20 Iranian Christians Embark on Secret Journey to Celebrate Baptism: Check Out These Exclusive Images
Charlene Aaron : Sep 28, 2017
"The government is afraid of Christianity. They are very scared of the Bible and they realize many Iranians are attracted to Christianity. We have been praying for years that Iranian people believe in Jesus and get baptized. Now, this dream is coming true." -Edward Hovsepian
[CBN News] Iranian experts like Mike Ansari say her testimony, and that of many others, points to evidence that God is advancing His Kingdom in Iran. (Photo: via CBN News)
"We have never seen such an unprecedented growth of an underground church anywhere else before."
Ansari, an Iranian by birth, is director of operations at Mohabat TV.
In 2006, Mohabat TV became the first 24-hour Farsi Christian satellite TV channel to beam Gospel programs into Iran.
The majority baptized on this weekend came to faith by watching Mohabat TV.
"Some of these Believers waited for many, many years to be baptized," Ansari told CBN News.
"They want to tell the world that they belong to Jesus, they want to tell the world that what was before is dead and now they are a new creation and they are walking with boldness and with authority."
Ansari believes many Iranians, especially the young, feel disillusioned with Islam and are tuning-in to the channel in record numbers to learn more about Christianity.
"Roughly about 16 million Iranians within the last 12 months have viewed one or more of our programs on satellite TV, and also on their mobile device. That roughly translates to about 20 percent of Iran's population, and that is an overwhelming number."
Mohabat is now one of four satellite TV channels broadcasting continuous Christian programming into Iran. (Photo: via CBN News)
"Since we didn't know other Believers or were part of a house church, there was nobody to help us grow in our faith. We could only grow through watching Mohabat TV and with the Holy Spirit's help to get stronger in our faith," Elahe said.
Nathan Rostampour led a house church in Iran for 10 years until he was forced to flee because of religious persecution.
Now he has a show on Mohabat TV teaching folks how to safely run a house church inside Iran.
"God is using this house church show to not only share the Gospel, but to also equip the house churches and make leaders," Rostampour told CBN News from an undisclosed location.
And those who track Christianity around the world say the one place where the faith is growing the most is in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Edward Hovsepian says this is nothing short of a miracle.
"We have been praying for years that Iranian people believe in Jesus and get baptized. Now, this dream is coming true."
His brother, Haik Hovsepian, an Assemblies of God pastor, was murdered in Iran for his faith in 1994.
He says no matter how hard the government tries, it hasn't been able to stop the spread of Christianity.
"The government is afraid of Christianity," claimed Hovsepian. "They are very scared of the Bible and they realize many Iranians are attracted to Christianity."
"The government persecutes them, hoping to undo the effect, but the result is the opposite as more come to faith," he added.
After a few days of fellowship, teaching and encouragement, the 20 Believers returned to Iran, energized and committed to sharing the love of Christ with their countrymen. (Photo: via CBN News)
"This was a special event, it was amazing," exclaimed an ecstatic Hediyeh as she prepared to head home.
Each person got a new Bible in the Farsi language ... along with Christian books, children's videos and tiny microchips containing hundreds of discipleship and other evangelistic resources.
The group spent several minutes praying over the materials as they prepared to make the journey home.
Hovsepian urged Christians to remember Hediyeh, and the others Iranians, as they continue to preach the Gospel inside Iran.
"Pray for those who are under persecution, that by God's grace they will get stronger and find strength to tolerate these difficult days so that God's work continues," Hovesepian said.
Ansari says these exclusive images of Iranians getting baptized should encourage Christians that God is moving on the hearts of Iranians.
"There is a lot of good news that is coming out of Iran and we need to focus on that and celebrate that," Ansari told CBN News.
"We hope that the results that are being shared with the Church in the West would encourage the Body of Christ in the Western world that God is very much alive among Muslims and He's doing a great job," he added.