Area: 1,648,196 sq km
Situated between the Caspian Sea to the north and the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman to the south. A central desert ringed by mountains.
Population: 75,077,547 Annual Growth: 1.19%
Official language: Persian (Farsi; Dari and Tajik are major dialects); almost all Iranians speak some form of Persian as a mother tongue or second language Languages: 79 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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The Iranian Diaspora is around four million. Most have found refuge in the USA, Canada, Western Europe, Turkey, Gulf States and other lands where they can be evangelized. Western countries are making it harder for Iranians to immigrate. Pray for:
a) Diaspora churches. There are probably about 800 Persian-speaking Iranian churches and house fellowships, totalling around 200,000 people. Unity is frequently a challenge. Yet these diaspora Christians are highly active and generous regarding ministry into Iran and among other Iranians abroad; their contribution in this regard is crucial.
b) Ministries reaching out to the diaspora, providing not only evangelism tools and outreach but also church planting, discipleship and leadership training, so that Iranians living abroad will be reached and hopefully then reach other Iranians. Christian refugees fleeing from persecution are also assisted. Many diaspora Christians visit Iran and powerfully minister to their countrymen. Significant ministries include Elam Ministries, 222 Ministries, Persian World Outreach, Iran Alive Ministries and Iranian Christians International.
Young people are particularly responsive to the gospel. With nearly two-thirds of the population under age 30, with disillusionment at an all-time high and with frustrated desires for freedom, there is a unique window of opportunity to impact this generation with the liberating good news about Jesus. Political, economic and social frustrations are often expressed in resentment against the regime and in increasing hedonism and materialism. Pray that the unmet longings of their hearts might be fulfilled as they meet Christ. Already, much of the underground church is made up of this younger generation.
For an additional 12 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Iran.