door opened and a lot of Christian organizations brought help, they got even more than what they (needed). It’s sad to say almost half of what the government received, less than half made it to the people.” TWR says, “because they had to go through government agents, the government (took) the money and they gave in their name, not in the name of Christ. Not in the name of America and so on. This is Islamic help to your people.”

However, those helping local churches with outreach have been successful. “They are still going there every day and they are able to share the Gospel. Giving the money and the help and (they) say, ‘this is in the name of Christ that we give to you.’ And, many of these people for the very first time they hear that Christians are helping them,” he says.

Trans World Radio is broadcasting into the region and it’s one of the only ways for the Gospel to penetrate society. This broadcaster says, “We have been broadcasting over 22 years right now to Iran and yes, I can honestly say, maybe a couple million have heard the Gospel, but several thousand have responded to it.” He says people in rural Iran appear to be more open to hear the Gospel than in urban centers.

He says if TWR can change the hearts of the hard-line fundamentalists, Islam around the world could change. “Iran is the center of Islamic propaganda. The people of Iran have turned away from Islam, but there is a small group around the country and the money they are still running it. I believe if Iran changes the whole Muslim world will be shaken.”

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