As violent protests continue in Iran, concerns about international affairs have arisen due to Iran’s increased cooperation with Russia. Implications of such a partnership could present new challenges for the underground church if the Iranian regime gains access to additional Russian weapons or military reinforcements. Though these changing circumstances certainly carry weight, leaders in the underground church remain rooted in the Word of God, which instructs Christians not to worry. They have experienced the God of peace during unprecedented political and social upheaval, so they are confident that no new challenge is too big for God to handle. He continues to give disciples in Iran unwavering faith and resilient strength to face each challenge ahead.
Iran Recruits More Help from Russian Forces
Protests in Iran have been escalating for more than three months. The IRGC has fought the resistance with violence and brutality toward civilians. Over a hundred men, women, and children were imprisoned, and many have endured torture and assault by prison guards. Most recently, Iranian leadership has approved executions, some of which have occurred in public settings. Protestors have been murdered in the streets, and bullets have been shot point-blank into crowds of people. With increasing violence from Iranian leaders, protestors have had enough. They no longer fight back peaceably. Instead, some have begun to instigate targeted attacks toward Iranian guards and retaliate with the same brutality and violence they have endured. Because of these revenge attempts, the Iranian regime has grown desperate to regain control.
The Underground Church Provides an Example to Believers
In the West, headlines about political unrest and unsettling alliances can easily cause panic. It’s not difficult to think about the scary “what ifs” that may happen when world powers join forces for evil purposes. However, the underground church in the Middle East remains undaunted. Iran has long been an area of political unrest, and yet with each new event the persecuted church sees that God continues to be faithful.
Though the Taliban seems to hold great power and cause great harm, Christians in Iran know that their “struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). The power of the Holy Spirit within them is more significant than any worldly leader or armed guard.
The Underground Church in Iran Continues to Grow
Rather than joining in the violence and getting revenge like some protestors, the underground church chooses to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. The evil in the streets has not stopped the church from growing. Instead, God has used the unrest to draw souls to Himself in large numbers.
People in Iran are sick of living in fear. They want to believe that there is hope. Those that have experienced Jesus cannot keep from sharing their testimonies of transformation with everyone they know. The church is the one place in Iran where peace and joy are overflowing. A growing excitement and a genuine zeal are multiplying as more people commit their lives to Christ. The Iranian army and Russian reinforcements can never overcome the power of Christ in the underground church.Christians know their hope is secure and eternal.
Join the Underground Church
Be a light in the darkness. Help make disciples in the darkest places like Iran and Afghanistan. Global Catalytic Ministries teaches and trains disciple-makers to listen to the voice of God and obey Him. The result of an effective disciple is that they make other disciples, can stand alone without human leadership, are highly obedient to Christ, and love God so much that nothing else matters. Because of donors partnering with what God is doing, the underground church has grown from 750 to 1,400 churches planted all within the last year. With the rise of persecution in Iran, the continued hunting of Christians in Afghanistan, the shifting of political regimes, the world is ready for a power encounter with the King of Glory. We are asking everyone to prayerfully consider partnering monthly with what God is doing.
When you give to the underground church, you give to:
- Plant new church in harsh environments
- Develop access into new countries
- Train new believing indigenous leaders
- Support our indigenous core Disciple-Makers to disciple, bring relief, train, and plant churches
- Provide families housing, food, transportation, and additional supplies
- Distribute Humanitarian Medical Aid Packages
- Help provide secured communications for the underground church
- And so much more…