For detailed information on the Primary and Secondary Cultural Characteristics, go here.
- Stats for Iran
Top 25 Stats
Total Population- 79.5 M (17th); Total Gospel Decisions- 366,000 (19th)
Fastest Growing Religion
Human Development Index
Persian (52.4%); Azerbaijani (22.2%); Luri-Bakhtiari (6.6%); Kurd (5.9%); Qashqai (2.3%); Arab (2.3%); Domari/Gypsy (2%); Baloch (1.5%).
Persian (Farsi, Dari, Tajik are major dialects)
Nation has great wealth from oil and gas, but only 20% of revenue is in the private sector. Corruption and religious-political influence minimizes foreign investment. Rapid urbanization and population growth create many unemployed youth in the cities. Has a strategic location between East and West which could help economy. Promised prosperity from Islamic Revolution has not materialized. About 20% of nation is poor, opium addiction is common, and there are many street children. The best-educated people often emigrate to other countries for better jobs.
History / Politics
The Shah lost power in Islamic Revolution in 1979; Iran became a theocratic Islamic Republic. Iraq's invasion in 1980 started a bloody eight-year war. Tension occurs between moderates and hard-liners. Religious leadership controls police, army, and judiciary; Human rights abuses occur often. Green revolution of 2009 showed people's dissatisfaction with the religious conservatives. In 2013, a more moderate president was elected, but it is unclear if changes will happen. Nuclear agreement has been reached, and may lead to better relations with the West. Islamic Revolution promised prosperity, but its legacy is cruelty, injustice, and corruption.
Many Iranians came to Jesus in recent years; Only 500 known believers in 1979, now 100,000. Numbers may be as high as one million -- remarkable since converts may face death penalty. Economic problems and disillusionment have made many young people open to the Gospel. Persecution against Christians increased since 2005, especially if from Muslim background. Many Christians are Armenians, Assyrians, and Chaldeans, and stay apart from Iranians. Evangelical church grows primarily through the house church model allowing safety. Many unreached groups in Iran: Zoroastrians, Baha’i, nomads, Gypsies, and Jews. Christian-satellite TV, radio, and Internet have had an incredible impact in Iran.
Pray for safety for those who follow Jesus at risk of their lives. Pray for continued growth of the house churches in the nation. Pray that religious freedom will increase.