January 11, 2021
To Help you Pray this month for your Local Mosque Community.
This call to prayer was written by one who was born a Muslim, but has since chosen to follow Jesus Christ. Hear their heart's cry as they invite us to join them in praying for Muslims.
After the Islamic revolution in 1979, an increasing number of young Iranians began to seek the truth and surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ. Through a wide-spread spiritual awakening, the Church of Iran grew numerically in its commitment to our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Just like many other young Iranians, my journey began as a teenager when I stepped into a church by an invitation from a high school classmate and friend. I personally experienced the love and grace of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, back home in Iran. Coming from a Muslim background, I was welcomed into the lovingly Christian family of believers.
After almost six months of regular participation at church, on the afternoon of June 3, 1982, I fell on my knees and surrendered my life to him. After participating in baptism preparation, I was baptized and welcomed into the Body of Christ on Dec 1, 1982.
From then on, I became a child of the most- High and served as a faithful Soldier for our Lord. Soon after, I became the youth leader at our church, and I met my wife. My wife was born in a Christian family (ethnically Armenian/Assyrian) who were active members at our church and her family welcomed me into their home and into their life. Normally Assyrian and Armenians girls in Iran marry within their own culture, however, her family accepted me as their own son and by their blessing, we were married a few years later.
We became partners in life and in our service and ministry to our Lord, His people, and His ongoing mission and ministry all over the globe. God opened a new chapter in our lives. We served in different capacities at our church. We became ministry leaders for our Youth and Young couples’ ministries and served as deacons/elders at our church.
After a few years, we left in Iran reluctantly and only because as a family it was no longer safe for us to stay and continue our ministry in Iran. Many Christian converts and their families are in danger of losing their lives. We continued our ministry work here in Canada, supporting several Farsi speaking ministries here, in the US, and even in Europe and the Middle East.
We established our ministry here in Canada and expanded our ministry and outreach amongst our social and ministry networks around the Globe, both through Social Media platforms and in-person activities.
We have both strived to make God's Word the standard for our lives, rested in His love, reveled in His righteousness and served wholeheartedly to glorify His name. We have entrusted our lives to God who knows us through and through, and in Christ who has chosen us, sealed us, given us the Holy Spirit, and promised to guide us.
Iran (Persia) is a land rich with culture and traditions, which date back to thousands of years ago. An ancient civilization with a long history of art and literature rooted in the very existence of its being.
The Persian people have also been actively present in many of the historical events documented in the Bible. Cyrus the great (Persian King) was the one whose edict (Ezra 1:1-2) made it possible for the Jewish people, who were exiled in Babylon, to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. Tribes from Persia (Parthians, Medes and Elamites) were present at the Temple in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:9). They heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and proclaimed their faith in their native language.
Persians were also among the 3000 people baptized on the day of Pentecost. They returned home and shared the glorious Good News and what they had witnessed there.
Persians have always had an integral role in God’s redemptive story. As the word of the Lord came to prophet Jeramiah concerning “Elam,” which is the land of Iran today (Jeremiah 49:34), the Lord declares “I will restore the fortunes of Elam in the days to come” (Jeremiah 49:38).
The Holy Spirit has continued His work among the people of Iran, with the Word of God sweeping through that land from city to city and town to town. Despite Christians and Churches suffering under a lot of pressure and increasing persecution, the nation has begun to experience life-changing transformation in Christ.
In the last 20 years, more Iranians have come to faith in Jesus Christ than ever before, with Christianity being the fastest growing religion in Iran with an average annual rate of 5.2%. In 2015, a study estimated that there were between 100,000 and 500,000 new Christian believers from a Muslim background living in Iran.
1. For the oppressed Christians and people of Iran who live through fear, isolation, hopelessness and despair;
2. Persecuted churches and imprisoned new believers and ministers/lay ministers captured in Iran including converted Christian who have disappeared, experienced torture, and lost their lives because of their faith;
3. For Suicide rates which have been skyrocketing, especially among young women and teenagers in Iran;
4. For young Iranians battling drug and other addictions (Iran has been recognized as #1 in the world in per capita drug use);
5. For Persian ministers and ministries as they continue to serve and reach out to spread the Good News of the Gospel into Iran, and all other countries and communities where Iranian new seekers and believers reside;
6. For God’s provision for Persian ministries in order to expand their outreach and continue to lead effectively while expanding the Kingdom of God;
7. For Iranian refugees all over the world and for families who have been separated by borders and seas to be reunited.
Persians in Canada
Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, when the Pahlavi dynasty led by Shah Pahlavi was overthrown and replaced by Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Canada has seen a growing influx of Iranians, fleeing the daily realities of the Islamic republic governed by Sharia law.
Persians continue to flee the ongoing turbulence in Iran, finding a new home in Canada. Annual immigration from Iran in the decade from 2010 to 2019 averaged 8,500/year. Douglas Todd writes in a January 2020 article in the Vancouver Sun (read it here):
There are roughly 202,000 people of Iranian origin in Canada, with 97,000 in Greater Toronto and 46,000 in Metro Vancouver.
Iranian-Canadians, also known as Persian-Canadians, make up roughly one-in-five residents of many neighbourhoods in West Vancouver and North Vancouver, especially in Ambleside and the British Properties, as well as in the City of North Vancouver, particularly along Lonsdale Avenue.
There is also a significant population in Coquitlam.
1. For Iranian Canadians, some of whom continue to identify as Muslims, others of whom have rejected Islam in favor of atheism or Zoroastrianism, to be hungry for a relationship with God found only through Jesus Christ.
2. For the growing Iranian church in Canada to be equipped and mature, marked by unity and humility in Jesus Christ, to be a bright witness to their community.
3. For Christians in Canada to be ready to lovingly bear witness to the truth of Jesus Christ the Messiah to their Iranian neighbours.