Violence rocks Iran in advance of elections; believers offer encouragement.

By June 14, 2005

Iran (MNN)–Bombings are rocking Iran days in advance of the presidential race. The explosions have claimed at least nine lives, and have terrorized the rest of the population.

Officials fear that unrest from Iraq may be spilling into Iran in the form of support for Muslim extremists. In addition, the unrest has left an indelible anti-Western impression.

But, Evangelist Sammy Tippit says that’s not entirely true. In fact, there’s a tremendous hunger among a young, disillusioned population that is embracing the Gospel. “There are literally, thousands upon thousands who are coming to know Jesus Christ there.”

The country’s young population under 35 is marked at 67 million. Many of these young people are disenchanted by the violence in the promise of tradition. This is what makes them responsive to something else, Tippit explains.

As they respond to the Gospel, another issue becomes clear. “One of the great needs is for discipleship. Many of them have never had a Bible. Many of them, their only contact with Christianity is through our TV broadcast.”

Tippit says there is much to pray about. In the Persian world, being a Christian carries a high price. “We need to pray that God would continue to give them that courage, but at the same time, give them wisdom, because their lives are literally on the line. They could be put in prison; they could be killed for their faith, following Christ. So we need to pray that God will give them great wisdom.”

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