Urgent Need Of New Testaments In Iran
Posted by Rosemary Welch on September 26, 2006
Below you will find a plea for Christ’s Word to be spread in Iran. I support this action, after reading this. I supported it before, but what these people say strengthened my faith in this area. Please read the whole thing. Thank you.
A pastor in a city in the south of Iran receives a few copies of the Scriptures from some visitors and simply says, “These are like gold-dust here;” a lady comes to faith in Christ through a program on satellite TV and has to write down verses shared during the program to comile her own “Bible;” two students watch the film, “The Passion of the Christ” being shown on an inter-city bus and one is overheard saying, “The Koran says Jesus never died on the cross, but this film says did. How I wish I could have a New Testament to know what really happened.” A pastor, a new believer, and an enquirer–all want the New Testament.
These true stories highlight the urgent need for New Testaments in Iran where there is unprecedented spiritual hunger. Well over 85% of the population are deeply disillusioned with the hard-line fundamentalist regime which, in the name of Islam, has given them war, totalitarianism, and economic chaos. But though tired of the government’s religion, there is still great interest in spiritual things. And it is especially the children of the 1979 revolution, over 50% of the total 70 million population, who are seeking for answers beyond Islam.
Some are turning to Eastern religion, others to Zoroastrianism, the ancient faith of Iran, and there is tremendous openness and interest in Jesus Christ.
The Christians in Iran, both from the above-ground and under-ground church, are keen evangelists and are more than ready to share Christ with the people, despite the risks involved. Before any evangelistic effort, they will first pray and fast, sometimes for days, asking God to supernaturally guide them to people who are open. They then find that the Lord leads them in miraculous ways. After much prayer one lady felt led to visit the sick in the hospital. When she arrived in the reception area she saw a lady sitting on the stairs, covered in her traditional black robes, her body shaking with grief. The evangelist started to talk to her and found out she was crying for her sick son. The evangelist then asked if she could pray for the lady’s son in the name of Jesus. When the lady heard the name Jesus she looked shocked.
“Jesus, did you say Jesus?”
“Yes,” the evangelist replied. “Jesus loves you and can heal the sick.”
The crying lady then explained that the night before she had had a dream. She had seen Jesus and He had told her that the next day his prophet would come and visit her.
“So, you are the prophet of Jesus.”
The evangelist now knew for sure that she was exactly where she was meant to be. She prayed for this lady – and went on that day to pray for two other families. We know that at least one of the sick was definitely healed.
It is these obedient servants who are pleading with the international church to send more New Testaments to Iran. They are willing to risk their lives to share Christ with those they are sent to – but they know they must leave people with Scriptures.
These servants are particularly keen to have supplies of the pocket size New Millennium New Testament published by Elam Ministries. They like the size as it slips easily into a bag or a coat pocket; they like the quality, the print is exceptionally clean and clear and it has a beautiful soft imitation leather cover, and they like the translation. It is accurate, modern and elegant. The old version is now very difficult for young Iranians to understand. They also love the fact that at the end of this slim New Testament there is a “Help Section” which shows the reader where to find passages that will answer his or her particular questions or needs, and right at the end there is a clear explanation of the Gospel.
The urgency for these New Testaments in Iran is not just reflected in the stories coming out of the country and the pleas of the church’s brave and faithful evangelists. There is also a sense among many mission leaders that this is a very special time for the nation of Iran. Never before has this Muslim nation shown so much openness to the Gospel of Christ, and it is a fact that more Iranian Muslims have become Christian since the 1979 revolution than in the last 1,300 years. And not only in Iran are people coming to faith, but you will find that from New Zealand to New York there are new fellowships of Iranian Christians.
In our generation Iranians are open, and that lends urgency to the need to take the Gospel to these people. Nobody knows how long this openness will last, but let it not be said that the international church missed one of the most extraordinary opportunities in the history of mission to let the New Testament change the character of a nation.
For it is the Christ found in the pages of the New Testament who changes entire nations. As Tyndale gave his life so his people could have the Scriptures in their own language, so the English responded and through the Puritans and the Evangelicals an entire nation was changed. It was this same New Testament that crossed the Atlantic and has stamped its teachings on so much of the American way of life.
And this same Christ, found in the same New Testament, can change Iran.
Elam Ministries has recently printed 50,000 copies of the pocket New Testament, but such is the demand that they have to immediately send in another order to the printers. The question is – how many should be printed? At the moment the ministry is planning to print 100,000, but perhaps the international church should be thinking bigger. Iran has a population of 70 million – would it be over-ambitious of the church to want to print at least one million? That would still leave 69 million without any Scriptures.
Elam Ministries believes it is right to be at least dreaming about sending one million New Testaments to Iran as soon as possible, but ultimately this depends on funding. As it is illegal to print any Christian material in the country’s national language, Persian, in Iran, let alone New Testaments, they have to be printed in Europe and then taken in. This means that as well as the cost of printing there is also a lot of freighting and courier costs. This brings the total price of making sure an Iranian can have a New Testament to $10.
Can you help us cover that cost? Your gift of $10 can pay for putting a New Testament in the hands of an Iranian; $50 would cover five Bibles; $100 would pay for ten copies of the Scriptures; $250 would cover the cost of twenty-five New Testaments… The blessings would be enormous!
Many have been praying for mission to Iran for years – and their investment is bearing fruit beyond expectations. Iran is ready for unprecedented church growth that would have an impact across the troubled region. Now, more than ever, your partnership in reaching the Iran region matters and will make a difference.
Elam Ministries is a faith mission and is dependent on the financial support of Christians around the world. To reach more in the Iran region for Jesus, we need more people to partner with us. Every partner makes a difference, and so we thank you for prayerfully considering investing in this mission. By partnering with Elam, you will help to deliver these much-needed New Testaments to spiritually hungry Iranians.
To donate online, CLICK HERE.
If you’d like to donate by check or money order, send to:
Advancing Native Missions
Farsi Bibles For Iran Project
Post Office Box 5303
Charlottesville, VA 22905
Thank you, and God bless you!