While COVID-19 has ravaged Iran’s government and economy, a popular Christian satellite channel is reporting an upsurge in Iranian Muslims converting to Christianity.
Mohabat TV has recorded 10 times more salvation decisions online than this time last year, with 3,000 Iranians coming to Christ every month since March.
“We have seen an increase in our online traffic from inside Iran,” said Mike Ansari, director of operations for Mohabat TV. “That’s why we call this the pandemic of hope.”
Ansari told CBN News that the Iranian government has increased internet bandwidth in order to keep Iranians at home during the pandemic. And many Iranians are going online to research alternatives to what the government is telling them.
“People in Iran are just not happy the way their economy is going, the way the government is robbing them of their national resources and exporting Shia Islam to the neighboring countries. They just don’t trust their government,” Ansari explained.
In fact, last November and December, a series of nationwide civil protests against the Islamic Republic’s government erupted in the country’s cities. More than 1,500 protestors were killed as the government fought for control. The New York Times called it the “deadliest political unrest since the Islamic Revolution 40 years ago.”
“This is a regime that’s facing a possible rebellion in the near future, regime officials talk about it, so they are executing a lot of people to put fear into the public,” Alireza Nader, an Iranian expert with Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told CBN News.
“Iranians have declared publicly that they don’t want to have an Islamic republic anymore,” Ansari added.
Sitting at No. 9 on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List, Iran is one of the world’s most dangerous places for Christians. Yet, Christianity is growing faster in Iran than in any other country in the world.
Ansari says that despite the risks, Iranian Christians are out in the streets aiding and ministering to people affected by the pandemic. But they still need prayer.
“The church in Iran is fighting for its survival,” said Ansari. “We are asking the international community to pray for Iran’s church, which is under severe persecution from its own government.”