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Iran Transformed: An interview with Hormoz Shariat

Hormoz Shariat firmly believes that Iran will be the first Islamic nation that turns to Christ. He says it is ready for a major transformation—spiritually, socially, financially, and politically, and that it will be a Christian nation soon, as prophesied in Jeremiah 49:38. PneumaReview.com spoke with Dr. Shariat about how he came to Jesus, what he sees God doing in Iran, and how Christians in the West can pray for Iran’s thousands of secret believers.

 

PneumaReview.com: You were a Muslim who became a Christian. Please tell our readers how you came to the Lord.

Dr. Hormoz Shariat: I was a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California (USA) when I came to Christ by comparing Quran and the Bible. I realized that both could not be true. After that, I went to a church in downtown Los Angeles. That is when I heard the Gospel and responded to it.

 

PneumaReview.com: When you became a believer in Jesus you were in the United States, but you admit that you found it difficult to share your Christian faith. What advice would you give to a believer who is currently experiencing this same struggle?

Hormoz Shariat:

  • Believe in the power of the Gospel to change lives (Romans 1: 16).
  • Know that it is selfish to keep such a life changing message to yourself.
  • Love others. That will help you take your eyes off yourself, get rid of shyness and share the Gospel.
  • Do it anyway. Courage is doing what is right no matter how you feel.

 

PneumaReview.com: In your book Iran’s Great Awakening you shared a great loss that your family suffered. Your brother, who was 18, was executed by the Iranian government on a minor political charge. How were you able to get through the pain of that event and go on to serve the Lord?

Hormoz Shariat: I mourned and prayed for 3 days. During that time, I felt God revealed his heart and plan to me. I realized that I am not supposed to hate anybody including those who killed my brother. And the fact that we have only one enemy: Satan, and those who killed my brother are not my enemies but victims in the hand of our one enemy (Satan). Also, I learned the best thing I can do for the injustice in this world is to share the Gospel.

 

PneumaReview.com: What kinds of ministry have you been involved in since you became a believer in Jesus?

Hormoz Shariat: First evangelism. Then I planted 6 churches in various cities in Northern California.

In 2001, after 9/11 events, we bought airtime from a secular channel to broadcast into Iran.

In 2011, we came to Dallas to start a 24/7 channel to reach into Iran.

We have used the channel not only for evangelism but as a tool to plant underground house churches.

 

PneumaReview.com: There are people who say that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. How would you respond to that statement?

Hormoz Shariat: Yes, there is one God. But the presentation of that God by Quran and Bible are so totally different that one of them is introducing a false God. On my programs, I give the characteristics of both Gods, and ask people to think about it and decide which one they want to follow.

By the way “Allah” was the name of an idol.

 

PneumaReview.com: What attracts Muslims to Christianity?

Hormoz Shariat: Things that are in Christianity that are absent in Islam: Love, Joy, Peace. When they see the love of Christians, the relationship we have with the Lord through prayer and worship, and the peace we have in our life, they are convinced that we have something that they do not have.

 

PneumaReview.com: In your book you write that you believe Iran will become a Christian nation. Why do you believe that?

Iran will become a Christian nation.

Hormoz Shariat: I believe that because I believe the Bible. God promises in Jer. 49:38 that He will set His throne in Elam (today’s land of Iran). What does that mean?

Also, what is happening in Iran today indicates that Iran could be transformed by the Gospel even during our lifetime. The fulfillment of this promise will be at Christ’s return.

 

PneumaReview.com: What are some of the current signs of the growth of Christianity in Iran?

Hormoz Shariat:

  • Iran has the fastest growing evangelical population in the world (Operation World).
  • The majority of Iranians have already rejected Islam. A recent survey has shown that less than 1/3 rd of Iranians (32%) consider themselves Muslims!
  • The rejection of Islam by masses. Islam is experiencing its greatest defeat in its history in Iran today.

PneumaReview.com: Are the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit a regular part of the life of the Iranian church?

Hormoz Shariat: Yes. Because Iranians read the Bible and believe all that is in it. Nobody has told them yet that not all the gifts are for today. Visions and dreams and miracles are common.

 

PneumaReview.com: You and your wife started Iran Alive Ministries. What types of ministries is it involved in?

Hormoz Shariat: Using media to go over the heads of the Mullahs into people’s homes to evangelize, help transform lives, and plant house churches.

 

PneumaReview.com: How can believers in the west best help the church in Iran?

Hormoz Shariat:

  • Pray. Because we are facing the dark spirit of the “Prince of Persia” mentioned in Daniel 10.
  • Support us financially. The people in Iran cannot support our channel. They depend on their brothers and sisters to take the Gospel to them.
  • Become a TV partner. People with good video content can join us to disciple a nation. We have partners like Michael Yousef, Jack Graham, Robert Morris, and others who are using our channel to reach millions of Iranians.

Our channel was ranked Number 1 as the most watched Christian channel in Iran with 7.7% (that is 6 million) people saying they watch us daily. We estimate 24 million watch us at least once a week.

 

PR

 

Further Reading:

John Lathrop’s review of: Hormoz Shariat, Iran’s Great Awakening: How God is Using A Muslim Convert to Spark Revival (Iran Alive Ministries, 2020)

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Category: Living the Faith, Spring 2021

About the Author: Hormoz Shariat, is from a Muslim background and became a follower of Jesus in 1980 after a comparative study of the Bible and Quran. He has a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Southern California (USC) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Theology from Jessup University. Through satellite, he has been broadcasting the Gospel into Iran and the Middle East since 2001 and has seen tens of thousands of Iranian Muslims come to Christ. Dr. Shariat’s ministry, Iran Alive, has been featured in Christianity Today, Charisma, World Magazine and other publications. He has been a guest on various radio and TV stations such as CBN’s 700 Club, Daystar, and TBN, and is a frequent speaker at the Voice of the Martyrs conferences. He is the author of Iran’s Great Awakening: How God is Using A Muslim Convert to Spark Revival (Iran Alive Ministries, 2020).

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