United States/Iran Confrontations Threaten Stability In The Mideast
The recent tit-for-tat confrontations between Iran and the United States leaves the world in a state of uncertainty. Will it escalate, or will it die down? The sudden surprise assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani immediately drew retaliation against American troops stationed in Iraq with missiles fired at two US installations. Fortunately, there were no casualties. So far, there has not been further retaliation, but that could change at any moment.
Are there Christians in Iran? Yes, there are, according to Lazarus Yeghnazar, an Iranian ex-patriot presently living outside of the country. He says that his “research suggests as many as one million Christians now live in Iran,” and he “has been expecting something like this for years.” He believes that if war comes, it will create a humanitarian crisis and, ironically, an open door for evangelism. He calls it “a tsunami of disaster and a tsunami of opportunity.” He adds, “Iran is imploding due to things happening inside.” Freedom is limited in Iran, and for Christians it is non-existent. They are denied the right to work and are severely persecuted. Iran has been involved in proxy wars in other Mideast countries for years. With this current escalation of hostilities, Iran is “inviting” further retaliation. People attempt to flee when their lives and livelihood are threatened. First-century Christians fled Jerusalem when the persecution forced them out. Their “tsunami of disaster” became the world’s “tsunami of opportunity,” when Christian Believers shared their faith wherever they went. They were accused of “turning the world upside down.”
Those involved in front-line mission work tell us that house churches in Iran are the fastest growing in the world. Iraq and the Middle East have the most church-planting movements of any other geographic area. They are riding out or working with this “tsunami of disaster” and present uncertainty to boldly witness to others boldly.
- unnamed missionary