God Is on the Move
God is on the move in the world, perhaps especially in places and countries you might not expect. According to Operation World, a worldwide prayer movement, Iran has the world’s fastest growing Christian population.
The only Islamic theocracy in the world, Iran officially reports that 99.4% of its 82 million residents practice Islam. However, a 2020 GAMAAN survey indicated that only 40% identified themselves as Muslims, while 1.5% said they were Christians. While that may not be a large percentage, it’s historically an impressive number for a country where sharing your Christian faith virtually guarantees imprisonment.
“About 20 years ago, the number of Christian converts from a Muslim background was between 5,000 and 10,000 people,” Paul Crabtree recently told The Gospel Coalition. “Today that’s between 800,000 to 1 million people. That’s massive growth.”
One individual making a difference in the Middle Eastern country is Nima Alizadeh. Born in Tehran, Alizadeh first heard about Jesus from his uncle.
“Right then, I believed everything he said,” Alizadeh said. “I was so thirsty to hear the truth. My eyes and ears were opened, and I had this massive conviction in my heart. This was it! This was what I was looking for. I was born to hear this.”
Today, Alizadeh hosts an online Bible study that has grown from 40 people to more than 600 in a couple of years.
Meanwhile, China, a country that has expelled Christian missionaries since 1953, is predicted to have more Christians than the United States or any country in the world by 2030.
“When we allow suffering to show us how much we need God,” wrote Dr. Jim Denison, “our Father redeems our pain and emboldens our faith.”
Top 10 Countries with the Fastest Growing Evangelical Christian Population
(Annual Growth in Parentheses)
1. Iran (19.6%)
2. Afghanistan (16.7%)
3. Gambia (8.9%)
4. Cambodia (8.8%)
5. Greenland (8.4%)
6. Algeria (8.1%)
7. Somalia (8.1%)
8. Mongolia (7.9%)
9. Kuwait (7.3%)
10. Tajikistan (6.9%)