Marriage isn’t doing so well in Iran these days. The divorce rate has shot up by 65% in the last ten years, and now nearly 50% of men and women who are of the normal marriage age are still single. Such is the concern that even the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has urged the government to address the issue.
The church is already at work. Much pastoral time is given to helping broken marriages, written resources are increasing, and last month Elam held a marriage conference for nearly fifty couples. Here they learned that marriage in the Bible is a covenant, not a contract, and that the past can be overcome.
“There were couples who verbalised their love to each other for the first time in a very long while,” reported one member of the ministry team with joy. “In our counselling sessions we saw couples freed from the shackles of the past. Many made commitments to treat each other with more love and respect henceforth.”
As with many other churches around the world, the church in Iran is learning that marriages must be constantly strengthened. So many more conferences are planned for the future.