Iran boasts an ancient and noble civilization. However, Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution brought a fundamental change in the power structure from a secular regime to an Islamic republic, which created economic stagnation, frustration and despair in certain social strata.
A large number of Iranians have decided to migrate and settle as refugees in places like Europe or America. However, leaving Iran permanently has not always been a successful solution for every family; some have returned to Iran, and others have been split through family breakdown and divorce.
A church has existed in the area since the earliest days of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:9 when Persians, Parthians and Medes were among the first peoples to hear and respond to the gospel. Since then, the church has continued to grow down through the centuries primarily amongst Christian minorities, predominantly Armenians and Assyrians. Since the revolution, increasing disillusionment with Islam has led thousands of Iranians to turn to the teachings of the Bible. Iranians are spiritually hungry to seek the truth, and therefore have wanted to know more about God and are filling the open churches. More Iranians have come to faith in the last 25 years than in the last 1400 years – both inside and outside the country. This has led to the birth of a fledgling house church movement, which has, in turn, led the present regime to increase its hostilities.
There is no doubt that the church in Iran is under intense pressure. At the same time, there is evidence to suggest that Christian faith has always grown in times of hardship.