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Iran Alive Ministries, was founded in 2001 by Dr. Hormoz Shariat. The ministry grew out of successful church planting among Iranian Muslims in Northern California. Through the use of satellite broadcast, in an effort to expand the ministry's reach to Iranian M... more.
"It is shocking to Christians to hear that Iran is the most open country to the gospel in the world," says Dr. Hormoz Shariat, founder and president of Iran Alive Ministries, a television and church-planting outreach to the Middle Eastern nation.
IAM recently relocated from California to the Dallas area, and on January 1 will launch a 24-hour Christian satellite channel reaching the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe called Network 7. The ministry will produce its own programming from a studio in a Dallas suburb. Shariat calls the Iranian revival a work of the Lord-fueled by history and culture. Iran, he notes, is the only Muslim country that has been led by clergy for 32 years. "Iranians have experienced Islam first-hand in every aspect of their lives and have come to the conclusion that Islam is not the answer, it is the problem," Shariat says. Shariat, a former Muslim himself, sketched scenes that illustrate the paradox of his native country in a conversation with MannaEXRESS. But Shariat has seen Iranians gather four or five families in a single room to call in to IAM's live show-at great personal risk-to learn how to put their faith in Jesus Christ. As many as 30 people have been saved at one time, sometimes accompanied by miraculous healings. "We pray with them," Shariat says. "When you pray together, you sense if that person is real. Test No. 2: Read the Gospel of John and report back in a week. "If you're not born again, your reading of it will be very superficial," Shariat says. "You can pretty much know if the Holy Spirit is working in them." ? The subject of IAM's most popular television teaching series to date? Marriage. Shariat and his wife Donnell even renewed their vows on the air-complete with an arch and decorations-at the conclusion of the 10-part series in 2009. The program yielded many phone calls and decisions for Christ, even though its content wasn't specifically aimed at soul-winning. Viewers were astonished to learn about Christian marriages rooted in love and respect-and even heard that God could transform a loveless marriage. "God is the Creator," Hormoz taught. "God can work with zeroes. He can create love where there is none." In Islam, Shariat says, marriage is a "sick relationship. The husband possesses all the rights; the wife has none. In Iran, if a woman divorces, she loses her children. A man can marry as many as four wives or engage in temporary marriages, with no commitment-a practice "glorified" by Iranian clerics, Shariat says. Dr. Hormoz Shariat Dr. Hormoz Shariat to faith in Jesus Christ. He and his wife Donnell were an unlikely pairing: He marched in the streets during the Iranian Revolution of the late 1970s that toppled the West-friendly Shah of Iran, and Donnell was an idealistic young American attracted by the passion of the young protesters, who were willing to die for their Muslim beliefs. They met through a relative of Hormoz and married in Iran. Hormoz knew even before the wedding that it wouldn't work-"so many differences," he says. The couple came to the United States in 1979, ready to get a divorce. They had even set a date. Shaken by all of the changes in their lives, Hormoz and Donnell had begun their own separate searches for truth. Hormoz didn't find the peace he was looking for in Islam; even after a careful study of the Koran, he came up empty. As an engineer, a man who examined information rigorously and objectively, Hormoz decided to seek another perspective. He picked up a Bible and found himself transfixed by the life of Jesus, and particularly the Sermon on the Mount. If this was the standard for goodness, for meaning, Hormoz reasoned, we're all in trouble. Who could live like that? Hormoz ended up taking his questions to a California pastor, who led him to Jesus Christ. He immediately found the peace he was looking for-but still found himself stuck in an awful marriage. Hormoz presented his problem to his pastor, who pointed out that God hates divorce. In Islam, divorce was easy for a man. But Hormoz and Donnell decided to "give Jesus a chance" in their marriage. "The Lord worked on us," Hormoz says. By the late 1980s, Shariat had started a church in California for Iranian believers. He would eventually turn to full-time ministry and plant several more churches. His first foray into television came in the late 1990s with a local cable show, but several years later, satellite technology opened a door to broadcast in Farsi to Iran. Pastor Shariat praying with guests Pastor Shariat praying with guests "The government has given us a more powerful platform," Shariat says. IAM, however, recognizes that without a spiritual family, a believer won't reach maturity in Christ. So part of its programming will be centered around a television set that looks like a typical Persian living room. It is here that IAM will broadcast a model house church, with live services in Farsi-albeit in Dallas, not Tehran. "When people come to Christ, you can teach them and disciple them on TV, but that is not the whole deal," Shariat says. "To fully understand the life of Christ, you have to be in community." The television house-church members greet each other, sing, worship, study the Bible, pray for one another and even tithe on the air. Of an estimated 1 million Iranian Christians, only 50,000 are going to house churches, Shariat says. But IAM's model-church programming has taught many new believers how to start their own underground churches. The newly minted believers soon encounter a formidable adversary: fear. Some are expelled from their families; others flee. "The spirit of Allah is fear," Shariat says. "You are so fearful you are going to hell, because Allah is going to strike you. The authorities are poised to strike as well, serving as extensions of the terror embedded in Islam. But none of their efforts has stifled the growth of Christianity, Shariat says, because it is the one place Iranians have found real peace.
Dr. Hormoz Shariat, President and Founder of Iran Alive Ministries, called the Billy Graham of Iran, had a deep encounter with God through Jesus Christ.
In this 30min video he shares powerful insights how to communicate the Gospel to Muslims. Training Clip by Hormoz Shariat
August 14 // Hormoz Shariat
Dr. Shariat was born into a Muslim family in Iran and came to the United States after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, where he came to Christ while a graduate student in 1980 while earning his PhD in Computer Engineering from USC. In 1987, he planted a church in San Jose, California. With hundreds of Muslim converts, which remains one of the largest churches of its kind in the United States. In 2001 Dr. Shariat followed the Lord's leading and founded Iran Alive Ministries, which utilizes Satellite TV to reach the millions of lost and broken people of Iran and the rest of the Middle East. Today, they broadcast the Gospel 24/7 from their studio in Dallas to Iran and the Middle East, trusting the Lord to use us to transform a nation, which is responding to the Gospel unlike any other time in history. His passion for Muslims stems, in part, because of the murder of his brother, Hamraz, who was arrested in Iran at the age of 16 on a minor political charge. After two years in jail, he was executed by firing squad. God showed Dr. Shariat the best way to respond to this tragedy was to dedicate his life to loving Muslims and sharing the Gospel with as many of them as possible.
Founded in 2001 by Covenant member Dr. Hormoz Shariat, Iran Alive operates a satellite broadcast network airing Christian programming 24/7 and reaching millions of viewers with the Gospel.!
Hormoz Shariat, the founder of Iran Alive and the host of the TV show, interviewed Bill Salus in April, 2014, about the prophecies of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38.
Salus teaches in English, while Shariat translates into Farsi. [...]