Iran stands amidst significant challenges and uncertainties, grappling with a population of 88 million where the nation’s prospects often appear morally bleak, distancing itself from the hope offered through faith in Jesus. As Iranians find themselves at a moral crossroads, their search for hope has illuminated a clear truth to us—that the next generation of Iranians holds the potential to shape the future of Iran.
Iranian youth have rejected Islam, but we believe these young Iranians are purposefully positioned for “such a time as this.” Why do we at Iran Alive Ministries believe this to be true?
Because, despite challenges, the church in Iran keeps growing. At its core, the belief is simple—Jesus changes everything. Many in this growing community are young Millennials and Gen Z, eager to blend their faith with a strong desire to move their nation forward. Their new hope goes beyond the limits that once held back their dreams.
Now is the time to support young Iranian Christians. By giving them the tools they need, we can kickstart a Gospel movement that spreads through families, friendships, communities, local governance, and beyond. These emerging leaders, like missionaries in their own context, have the potential to be changemakers.
In this newsletter, I share Niloo’s story—a young Iranian whose life showcases the power of Christ to change lives and reshape destinies.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
I am Nilofer and I am 22 years old. I gave my heart to Jesus Christ 17 years ago.
I was very young when I noticed my father’s addiction to drugs. In the beginning, I didn’t even know that drugs were a bad thing. I remember using the pages of my drawing book to roll paper for my father so that he could smoke drugs and feel happy. But gradually, as my understanding of the situation improved, I realized how much drugs were harming my father and our family. My mother used to cry from night to morning, and there were constant arguments and fights in our home. My father was introduced to new drugs every day, falling into the captivity of addiction, and my parents were on the verge of getting divorced. I was very sad because I loved my father deeply, and it hurt me to see him destroying himself and our family day by day.
Until one day, when we were all gathered at my grandmother’s home, the TV was left on a channel that was talking about Jesus Christ. After listening to the program, we all got excited to find new hope amid our despair. We called the number on the screen and spoke with Pastor Hormoz. That day, my mom, dad, grandfather, grandmother, my aunts, and uncles—twelve of us—all prayed the prayer of salvation with the pastors and came to faith.
After a few days, Pastor Hormoz sent a pastor to our home to serve and teach us. Even at six years old, he brought a children’s Bible for me, and I started to know Jesus Christ. The more I got to know Him, the more I was filled with his affection, love, and peace. However,
I was deeply sad for my father’s addiction. I was ashamed, but I loved him as much as my father. I was torn.
But I had already learned how to pray and who to ask for healing. So, my family and I stood in prayer for my father, and I asked the Lord Jesus Christ to heal my father and help him be freed from drug addiction. Until he met Jesus Christ in a dream, and after that extraordinary meeting, he decided to go to the camp. De-addiction. Although we had sent him to the de-addiction camp many times before and tried to help him in every different way, this time seemed different, as if the power of the Holy Spirit was abundantly with my father. He was determined to get set free. He went to the de-addiction camp, and from that day on, Dad had been drug-free for 16 years now. Today, he is a servant of God, helping those who struggle with addiction to quit. God brought my father back to me, and this was the biggest and deepest miracle of my life.
After my father’s healing, my relationship with God became deeper and stronger. Christ was by my side, and I felt His presence at every moment as I grew older.
When I got older, I started serving the Lord with my family. The pastors that Iran Alive connected us with when we first came to faith stayed with us, visited regularly, and walked us through the 28 lessons of the discipleship program. Once we completed the program, we began meeting with different families, sharing the good news with them, and teaching them Bible stories. At 12, I started joining my mom and dad as they went to different homes to share the gospel with other Iranians and disciple them. I talked to the kids of the families, took care of the children while mom and dad were visiting their parents, and put on puppet shows, telling them about Christ and reading Bible stories. This was our life until one day, when I was 14, I came home from school and noticed our home was raided by intelligence agents, and mom and dad were gone. Later I found out that they were arrested for evangelizing about Christ and causing growth in the underground church network. They had taken every book, pamphlet, computer, laptop, and most of our belongings. As an only child, I was very attached to my parents. Their arrest hurt me so much. I often felt very lonely, but every time I prayed for my mom and dad to be released, Jesus told me that we would overcome this difficulty and to have hope.
After a long time, one of our acquaintances bailed my parents out with the deed of his house, but they were on probation after they got released. All of our phones were monitored, and we were followed by intelligence agents everywhere we went. This was a very rough period for us. We were truly persecuted and cut off from communicating with believers and gatherings for safety concerns. When I was 17 years old and a Christian teenager, many things happened in my teenage years that tried to distance me from God, but God did not leave me and my family for a moment, and He protected all of us from the hardships and attacks.
When I was 19 years old, I got married to my husband, Artin. Both of us are in love with Christ, and His love has caused a greater connection between us. After our marriage, Artin and I immigrated to Turkey with my mom and dad so that we could serve the Church freely without fear of further persecution. Now, Artin and I serve the youth of Iran Alive—Church 7, helping other youths like us in a difficult situation in Iran, letting them get to know Christ and grow in His knowledge.
I have known my dear Reverend Hormoz since the beginning of my faith. Since I was 6 years old, I saw Pastor Hormoz on TV, and today I have the honor of being a member of Church 7 and serving the Lord with all my heart.
A TESTAMENT OF MULTIGENERATIONAL IMPACT
Niloo’s testimony stands as a testament to the impact our 23 years in ministry has had on multiple generations in Iran. It’s a reminder of the mustard seed parable and the comprehensive nature of our outreach.
Niloo’s testimony unfolds as an illustration of the transformative power of our ministry. Contrary to other Islamic nations where the conversion of one individual often leads to persecution within their own family, Iran
stands apart. When Niloo encountered Christ through our programs at the tender age of 7, it sparked a chain reaction that saw three generations—12 individuals in total—embracing Christianity simultaneously. This distinctive pattern of familial acceptance of Christ is a hallmark of our work in Iran.
A TESTAMENT OF CONSISTENCY
Her narrative also underscores the completeness, consistency, and comprehensiveness of our ministry. After Niloo’s family embraced Christianity through our programs, our leaders personally visited them, providing Bibles, including a children’s Bible, and initiated a discipleship process that engaged the entire family. Niloo, at the age of 12, commenced her own ministry to children, showcasing the ripple effect of our holistic approach.
A JOURNEY WITH ITS TRIALS
Niloo’s family faced persecution, with both parents enduring arrest. This challenging period, however, strengthened their faith and commitment to Christ. Post-release, their ability to connect with other believers was severely restricted due to safety concerns, a stark reality in Iran. This emphasizes the critical role of our online ministry, offering a lifeline to isolated believers, providing community, counseling, discipleship, and training.
A BEAUTIFUL LIFE TRAJECTORY
Niloo’s life trajectory, from a 7-year-old finding Christ to now, at 22, being one of our top leaders in youth ministry, embodies the essence of our 2024 goal: reaching the NextGen. This generation, epitomized by Niloo, serves as a beacon for our broader objective—reaching and mobilizing youth on a significant scale. In 2024, we aim to produce content tailored to the youth, presenting the Gospel in a relevant and accessible manner. We aspire not only to bring thousands of young Iranians to Christ but to disciple and mobilize them as catalysts for a spiritual revolution in their nation.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION
Throughout history, youth have been catalysts for change, from the Jesus Revolution to other social and political movements. Recognizing the readiness of Iranian youth for transformation, we envision
a movement that goes beyond the individual and permeates society. Your support is integral to this mission.
NILOO’S IMPACT ON OTHERS
Niloo, now leads the youth ministry with her husband, shares our vision for the future. Together, they aim to lead an army of dedicated young soldiers of Christ, sparking a spiritual movement that echoes through generations in Iran. Iranian youth have a revolutionary mindset. They want to change Iran. But once they come to Christ, like Niloo, they become revolutionaries for Christ.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
Most young people are done with Islam, but not God. We need to present the Gospel to them in a way that is relevant to their lives and their struggles. In 2024, we plan to produce new evangelistic content on our Satellite channel as well as on social media tailored to the mindset and world view of the youth in Iran.
Join us in 2024 to create a monumental shift in the future of Iran’s youth. With your support, we have the power to make an extraordinary impact on the next generation, shaping the trajectory of Iran for generations to come. Together, we can inspire and empower the youth of Iran, unlocking their unlimited potential and forging a new path towards a brighter future. Be a catalyst for change and join us on this transformative journey.
Dr. Hormoz Shariat
Iran Alive Ministries
Pray for the families in Iran facing challenges, particularly those experiencing persecution due to their faith. May God protect them, strengthen their bonds, and provide comfort in the face of adversity.
Lift up the young generation in Iran, especially those seeking Christ. Pray for empowerment, courage, and wisdom as they navigate the complexities of their faith and strive to be changemakers in their communities.
Pray for the continued success and expansion of Iran Alive’s online ministry. Ask God to reach more isolated believers, providing them with community, counseling, discipleship, and training, ultimately fostering spiritual growth and resilience.
Seek God’s anointing and guidance for ministry leaders like Reverend Hormoz and Niloo. Pray for wisdom, strength, and discernment as they lead and serve, particularly in the youth ministry. May their efforts be blessed to impact lives profoundly.