Spiritual searching in Iran, as uncertainty continues

By August 24, 2006

Iran (MNN) — Leaders around the world are ready to talk to Iran about its nuclear program, but only after it stops uranium enrichment. France made that clear yesterday after Iran answered an incentives offer from six nations, saying it contained ideas that would allow serious negotiations to start immediately. Many view it as a stalling tactic.

This political pressure and other problems are causing Iranians to look for answers. SAT-7, Christian Satellite TV for the Middle East and North Africa, is providing answers through Iranian Christian Broadcasting, or ICB.

SAT-7’s David Harder says, “70 percent of the citizens are under age 30. And, many of them are very discouraged and upset about the future. 27 percent of those young people are unemployed. And, so many of them fall into hopelessness and despair and there’s a huge amount of drug abuse and usage in Iran.”

That hopelessness makes them open to other ideas, says Harder. “So, they’re looking. And, we know that there are many, many who are coming to Christ through satellite television broadcasts, on ICB. (They’re) helping to train up these young people to help lead (new) house churches.”

According to Harder, what’s amazing is satellite television is illegal in Iran. “From time to time the government will try to crack down, but there are so many people who have them. It’s almost impossible to get rid of them all.”

Harder says ICB is needed for one very good reason. “(Iranians) think of the whole west as Christian. And so, when they see pornography, when they see violent movies coming from the so called ‘Christian West,’ often that’s what they think Christianity is, so when they actually see the beliefs of Christians presented by people in their own language, who live in their country, that makes it that much more effective and people are coming to Christ.”

However, that can only happen as support is given. “It costs so much money to create programs. And, we want to make quality programs. We want to make dramas. We want to make music videos. We want to make quality television that helps attract people that are just flipping through the stations.”

If you’d like to help, go to http://www.icbtv.net/donation/donate.asp.

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