The State Department reports that Iran is the biggest state sponsor of terror in the world. And it is also one of the hottest recruiting and funding countries for Islamic terror. But even though it may be a hotbed for terror, that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone who lives there supports it.
According to Open Doors USA, it is both illegal to convert to Christianity and preach in Iran. Oftentimes Christian pastors will be arrested and given long prison sentences for “crimes against the national security.”
If you open up your doors to a house church in Iran, then your home could be frequently raided and monitored. And if you do happen to go to prison, the prison situation there is appalling.
Despite these issues, Christianity Today reports the Iranian church has grown to around 1 million members. This is according to a survey by GAMAAN, a research group based out of the Netherlands. The survey asked 50,000 Iranians what their belief was. 90% of those surveyed live in Iran.
According to the survey, 1.5% of Iranians are Christians. Extrapolating that out yields a minimum of 750,000 Iranian Christians, but there are also 117,500 Armenian and Assyrian Christians living in the country, putting the actual baseline closer to 867,500 Christians at minimum.
However, Christianity Today reports the survey itself states there are “without doubt in the order of magnitude of several hundreds of thousands and growing beyond a million” Christians in the country.
But this isn’t surprising if you ask Missiologists (Christians focusing on missionary work by researching and analyzing the culture before preaching the gospel), who have been reporting explosive growth of Christianity in the Islamic country. So much so that Christianity Today reports Iran is feeling threatened by the growth of Christian churches in the country.
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John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.