Materials support prayer, fasting for Iran's Persians
RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--The Persians of Iran, a predominantly Muslim people group in the Middle East, will be the focus this year for an annual day of prayer and fasting for a people group without free access to the gospel.
A new video and other materials will be free to Southern Baptists participating in the 24-hour emphasis, which begins at 6 p.m. May 29.
Each spring, Southern Baptists and other "Great Commission" Christian groups devote a day -- called the Day of Prayer and Fasting for World Evangelization -- to pray for a people group that has not heard the good news of God's love and salvation in Jesus Christ.
Nearly 23 million Persians live in Iran, which was known as "Persia" before 1925. About 99 percent of Iran's 46 people groups are Muslim. Christians make up only about .4 percent of the population.
Iran has a rich history. For more than three millennia, the country was the melting pot of civilizations and people movements between Asia and Europe. Under Cyrus the Great, Persia was the center of the world's first empire. Invasions by the Greeks, Arabs, Mongols and Turks brought diverse cultural influences into the nation.
Signs in modern-day Iran indicate the fundamental Islam that has ruled the country since 1979 is moderating. Many American tourists report Iranian hospitality that contradicts the image portrayed by Western media. Christian broadcasts are said to be making headway in the country.
Besides the video, an information kit contains a prayer guide and feature coverage adapted from The Commission, magazine of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. In addition, specific prayer requests for the day of prayer and fasting will be posted on the IMB Internet website (www.imb.org).
To order the information kit, interested persons should call 1-800-866-3621 or write Customer Services, International Mission Board, P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230-0767. Allow two weeks for delivery.