by WorldTribune Staff, January 14, 2020
The ayatollahs’ attempts to destroy Christianity in Iran is backfiring as a massive Christian revival is taking place in the Middle Eastern country, according to a documentary.
“The fastest growing church in the world has taken root in one of the most unexpected and radicalized nations on earth,” according to the documentary, “Sheep Among Wolves”, which was produced by Frontier Alliance International (FAI).
“The Iranian awakening is a rapidly reproducing discipleship movement that owns no property or buildings, has no central leadership, and is predominantly led by women,” the documentary says.
Mark Ellis at GodReports.com notes that FAI says it supports disciple-making teams targeting the “unreached” and “unengaged” within the 10/40 window.
The term “10/40 window” was first used in 1990 by Christian missionary strategist, Luis Bush. It represents a rectangular area on a globe between 10 and 40 degrees north latitude. It encompasses North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. It’s estimated that nearly two-thirds of the world’s population lives within this narrow window — including 90 percent of the poorest people in the world. A majority of the countries within the 10/40 window are unevangelized.
About 55 percent of the disciple makers in Iran are women, according to one Iranian church leader in the film.
“What’s fascinating right now is that the most powerful leaders in Iran are women, but it’s not in a bombastic, humanistic way…in fact, they are the most gentle women,” the church leader said. “They are leading this movement, going out in the highways and byways sharing with prostitutes, drug addicts, with everybody they come into contact with, and that takes courage. They are courageous women.”
The women leaders in Iran’s Christianity movement have not embraced a feminist theology, according to one of the U.S.-based leaders with FAI. “In a biblical way they are submissive to proper structure and the order of the church, but when it comes to what Satan is doing, they are fierce. These are not like modern angry liberal women that are just upset. No, there is a gentleness and submissiveness that is beautiful and follows the biblical pattern.”
According to FAI, there is a mass exodus leaving Islam for Christianity within Iran.
“What if I told you Islam is dead?” one unidentified Iranian church leader says on the film. “What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran? What if I told you no one follows Islam inside of Iran? Would you believe me? This is exactly what is happening inside of Iran. God is moving powerfully inside of Iran.”
The ruling class in Iran still follow Islam, the film says, “because that’s where the high paying jobs are.” But, the film adds, “the majority of the ordinary people love God and recognize that Islam is the problem.”
An Iranian church leader states in the film: “What if I told you the best evangelist for Jesus was the Ayatollah Khomeini?” He maintains the ayatollahs brought the true face of Islam to light and people discovered it was a lie, a deception. “After 40 years under Islamic law — a utopia according to them — they’ve had the worst devastation in the 5,000 year history of Iran.”
The documentary also takes on the stereotype of Iran promulgated by the many major media outlets which involves crowds of angry Muslims shaking their fists and chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”
“The most mind-blowing aspect of the church in Iran is that central to their redemptive theology, and their understanding of not only who Jesus is, what he came to do and what he will return to do, is a covenantal theology that has Israel at the center,” the film says.
“When you ask most people what the most existential threat is to Israel and they will say Iran – and that’s true. But behind the curtain of what God is doing, God is raising up one of the fastest growing movements of former Muslims that are falling in love not only with the God of Israel, not only Israel’s king, not only Israel’s Messiah, they are actually falling in love with the Jewish people. As a result of this you have a prayer movement in Iran that is crying out for the salvation of Israel.”
The film cites one Iranian couple that had the opportunity to move to the U.S. After living in America for a matter of months, the wife decided she wanted to move back to Iran, telling her surprised husband: “There is a satanic lullaby here. All the Christians are sleepy and I’m feeling sleepy.”
One leader with FAI notes the alarming nature of her conclusion. “That story was disturbing because that woman was discerning a threat to her faith that was a greater threat than the kind of persecution that happens in Iran. She saw that spiritual sleepiness is a greater threat to her faith than persecution.”
The filmmakers contend the church in Iran offers wisdom to impart. “I believe that what is happening in the church in Iran is going to become a measuring stick for the global body of Christ. It is not something we will be able to admire from afar. It is going to be something we are required to participate in. It is going to disrupt our lives,” one U.S.-based leader with FAI said.
“I believe the Lord is going to take this issue of the testimony, the story, the witness of the church in Iran and thrust it into the heart of the global body of Christ, that we would follow in their footsteps and learn from them. I believe the Lord is putting this message on blast for us to prepare us for the days ahead.”
As Ellis notes for GodReports.com, “Often a disciple making movement (DMM) begins the first moment someone comes into contact with an unbeliever. “
The Iranian church leader says in the film: “Everything is foundational on prayer. We find people of peace through prayer. We even find locations through prayer.”
To learn more about FAI, go here