Iran (MNN) — It’s safe to say Iran is hostile toward Christians. Persecution in Iran has been rising since 2005, and it’s ranked as the 8th worst persecutor of Christians on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List.
An estimated 100,000 Iranians follow Christ at great costs. Most Christian activities are illegal, such as evangelism and Bible training; Voice of the Martyrs USA says a lot of it is monitored by secret police.
SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, is bringing spiritual deliverance and encouragement. Their Farsi channel, SAT-7 PARS, broadcasts to a Farsi-speaking audience from Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.
For many in Iran, a television screen is the closest they’ll ever get to a church. Some contact SAT-7 PARS Audience Relations Specialists at great personal risk to ask for prayer and share their stories.
One such caller was a woman named Korsheed. She rang in recently seeking prayer.
“Can you please pray for me?” Korsheed asked. “I’ve been watching SAT-7 PARS for a year and a half. I have found something in your channel I can’t find on other Iranian channels.
In an account of the call posted on SAT-7 USA’s website, Korsheed recounted a “huge, very personal problem.”
“Only a miracle could help,” she stated. “I prayed, ‘Jesus, if you are God, then I bring my problem before you to solve’.”
Solve it He did, and Korsheed says it showed her Jesus was the same person she heard about daily on SAT-7 PARS.
“That’s when I began to watch regularly,” she states. But it wasn’t easy.
Belonging to a “deeply religious” family, a back-and-forth battle soon ensued over SAT-7 PARS. Korsheed’s family deleted the channel from their satellite receiver, determined to keep Christianity out of their home. Desperate for contact with fellow Christians, Korsheed would add SAT-7 PARS again.
Ironically, it was Korsheed’s family that brought the believer her first Bible.
Since the government closed the Iranian Bible Society 33 years ago, it’s become illegal to publish or import Christian literature or Bibles. And yet, Korsheed’s mother-in-law somehow returned from a religious pilgrimage to Syria with a Bible.
“She wanted to prove to me that the Bible was corrupt and not the Word of God,” says Korsheed.
“I asked her if I could borrow the Bible, promising to return it in a few days. She agreed and forgot I had it!
“I read and read and found that this is what I’ve been looking for.”
Iran is dominated by Islam, and many disillusioned Muslims are becoming curious about Christianity. Click here for a 30 Day Prayer Guide — it’s useful beyond the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends August 7.
Please pray for the safety and spiritual deliverance of people like Korsheed, who may feel isolated without an open Christian community in their towns.
SAT-7 PARS is operated by Persian Christians who recognize the vital importance of supporting the work and witness of Iranian churches. Each day, SAT-7 PARS airs specific blocks of original programming for children, youth, and women, as well as teaching programs for a general audience.