By Mark Ellis, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
IRAN (ANS – November 8, 2016) — More than 200 Iranians and Afghans were baptized in mid-September at a jubilant, pool-side service near Iran. People from eight different Persian-speaking churches gathered together to share the story of how Jesus transformed their lives, according to a report by Elam Ministries.
The theme for the day was “Jesus changes lives,” and this powerful truth was underscored by many testimonies. One man had been suicidal, but Jesus intervened and brought new hope. One was searching for the truth and found it after he read Romans chapter three.
Another shared: “I never thought I would find freedom from my past, but Jesus has set me free.”
Growth in the Iranian church has been spectacular, with several statisticians noting it may be the fastest growing church in the world. “Twenty years ago, everyone thought there were 2000-5000 believers in Iran,” says Mark Howard, with Elam.
“The conservative estimate today is 300,000 to 400,000. Others think there may be up to one million Muslim background believers in Iran,” he says.
“The word that a lot of our senior leadership team has been using recently is momentum, the Lord is really doing something,” he reports.
“We see incredible opportunity,” Howard says, “reaching Persian speaking refugees in Europe, planting churches in Iran — people are so open right now.”
Photo captions: 1) New believers baptized near Iran. 2) Mark Ellis.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), and also found of www.GodReports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world. He is also co-host with ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, for “Windows on the World,” which is aired weekly on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (http://hsbn.tv).
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