Iran Will Become a ‘Christian Country,’ Says Evangelical Pastor


By Michael Gryboski , Christian Post Reporter
November 14, 2012|4:51 pm

An Iranian evangelical pastor has stated that eventually the Islamic Republic of Iran will become a “Christian country,” even amid increased state-sponsored persecution.

Dr. Hormoz Shariat, founder of Iran Alive Ministries, told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins these things at an event sponsored by the FRC on Wednesday. “Iran will be a Christian country, and that’s not up to me. It’s Jeremiah 49:38 [that] promises that. We are moving in that direction fast,” said Shariat.

“There is a spiritual vacuum in Iran and people are hungry spiritually. That’s when we share the Gospel, share the Word of God through television people sit there for hours, take notes.”

Shariat, who has a Christian broadcast that airs in Iran and has been dubbed “The Billy Graham of Iran,” saw significant growth of Christianity in the nation.

“Iran is so open to the Gospel. So many people are come to Christ through our ministry in the US and in Europe, but especially in Iran,” said Shariat. “As we share the Gospel through television, people come to Christ. And not just ‘easy’ believers, they have become dedicated followers of Jesus Christ.”

Shariat’s statements on the growth of Christianity in Iran correspond with a report by Open Doors USA, a persecution watchdog group. Open Doors reported in March that there was “explosive” growth of Christianity in the Islamic Republic, even while the regime of Iran is ranked by Open Doors as one of the worst persecutors of Christians.

Shariat’s remarks came as part of an FRC webcast event titled “The Cry of the Martyrs: The Threat to Religious Liberty Around the World.”

The webcast involved FRC President Perkins interviewing various experts on the issue of international religious intolerance, as well as videos on the painful experiences of those who endured persecution.

In addition to Shariat, other speakers for the webcast included Todd Nettleton, director of Media Development for Voice of the Martyrs; Dr. Thomas F. Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project, Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; and Emmanuel Ogebe, Nigerian Christian attorney.

In his conversation with Perkins, Ogebe talked about the anti-Christian violence in Nigeria being perpetuated by the terrorist organization Boko Haram. Ogebe has been a critic of the State Department’s response to the persecution of Christianity in his homeland. In an October 2011 FRC event, Ogebe said the State Department was in “never-never land” when it came to the situation in Nigeria regarding religious persecution.

According to Perkins, over 100 nations restrict religious freedom and in at least 30 countries people are actively persecuted for their religious beliefs.


3 thoughts on “Iran Will Become a ‘Christian Country,’ Says Evangelical Pastor

  1. Stories like this amaze me in some ways and in other ways saddens me. It seems that persecution is a key component in building the church with people who take the Word seriously. If I was the Devil (and I think if I actually put all my views on here there will be some who will claim that I am :)) I would stop persecuting the Christians and let them live a life of ease and luxury. Then there will be plenty of Christians in name only but not with a relationship with their Lord and Saviour. This seems to be the journey of the western culture and from my perspective it is working pretty well.
    On the other side of the spectrum, where there is persecution and people live with the possibility of dying for their faith, the church is growing. Perhaps the Early Church Fathers were right when they said that the blood of the martyrs is the lifeblood of the church (or something like that).

  2. You’re probably right Jason – but just remember that persecution is no fun. And people who have gone through it would choose ease and luxury anyday.

  3. And I would agree with you there as well Q. It is a very difficult paradox, and I for one am very glad that I live in a society where I am free to practise my religion.
    I also think that persecution, while not as violent, is becoming just as real for Christians who are faithfully trying to live out their faith in our western society. People being ridiculed for their faith etc.

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