A global ministry is commending President Donald Trump for his gesture of peace toward Iran to de-escalate the volatile tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic, with the outreach’s leader proclaiming, “No war means more churches can continue to be planted inside of Iran.”
Following the United States targeting and killing Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guard General Qasem Soleimani, and Iran’s retaliatory strikes on U.S. bases and allegedly shooting down of a Ukrainian jetliner flying over its airspace, Trump has turned from the consideration of war at this time.
More time to minister for Christ …
Middle East and North Korea (MENA) Collective executive director Justin Murff – whose organization is dedicated to supporting Christian communities in the region – applauds the president for avoiding war and keeping the door open for ministry, outreach and new churches in a country that is hungry for the Gospel.
"Iran is home to one of the fastest growing Christian churches in the world, and the decision for peace means that the rapidly growing Church will continue to grow," Murff expressed in his group’s press release.
Protests against the militant Islamic regime are believed by church leaders within Iran to indicate an even greater openness to the gospel of peace and love.
"We need every Christian to pray for the Church in Iran, now more than ever,” said one church leader in Iran quoted in the release. “The protests are showing us that the Iranian people are crying out for justice and peace, and that a vale of darkness is being lifted from the people."
MENA Collective has ramped up its efforts to reach Iranians with the gospel and recently made available a special prayer guide to better equip and mobilize Christians to pray for and support the growing Church movement in Iran. It features those in the Middle East who have been touched and transformed by Christian ministries, including a former Taliban executioner who gave his life to Jesus Christ.
Last week, Trump tried to defuse hostilities with the terrorist-run regime.
“[The president is] signaling no new U.S. military strikes following an Iranian missile barrage on Iraqi bases housing American and allied military forces that resulted in no casualties,” the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Wednesday.
The commander-in-chief announced Iran’s apparent move to back away from any more retaliation.
“Iran appears to be standing down,” Trump informed in a Wednesday television address, according to WSJ.
Sen. Ran Paul (R-Ky.) took to social media to affirm that the president has no desire to instigate or protract conflicts in the Middle East.
“He doesn’t want endless wars,” Paul tweeted after meeting with Trump Wednesday. “I continue to hope for de-escalation and diplomacy.”
Iran ripe for the gospel
With last year marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, a trend of answered prayers continues to open the door for the gospel in Iran like never before, as the spiritual climate has drastically changed over the decades.
“The gospel has spread throughout the land in unprecedented fashion – despite increased persecution of Christian believers,” Providence Church Pastor Afshin Ziafat expressed in a Desiring God post last year. “To use the words of the apostle Paul, ‘A wide door for effective work has opened...and there are many adversaries,’ (1 Corinthians 16:9).”
The number of Christians in the Islamic Republic continues to grow.
“As of 1979, there were about 500 known Christians from a Muslim background in Iran,” the Iranian-American pastor recounted. “In 2005, it was estimated that there were 40,000 ethnic Iranian Christians – not including ethnic minority Christians who live in Iran. That number grew to about 175,000 Christians in 2010, according to the Joshua Project.”
Despite the grip the Islamic terrorist-led regime has on Iranian citizens, Christianity is flourishing throughout the country at unprecedented levels.
“Today, the average estimates of Christians within Iran range from 300,000 to upwards of 1 million, according to some missions experts,” Ziafat revealed. “Operation World – a missions research organization – continues to list Iran as having the fastest-growing evangelical Church in the world, [and] in fact, more Iranians have become Christians in the last 20 years than in the previous 1,300 years – since Islam came to Iran.”