News / Thoughts

Updates, ideas, reflections and articles from Open Doors and our friends 
News / Thoughts

Iran: Christians responding to Coronavirus

March 23, 2020

Iran is the country hit hardest by the coronavirus (COVID-19) after China and Italy. Iran is also the country with what is thought to be the fastest growing house church movement on the planet. So, what does the virus mean for Iran’s Christians?

Remember, in Iran, Christians face severe persecution. Converting from Islam to Christianity can mean arrest and it’s illegal to produce Christian materials or hold services in Iran’s main language, Farsi. But, Christians are responding to the crisis with compassion, care and love:

One church leader says, “We used to mobilise volunteers to make sandwiches and feed the street children who try to earn a little to support their families on empty stomachs. But, after the coronavirus outbreak, we have prioritised the provision of masks and sanitising gels to help them stay safe.”

Another house-church leader says, “We are doing all we can to provide food packages for the elderly and vulnerable who are unable to go out these days, or for those who have lost their job in these difficult circumstances. Throughout the year we shared the good news of Christ with our neighbours and community; now we have a chance to BE good news.”

It’s an amazing example, especially when publicly living out your faith can lead to serious consequences. But, Iran, like the rest of the world, is really struggling to contain the virus:

  • At the time of writing Iran had reported 21,638 cases of COVID-19, sadly, 1,685 had died.
  • However, the numbers are thought to be much, much higher.
  • 83,000 prisoners have been released to stop the spread of the virus – one of which was Mary (Fatemeh) Mohammadi.
  • Despite that at least 10 Christians being held because of their faith haven’t been released.

Pray now…

  • For God to pour out His healing power on Iran as the nation struggles to cope with the virus outbreak
  • That Christians in Iran will continue to be salt and light during this time, and that many will come to know Jesus
  • For the release of Iranian Christians being falsely held in prison
  • That God will grant wisdom and compassion to those in power to effectively manage this crisis in a way that blesses everyone – especially the poor and vulnerable.

Free prayer map and stickers…

Want to learn more about, and get inspired by, the brave faith of Christians living in some of the places most opposed to following Jesus? Get our awesome new 2020 World Watch List prayer map and stickers – it’s free. Plus we have a new session outline for youth leaders which includes a massive A1 map too. Get them for free at the link below:

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.