Friday, December 11, 2009

Ir@n at a Crossroads?

In today's Opinion page on Yahoo, by an experienced Iran-watcher.
This is not a simple moment[in Iran], and it would be a terrible tragedy not to grasp it with intelligence and nuance. For this could mean the beginnings of a real turnaround in the entire Middle East. This could signal the rise of the modernized Turkeys and the beginnings of the ends to the revolutionary "Islamic republics" and to Islamic terrorism.

This well-written article is intriguing. But it only tells part of the story.

What makes this more intriguing?
Conservative data and reports that indicate in the last 2-3 years over 1 million people in Iran have given up on Islam and its false promises in exchange for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church is experiencing its harshest persecution since 1980 as well as its most explosive growth ever. (sources protected)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Should Persecution Matter to Us

Thanks to advanced technology I've been able to talk to some friends of mine behind the Muslim curtain.

It's not easy on them. Some have been jailed, others harassed. They worship with the awareness that they could be beaten or jailed.

But the surprising thing to me, as an American whose biggest discomfort is self-imposed exercise, is that they don't think persecution is abnormal for the Christian life.

Suffering is normal to these former-Muslim believers.

I'm beginning to wonder if our lack of suffering weakens our faith in Christ.

I'm starting to think that my prized convenient, efficient life may actually be killing my spirituality, stifling evangelism and creating idol dependency in the US.

I'm wondering if our lack of persecution should matter more.

Especially when I hear conservative estimates are that over one million people have converted to Christ in Ir@n in the last three years.