Islamic Republic of Iran
June 27-29

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7 Missions are not free to minister in the land but some tentmaking opportunities arise and tourism is actively encouraged

8 The spiritual needs of religious minorities:

a) The Zoroastrians or Parsees are followers of the ancient Persian religion and are prominent in the Bible — Cyrus and the three wise men being examples

b) The Baha’i, a syncretistic religion that has spread worldwide since the 19th Century, are the most severely persecuted religious minority in Iran

c) The Persian-speaking Jews are descendants of those exiled to Babylon 2,700 years ago

9 Unreached peoples — all the peoples are unreached

a) The partly nomadic Iranic Luri and Bakhtiari and the Turkic Qashqai who live in the Zagros Mountains

b) The various Kurdish peoples of NW and NE Iran

c) The Turkic Azeri, Khorasani Turks and Turkmen in the north

d) The peoples of the southeast — the Baluch and Brahui

e) The Gypsy communities with nearly 1.5 million people but with no Christians nor workers committed to seek ways to reach them

10 Christian Help ministries are of special value for the Iran of today — often being the only means of reaching the majority of the population

a) Bibles are in very short supply

b) Christian literature, when available, is much sought after

c) Christian radio has become a key ministry

d) Christian TV, video and film ministries

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Shi’a Islam is the state religion and 93% of Iranians follow this.

Religions Population % Adherents Ann.Gr.
Muslim 99.02 67,038,717 +1.7%
Baha'i 0.52 352,051 +0.2%
Christian 0.33 220,000 -0.6%
Other 0.10 67,702 +1.7%
Jewish 0.03 25,000 -4.0%
Christians Denom. Affil.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Protestant 9 0.01 7 +3.9%
Independent 1 0.01 8 +1.4%
Anglican 1 0.00 1 +0.0%
Catholic 1 0.01 7 -7.3%
Orthodox 4 0.18 121 -4.3%
Marginal 3 0.00 0 +5.1%
Unaffiliated   0.12 75 n.a.

Churches in Iran

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Area 1,648,196 Situated between the Caspian Sea in north and Arabian Sea/Persian Gulf in south.

Population (2000) 67,702,199 +1.67%AGR

Capital Tehran 11 mill.


Indo-Iranian 71.8%; Turkic 22%; Semitic 3%; Christian minorities 0.2%; Other 3%.

Literacy 72%. Official language Persian (Farsi; Dari and Tajik are major dialects); spoken by 83% of Iranians. All languages 69. Languages with Scriptures 3Bi 2NT 4por 12w.i.p.


Oil provided 75% of export earnings in 1995 and carpets, 11%. HDI 0.715; 95th/174. Public debt 7.6% of GNP. Income/person $1,000 (5.6% of USA, in 1982 it was 18%).


The Shah was deposed in the Shi’ite Muslim Revolution, and a theocratic Islamic Republic declared in 1979.

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