JERUSALEM, Israel – During the mid-1980s, a young Hormoz Shariat was earning his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering at the University of Southern California. That’s when his life changed forever.
Born into a Muslim family in Iran, Dr. Shairat and his family came to the United States, where he encountered Christ as a student. Ever since then, he made it his life’s mission to project the gospel into the Muslim world – especially in his home country of Iran.
Today, through his organization “Iran Alive Ministries,” Shariat and his team are broadcasting the message of Christ 24/7 across Iran.
“I came to Christ. My life was changed, and I started sharing the Gospel with other Muslims. Hundreds came to Christ, planted churches in California, then used satellite television to get into Iran,” Dr. Shariat told CBN News. “I saw a revival. Thousands and thousands have come and are coming to Christ.”
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Dr. Shariat shares in his new book Iran's Great Awakening: How God is Using a Muslim Convert to Spark Revival that he has seen first-hand how God is touching hearts in Iran and fulfilling biblical prophecies.
“Not many people know about it, that Iran is in the Bible, and God has prophesied what will happen in Iran. So, I do a detailed study of the prophecies. The recent events show and confirm what I wrote in the book months ago is totally happening today,” Dr. Shariat said.
He explained that the current growth of Christianity in Iran points to a prophetic move of God in the Islamic Republic.
CBN News recently reported on a study by the Netherlands-based non-profit Group for Analyzing and Measuring Attitudes in Iran (GAMAAN) which found that of 50,000 Iranians surveyed, 1.5% self-identified as Christian. Those numbers suggest there are probably hundreds of thousands of Christians in the Islamic Republic and could quickly be approaching one million.
For years, anecdotal reports suggested waves of people were turning to Christ in recent years. Those numbers are hard to verify, however, since Iran is officially a Muslim nation and the Church is persecuted.
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The study also revealed that Iranians are turning from Islam. While the government claims 95 percent of the population is Shiite Muslim, only 32 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as such.
And 47 percent said they used to be religious, but are no longer religious at all.
Dr. Shariat said it’s clear the Iranian people are searching for a savior and ministries like his are helping point them to Christ.
“They're looking, they're looking, they're looking. They're looking at Buddhism, Hinduism, anything except Islam, and when they see Christ, when they share Jesus Christ, they're so attracted. That's why Christianity is growing in Iran,” he said.
Dr. Shariat believes current events like the COVID-19 pandemic and the slaughter of protesters at the hands of Iranian authorities are turning people against the Iranian government.
“The Iranian government has been so discredited. Whatever they say, people of Iran don't believe,” he said.
Dr. Shariat explained that God is not finished with Iran, and Israel will pay a critical part in its future.
“When you look at the Bible, you see the past of Iran and Israel was tied together so much in the Old Testament. Cyrus set the captives free. When you look in the future in the Bible, Iran and Israel are tied together.
Their future is tied together because the Bible says I will set My throne in Jerusalem. And also, it says I will set me throne in Elam, which is the land of Iran,” he said.