Years of disillusionment with their oppressive regime and the state religion means that countless Iranians are hungry for the Gospel. Elam is dedicated to sending and supporting church planters and evangelists in the Iran region to gather in the plentiful harvest.
In a nation where it is dangerous to convert to Christianity and highly risky to meet with other Christian converts, churches have to be planted and led with great wisdom and great courage. As well as all the challenges that come with church planting anywhere in the world, in Iran the extra challenges of remaining undetected by the government -whilst still being active enough to attract new members- mean that church planters have to be tenacious, prayerful, faithful and courageous people. These church planters need consistent support, ongoing training and fervent prayer.
Elam actively supports many church planters, evangelists and pastors who are serving in over 70 cities in Iran and the wider region. Elam provides them with ongoing training opportunities, provides them with Bibles, evangelistic materials, discipleship books and other resources, offers pastoral support, and advocates on behalf of those who find themselves persecuted because of their ministry. Elam also mobilises the global church to hold these church planters and evangelists in their prayers.
Over the last 10 years, the Iranian church has experienced significant growth – unprecedented in the Muslim world. There are daily reports of Iranians coming to Christ across the region; people from all segments of society are being added to the church. Conservative estimates are that at least 200,000 Iranians have come to Christ, but some pastors believe the figure is closer to one million or more.
"...Following completion of the [Elam leadership] training course I went back to Iran and began my ministry of evangelism and distributing New Testaments. I was praying for and working with the people in Khuzestan Province. [My friend] and I began our church in Ahvaz and every year another church was added to the network. After five years we had eight churches in our network in Khuzestan Province." From the testimony of an anonymous church planter