When a country closes, churches in neighboring countries become more important, and their freedom, however limited, should not be taken for granted. This is certainly true for Iran, where most of the surrounding countries could become even more restrictive in the coming months. Afghanistan is still closed; Pakistan is fighting anti Christian militants; apart from Dubai, all the Gulf countries are very restrictive; Iraq’s standing on religious freedom is still an unknown; Turkey is no friend to evangelicals; and Turkmenistan severely limits church activity. Only Armenia, the oldest Christian nation in the world, is relatively free, but with Russians guarding their borders and supplying their gas evangelicals need to be careful not to upset Orthodox sensitivities. As the Bible teaches, it is ultimately Jesus Christ who opens and closes doors, but He mysteriously asks us to pray.
- more religious freedom in countries neighboring Iran
- churches in these countries to grow, wisely
- Iranians visiting to be a blessing, and to be blessed