Hamid felt the Lord leading him to take a Bible to a particular house in Iran. Despite the risk he obediently went. When a woman, Ladan, opened the door, Hamid said, “I have a gift for you. It’s a Bible.”
Ladan burst into tears. She said, “I became a Christian 10 days ago. Just yesterday I asked Jesus for a gift, and today you bring me this Bible!”
Hamad was amazed. When he asked Ladan how she came to faith, she responded, “I had cancer. I had heard about Jesus. Desperate, I prayed, ‘If you really are God, please heal me.’ And I was healed.” Hamid continues to disciple Ladan. A church now meets in her house.
This is Iran today. On the news, we hear about Iran’s nuclear deals, its entanglements in Syria and around the region, and its leaders’ animosity toward America. But on the ground, God is moving miraculously.
Acts 2:9 tells us that there were Parthians, Medes, and Elamites (Iranians) in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. We also know that Christianity came to Iran in the first century AD. Yet, through the ages, persecution of Christians in the region has prevailed.
In the Revolution of 1979, Iran became an Islamic Republic and Shia clerics took political control. New Christians faced the threat of beatings, jail time, and death.
Yet the church is growing, probably faster than any other church in the world. House churches multiply, even though they must remain small and often worship in silence for safety.
Because of this rapid growth, Bibles are in high demand. So Elam Ministries, an Iranian-led organization in England, produced a new translation of the Bible in modern Persian. The new translation makes a huge difference for long-time Christians and new believers alike.
“It doesn’t feel like I’m reading a foreign book translated into my language,” said one Iranian. “It reads like a book written for me in my language. It’s totally different.”
Elam has printed over 1.6 million Persian Bibles and New Testaments so far. They have distributed most of them through church networks in the region.