A coalition of 120 Iranian church leaders is urging believers worldwide to pray in solidarity for the spiritual revival in the predominantly-Muslim country of Iran.
The 40-day campaign is scheduled to begin, Thursday, with participants fasting at certain intervals, while praying for the church in Iran.
"For the persecuted church in Iran, for a revival in Iran to spread outside of the church to the rest of the country, and for God to intervene in the political situation, which is very tenuous," said E3 Partner ministry international dir., Tom Doyles, in Mission Network news, which often reports on evangelistic activities.
Christians make up less than one percent of the population in Iran. Most believers worship in "underground" house churches.
Evangelism into Iran has primarily been done through satellite television and radio broadcasts through the efforts of Iranian Christians residing overseas, as it is risky for foreign missionaries to enter the country. Believers in Iran are often imprisoned.
In 2005, Amnesty International reported the arrest of Hamid Pourmand, a retired army colonel who had converted to Christianity during his military service. The same report also cited a police raid at a Tehran house church, the previous year that led to the detainment of nine elders and leaders.
In a few cases, some Iranian house church leaders had been murdered. In November 2005, house church lay minister Ghorban Dordi Tourani was found stabbed to death, after Muslim leaders unsuccessfully attempted to reconvert him back to Islam.
The campaign will cover three key areas: prayer for the persecuted church in Iran; prayer for revival to spread beyond Iran’s house churches; prayer for God to intervene in the political situation.
The campaign will start on the biblically-historical Ascension Day, three days after the Jesus was crucified on the cross.
Doyle concluded that there was much to be done in the country of over 68 million people, though the churches there have seen much revival.
"They've (Iranians) been through the Islamic revolution, it didn't work, it didn't make their lives better, and so they're open," Doyle observed. "We're just praying for this window in time, that God would reach out and really start a revival in Iran."