World Compassion is committed to bringing the Gospel to the outermost parts of the world – nations that have limited to no access to the Word of God. This month we are excited about continuing to partner with our contact in Iran who is helping to operate and coordinate the distribution of Bibles.
*Below is a Q & A with the coordinator who helps arrange distributions, through our contacts, to deliver Bibles all across Iran*
World Compassion Team: Thank you so much for talking with us today! We’re very delighted to hear the stories and testimonies you have for us.
A: Yes, definitely! So the stories I’d like to share with you are from the same places where we are distributing the Bibles. They are from small group churches and also the teachers who get the Bibles and distribute to other people. These people, not only do they receive Christ and the Bibles, now they are distributing the Bibles to other people, and they are evangelizing. One of the gentleman says it is through these Bibles that his family became Christians and their lives have changed. They said nothing compares to when they have actual printed Bibles.
Q: Are our contacts distributing Bibles to individuals or to house churches?
A: House churches. The people who are in this area, they don’t have big house churches. But then maybe one or two people go out from there and evangelize and give the Bibles away.
Q: So our contacts are distributing to small house churches in each city and then they use the Bibles to further evangelize in each region of the country?
Q: Would you say that the majority of these Bibles are going to Muslims or to believers who don’t have Bibles?
A: The majority of them go to the non-believers. Most of these people don’t have a Bible. If they are becoming a Christian and they are ready for a Bible, yes, some of the Bibles will go to them, but the majority of Bibles go to distributing to evangelize.
Q: Would you say that whenever a Bible is given to a Muslim or non-Christian, there is a high likelihood they become Christian? You were describing the Bibles as an effective way of evangelism. Is that so?
A: Yes, I don’t want to say 100% because some of them still are really fanatic and very Muslim – but the majority of them, yes. One of the ladies who shared her testimony said that not only did that person become a Christian, but that Bible was shared with a family and the whole family became Christians.
Q: What are the government’s capabilities in surveillance? Are they finding out a lot of information about Christians that puts them at risk?
A: Now that so many people are becoming Christians, the government feels that things are getting out of control. They say the Christians are the number one danger. All these things they cannot control, and they know there are Muslim people becoming Christian. Sometimes they just try stopping house churches by arresting them or by saying they are going to arrest them. They try to bring fear to people so that they do not go. But now I know that there are many, many house churches in the big city.
Q: It sounds like there is quite a network of people who are passing on these Bibles. Have any of them communicated to you why they take the risks they do to distribute these Bibles?
A: They always say that when they find the truth, they are very bold. The Holy Spirit is giving them the boldness.
Q: So what you’re saying is that when they have come to know the truth and their lives have been changed, they consider all risks worth taking so they can pass on this truth to others?
A: Yes, exactly! They even know that they are likely to go to jail – I heard that one person when he went to the court, said, “I’m willing to give the Bible to the judge.” He was trying to evangelize to the judge during the court case!
Q: Is it difficult to access the Bible online or is there any risk to accessing the Bible online?
A: The Internet is very slow, so sometimes it is very, very difficult to go to the Internet to read the Bible. Only sometimes can they download it and have it on their cell phones. But the thing is that sometimes if the government finds out that they are Christians and opens their cell phones, having this app puts them in danger. Bottom line is that not everyone has access, especially if they are older and don’t have a cell phone.
Q: Overall what is it like for Christians in the country?
A: Right now they are saying more things in news and in TV that Christians will be persecuted. They said in the Koran that whoever changes religion that their penalty is death. So they try to make all the Christians afraid. Some Christians right now have been caught trying to leave their jobs and move to different countries. Others are saying, “Those that are really serving the Lord are not going to leave the country because they don’t care if they lose their life for Christ.” But if Christians are found out by the government and are put in jail once or twice, the government has control of all the information and all the conversations they have. They cannot even evangelize if they want to. So then many say, “Okay, we better go to another country to serve the Lord more effectively.”
Q: You said in a previous conversation that there are 10 million Christians in Iran right now?
A: Yes, 10 million. The number two years ago was 7 million and now they said that it’s 10 million. Many Iranians are afraid for their lives or losing their jobs so they do not say they are Christians. But if the government were to change –in some cities more than half of the people will say they are or will become Christians. Praise God! That is really amazing.
Q: That truly is amazing! Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: The Word of God is the power of God, and when you have it and really read it, life changes. Because of that people are evangelizing to their families and others even now. Thank you so much for what you are doing.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the needs of the Church and of our brothers and sisters in Christ living in Iran! They need your support today. Please pray about and consider what you can give toward helping send them much needed Bibles. Every Bible costs $6.00 to send into the country. Your gift will literally change lives as these will be delivered into the hands of Muslims and new believers who have not had the opportunity to hold the Word of God or read it with the freedom that you and I have.