Christians living in Iran have few resources in their country to help them grow their faith.
In this Muslim-majority country, converts must gather secretly and Christian bookstores don’t exist. For many, it’s challenging to even meet other Christians. It’s even more difficult for those wanting to leave Islam for Jesus.
Fortunately, there are resources outside of the country that Iranian Christians and curious others can tap into. One such VOM-supported resource, a ministry we won’t name to protect its work, broadcasts Christian messaging into the Shiite Muslim country. It also receives calls from believers and non-believers searching for answers and companionship.
Seven men and women in multiple other countries answer calls from Muslims seeking truth and from committed Christians in need of encouragement. While many callers are seeking counseling and prayer for traditional hardships such as addiction, divorce and illness, the consistent theme is that their faith is being shaken.
“Iranian people are ready to accept another religion,” said “Jaleh,” one of the hotline operators. “They don’t like Islam and they are afraid of Islam.”
Jaleh and the other operators have studied Christian and Islamic theology, and are able to answer questions comparing the two religions. They also have experience ministering to new believers.
Jaleh’s shift is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but she often answers her phone late into the night. She knows simply being available to Muslim seekers and new believers is the most important part of her role. Then, after answering questions, she’s able to guide people to online and even print resources to help them answer their questions and grow in their faith.
When people are ready to accept Christ, operators often spend up to an hour walking the caller through what it means to accept Christ and how the decision doesn’t mean their life will get easier. It actually means persecution could likely occur.
“They sometimes don’t know that they have to live the Bible,” Jaleh said. “Step-by-step, they follow it. The important thing is each verse of Bible goes into their life, not just that they read the Bible.”
Three times a month, Jaleh follows up with about 120 callers to see where they are in their faith. About two times a month, she is able to lead someone to Christ. This, she said, usually brings her to tears.
Then there are the calls that surprise her and lead her to rejoice.
“Some people call from Iranian government,” Jaleh said.
Another Iranian Muslim, “Padina,” also called into an evangelism show’s hotline. The call saved her life and her mother’s life, and led to them both receiving eternal life. To watch a video about Padina’s story, click here.
Sources: VOM Sources
Posted: March 28, 2017