About 40 years ago, there were approximately 200 Christians from a Muslim background living in Iran. Today, there are an estimated 370,000.
Former hardline Islamic mullahs and former drug dealers worship Jesus together. There is a hunger for the truth, particularly among young people. They are forbidden to evangelise, and the Bible is a forbidden book, but Iranian believers are willing to share their faith. Many people have satellite television, and many watch Christian programmes broadcast from abroad.
The greater the number of believers, the greater the persecution. The government sees house churches as a threat to the state. Arrests are common. Christian leaders are kept in prison, where they suffer brutal treatment and medical help is withheld.
There are many stories of Muslims coming to faith in Christ as a result of dreams. Open Doors tells one such story.
Taher was a committed Muslim who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca. When his daughter accepted Christ, he was angry. When his wife became a believer in Christ, he was angrier still. When his son accepted Christ, he quoted the Koran, forbade them to go to church, beat them, threatened to tell the secret police, and threatened to kill them with his bare hands. They left him, and fled the country.
In his loneliness, he begged Allah to show himself to him, without response. In moments of doubt, he didn't know what to believe. "I will believe in the God who reveals Himself to me," he said.
He had a dream. A man he had never seen before hugged him and said "I will clean you from all your sins. I will give you rest. Believe in Me." Another man asked him in his dream if he knew who the man was. "He is Jesus Christ. He cleans your sins."
Twice he fell asleep again and twice more he dreamed the same dream. After the third time, he was convinced that Jesus is God.
He went to the church he had forbidden his family to attend and told a church leader "I want to pray, go to church and give my life to Christ, but I don't know how. I saw Jesus in a dream. I saw His face." He is now reunited with his family.
Prayer is requested for believers in prison.