Thousands of copies of the Bible are to be taken into the Islamic Republic of Iran over the next three years. The move follows a new translation of the Bible into Farsi, a process which has taken two decades.
Despite facing persecution, the Christian community in Iran is thought to be the fastest growing in the world.
The new translation was launched at an event in London this week which involved Christians from 40 countries around the world.
During the gathering, Christians from Iran shared stories of encouragement about the growth of Christianity in the country.
One of the speakers was a lady called Rashin Soodmand whose father was executed for his Christian faith when she was just 13.
After his death she put her faith in Jesus as her father had done and decided to share God’s word with others.
She said: “I wanted to evangelise in my city but the problem was that we didn’t have Bibles or New Testaments.
“So I would write scripture verses out by hand. I wrote verses like John 3:16 and left them in taxis, restaurants, doctors’ waiting rooms, or wherever.”
Soodmand continued: “One time the Lord led me to write out the whole gospel of John by hand. I prayed for Bibles for my city and my country. God answered my prayer.”
More than 60 Christians are being held in jails in Iran and police continue to target small groups who gather for Bible study and prayer.
Although it is forced underground the Christian community is estimated to be about 400,000 people and rising by 20 per cent every year.
Elam Ministries, a mission organisation which serves the growing church in Iran, has witnessed rapid growth since the early 1990’s.
Sam Yeghnazar, director of Elam, said: “We are seeing growth in every corner of Iran. The Iranian clergy ruined the country and people are turning away from Islam.”
Elam ministries has published the new translation in partnership with Wycliffe Bible Translators. It can be used as a basis for the Bible’s translation into Iran’s many minority languages.
SOURCE: Christian Institute