Great movement of God in the Persian-speaking world
A Wind in the House of Islam is a spiritually insightful book that explains what the Lord is doing in the nine different geographic and cultural regions—“rooms” – of the Islamic world.
The book’s author, Dr. David Garrison, “traveled into every corner of the Muslim world collecting interviews from over 1,000 former Muslims who have given their lives to Jesus Christ,” his website says. “These Muslim-background believers were interviewed because they were part of larger movements of Muslims to Christ in their communities. He asked them, ‘What is your story? What did God use to bring you to faith in Jesus Christ?’ Garrison discovered that we are in the middle of the greatest turning of Muslims to Christ in history. These historic movements are taking place all across the Muslim world, from West Africa to Indonesia.”
An article in the Spring 2017 issue of Voice of Christ Media Ministries’ newsletter focuses specifically on the Persian Room in the House of Islam. The article was based on a presentation given by a Voice of Christ Media Ministries executive at the January 2017 Mission Connexion event in Portland, Oregon.
Voice of Christ Media Ministries uses satellite radio and Internet technology to reach out to the Persian-speaking world which includes nearly 80 million people in Iran, Tajikistan and about half of Afghanistan. Together, these 100 million Persian (Farsi) speakers are in the Persian Room, the article says.
The article says that what the Lord is doing in the Muslim world has tremendous impact and is more important than the feared advance of Islam.
The Persian Room is in the vanguard of what is happening in the other Eight Rooms in the House of Islam.
Garrison says that in each Room there has been at least one voluntary movement to Christ, which he defines as not just individual conversions but as movements or networks of conversions. The minimum required for this definition is 1,000 baptized believers or 100 planted churches.
In the first 12 and a half centuries after the foundation of Islam, there were no voluntary movements of Muslims to Christ, and indeed millions of Christians converted to Islam.
Then, in the second half of the 19th century, the first movements of Muslims to Christ began—in East Africa and Indonesia.
In the 20th century, there were 11 movements to Christ in the Muslim world, including Iran. And in the first 12 years of the 21st century, there have been 69 movements to Christ!
Largest movement to Christ worldwide
The article says that what is happening in Iran constitutes the largest movement from Islam to Christ in history.
According to Operation World, Iran has the highest growth rate of evangelical Christians of any country on earth.
The movement to Christ in Iran is indigenous, in the sense that it involves local believers courageously witnessing to Muslims who are their fellow Iranians. Converts then join underground house churches, where they fellowship with other people who have converted to Christianity.
“In the house churches of Iran, the extended family is their Jerusalem, as Luke describes the spread of the Gospel in the Book of Acts,” the article says.
A major breakthrough occurred when Elam Ministries published the New Testament in modern Persian (Farsi), the New Millennium Translation.
The whole Bible containing both the Old and New Testaments in modern Farsi was published in 2014.
Demand for the Persian Bible is growing among Iranians, the article says.
The article stresses the vital role that fervent prayer has played in the work of God in the Muslim world.
It says that millions of Muslims are on a spiritual search and that we need to pray for God to open their hearts to Jesus.
Do you know Jesus?
“Nothing else we say can make any sense unless you know Jesus,” the article tells its readers. “Even if you know Jesus intellectually, do you know Him experientially? The church in Iran is filled with experiential faith. There is a difference between an intellectual belief that honey is sweet and the taste of the sweetness of honey. This is the starting point: do you know Jesus?”
Bold witness needed
The article tells the story of Peter and John being brought before the Sanhedrin in Acts 4 and the Jewish religious leaders being amazed by their boldness.
In Acts 4:11-12, Peter told the Sanhedrin: “Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:13 says: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, (the Sanhedrin) were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
When the Jerusalem church gathered afterward, they prayed for more boldness (Acts 4:29).
God answered their call!
“Let us be in prayer for a bold witness,” the article says.
Don’t be afraid
Revelation 2.10 is Jesus’ message to the church in Smyrna:
“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.”
This is also a message to Christians today who face persecution, that they should not be afraid and that, after suffering, they will be given the crown of life.
Giving into fear is a sign of lack of faith. Instead, when we suffer fear, we need to pray to the Lord. So let us not be afraid, the article says.
Love our neighbors
In Mark’s Gospel, 12:31, Jesus quoted Leviticus 19:18:
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”
This verse tells us that we should show love to our neighbors and reach out to them.
All Bible quotes are taken from the New International Version.