Despite heightened tensions between Iran and the United States, "secret" Christians in Iran are tuning in to God's Word via "real-time" interactive television programming so they can share the gospel with millions under the Islamic terrorist-run regime.
"Middle East satellite TV network SAT-7 is now beaming the live, interactive Persian-language program into thousands of homes across Iran and the entire region for the first time, providing Iranian Christians with an opportunity to share their stories with millions of viewers – including many from extremist backgrounds.," SAT-7 announces in a press release issued Wednesday.
Gospel going nuclear …
SAT-7's North America president Dr. Rex Rogers says Iran's jihadist, anti-Christian climate is no match for the Word of God.
"Inside Iran today, God is causing a commotion," Rogers asserts in the release. "The outside world often perceives Iran to be a country filled with hostile zealots, but the reality is that God is building the fastest-growing, most energized Church in the world today in Iran."
Muslims converting to Christianity are becoming more and more common – despite the persecution.
"Reports from inside Iran suggest that hundreds of thousands of Iranians are turning to Christ as spiritual revival sweeps the Islamic Republic and young Iranians grow increasingly disillusioned with life under the hardline regime," the broadcast ministry reports.
"Current tensions between Iran and the U.S. have increased the risk of persecution against minorities, including Iran's estimated 800,000 Christians – thousands of whom meet in secret 'underground' house churches because of constant fear of arrest and imprisonment."
Sharing one's faith with non-Christians and holding church services in Farsi – the main language spoken in Iran – is not only illegal for Christians, it is a punishable offense that incurs multiple years in prison … and even death.
In spite of the hostile climate for believers, airwaves in Iran remain relatively free, as satellite broadcasts evade the state's censorship.
"Hundreds of thousands of isolated Christians – cut off from other believers – rely on satellite TV and the Internet to connect," the evangelistic group explains. "Governments cannot censor satellite broadcasts, leaving organizations like SAT-7 free to broadcast into homes 24/7."
Petros Mohseni, SAT-7's program producer, points out how the new broadcasting format enables viewers to interact with the ministry like never before.
"During this uncertain time in Iran's history – and amidst the fastest growing church in the world – our TV show signal gives Iranian viewers the opportunity for the first time to call in and share their encouraging stories and experiences live on-air," Mohseni notes.
Many Christian viewers who converted from fundamentalist Islam, such as Jahan, now experience the wrath they were taught to unleash on believers.
"Before I gave my heart [to Jesus], I read the Book... and I found the way," Jahan shared when calling in to the program. "My heart aches for my father and mother. They don't answer my calls, and I know if they found me, they'd kill me."
One TV viewer shared on the live-on-air show how he became a believer after he was given a Bible by a taxi driver.
"I read John 15:16: 'You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit'… the very same words that I'd heard in a dream," he shared.
The Islamic Republic – with its 82 million citizens – is number nine on Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List of 50 countries where Christians experience the worst persecution for their faith … earning the designation of "extreme" persecution.
"Often, our viewers aren't even aware of their basic human rights," Rogers shares. "SAT-7 helps inform people in Iran and other Middle East countries of their rights, and this serves as a starting point to bring about change."
The broadcast ministry headquartered in Cyprus launched in 1996 and now reaches 25 million viewers throughout the Middle East and North Africa, where it broadcasts 24/7 in Arabic, Farsi (Persian) and Turkish.