Iran: Explosive house church growth
Iran is the fifth country in the world on Open Doors’ World Watch List for the persecution of believers, but at the same time the church is growing explosively. The president and the supreme leader of the country openly speak against the growth of house churches, and persecution against Christian converts is highly prevalent. But these two government leaders are nearly alone in their disdain for Christianity as a ‘Western religion’, says an Open Doors staff member. Iranians have seen the corruption of the Islamic Revolution in their own country and are looking for something more. This yearning combined with a bold Christian presence is causing church growth like never before.
Iranians are very outgoing and want to speak about their faith, which is why discipleship training (with elements of outreach and communications) for Iranian believers is successful. It is estimated that about half of the new Christians are open about their new faith while others are keeping their conversion a secret. About 40 years ago, approximately 200 Christians from a Muslim background were living in Iran. Today estimations vary around 370,000 Christian converts. Besides these new believers, Iran also has a traditional Armenian and Assyrian church with about 80,000 members.
Source: Open Doors