People may wonder why we would choose to love Iranians, especially at a time when some of them seem full of ill-will toward the rest of the world.
We believe, as the Apostle Paul taught, that we should "not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).
We also believe that God loves all people, including us, while we were still His "enemies" (Romans 5:10).
And, most importantly, Jesus calls us to love. He said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.... Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:27-28, 35-36).
Here are seven reasons why it is vital that we love Iranians:
God loves them.
The heart of God is beating with compassion for the Iranians.
God wants them to know Him personally.
Many Iranians who are searching for God are often surprised when they come to realize that it is not so much their searching for God but God searching for them.
Jesus sacrificed His life for them.
Jesus showed His love by sacrificing His life in order to deal with their sin problem and bring them into a loving relationship with God.
Most of them know very little about the real Jesus.
Muslims are taught that Jesus was a great prophet, but they know little about Him. They do not understand that He died sacrificially for their sin and rose from the dead to give them eternal life.
They are among the least reached in the world today.
Most Iranians have never heard the good news of Christ even once, have never seen a Bible in their language and have no access to a church.
Many of them want to know God.
Muslims are commonly God-conscious. Many desire to know God on a personal level and hunger to know more about Jesus Christ. This is true of Iranians.
Many thousands of them, especially Iranians, have been placing their faith in Christ!
Many of them will one day bow in worship before the Throne of God. One day we will triumphantly gather in the presence of Jesus Christ and give thanks for all He has done for us. We will be joined by believers from every tribe, tongue and nation—including Iranians, Afghans and Tajiks.