An Iranian Christian pastor is claiming there’s a stunning revival underway in his country, where he says the number of Christian adherents has increased from 100,000 in 1994 to 3 million today.
“Right now, you can see the results of the holy spirit,” Pastor Rahman Salehsafari told CBN News of the situation today in Iran. “You can see what the holy spirit is doing with people.”
Among the theories surrounding what’s driving this apparent growth is the claim that Jesus has been appearing to Muslims in dreams and visions, helping lead them to the Christian faith.
“I had a dream. I had a dream long time back and every time that Jesus was with me. And in all of my life, he was helping me and I didn’t know who was this person,” explained a man named Reza. “Suddenly, Jesus Christ was over there and he said, ‘Come to Me.’ And I came to that side and he accepted me.”
This is hardly the first time a Muslim has claimed to encounter Jesus in a dream, with some dramatic conversion stories emerging in recent months and years. Consider a Christian missions group’s claim last year that a Muslim man was planning to kill Christians before encountering Jesus in a dream; he subsequently changed his mind and converted to Christianity.
And as TheBlaze previously reported, an Iraqi man named Barazan Azeezi said last year that he, too, had a similar experience.
“I was a devote Muslim and often preached, but there was something missing. There was something empty about Allah and the Koran,” he told the Christian Post. “Jesus appeared to me in a dream and open my eyes … what has missing was His love and peace.”
As for the Iran, the apparent growth of Christianity comes despite the fact that many Iranian Christians have been forced to flee the country due to persecution and threats against their lives. There’s Afshin, a man who once attended a church led by Pastor Saeed Abedini, the American citizen who was detained in Iranian prison for years before being released last year.
“As a result, I came out of Iran, because day by day the situaton had become more difficult,” he said.
Afshin told CBN News that he eventually felt compelled to leave Iran due to the impending dangers related to his faith.
Now, he’s among those who have fled to Turkey, where Iranian Christians can worship more freely as they seek refugee status with the U.N., saying his life today is entirely different.
“I can freely praise the Lord,” he said. “I can easily go to church. It’s really completely different.”