Iran Alive Ministries is Bridging the Divide in Iran

NRB | October 5, 2023 | Member News

Iran Alive Ministries, with a mission to “transform Iran into a Christian nation,” facilitates around-the-clock broadcasts of Gospel messages, Bible teaching, and Christian content throughout Iran and Farsi-speaking regions including Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, reaching an estimated audience of 130 million people.

“Transforming Iran into a Christian nation is a challenging task due to cultural, religious, and legal factors. However, Iran Alive Ministries demonstrates commitment by persevering through these challenges, adapting their strategies, and continuing their work despite obstacles,” said Lily Meschi, Director of Partner Relations at Iran Alive Ministries. Meschi was born and raised in a Muslim home in Tehran, Iran. After fleeing an abusive arranged marriage, Meschi found solace in Christ and Iran Alive Ministries.

“We strive to build bridges of understanding, promote tolerance, and respect cultural differences,” said Meschi.

The Iranian ministry was founded in 2000 by Dr. Hormoz Shariat, known as “the Billy Graham of Iran.” Shariat’s journey began in Iran, where he grew up in a Muslim household. In 1980, his life took a turn when he discovered a deep resonance with the Christian faith after a comparative study of the Bible and the Quran. He became a follower of Jesus, embarking on a path that would define the rest of his life.

Shariat’s journey was marred by tragedy when his brother, Hamraz, was executed by firing squad after two years of imprisonment on a minor political charge. This loss, while heartbreaking, fueled Shariat’s passion to share the Gospel with Muslims, leading him to establish a church in San Jose, Calif., in 1987. Little did he know that this church would grow to become one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

In 2000, guided by divine calling, Shariat founded Iran Alive Ministries. Utilizing satellite TV from their Dallas, Texas studio, they broadcast the Gospel 24/7. Driven by an unwavering belief in God’s transformative power, his dedication to this mission is palpable. His vision is to see Iran become a Christian nation, a prophecy he finds in Jeremiah 49:38.

God has been using Iran Alive Ministries to reach millions of Iranians and Farsi-speaking people since its inception in 2000.

“When I came to faith in 2002, I began to watch Iran Alive Ministries’ evangelism and discipleship-orientated programs,” said Meschi. “Now, I have the privilege to serve with [Dr. Shariat] to share the Gospel with the unreached people groups of Iran. Others can pray for Iranians’ minds and hearts to open up to receive Christ and be transformed.”

Through an underground church network, Shariat pastors an online weekly church service offering Iranian Christians the opportunity to fellowship with believers. Iran Alive offers a 24/7 helpline for Iranians fighting for humanitarian rights. The ministry has smuggled 100,000+ Bibles into the nation of Iran since 2001.

“Given the restrictions on Christian activities in Iran, we heavily rely on digital platforms and satellite television to reach Iranians,” said Meschi. “Iran Alive broadcasts Christian programming, including sermons, testimonies, and Bible teachings, to provide access to Christian content that is not readily available within Iran.”

Iran Alive is committed to raising up the next generation of leaders by planting one of the largest underground church networks inside Iran. The Iran Alive 4:12 Discipleship School, with a current enrollment of over 3,300, plays a crucial role in teaching, training, and mobilizing new Iranian believers for ministry. These mentorship programs provide biblical teachings, mentorship, and a supportive community where believers can grow in their faith and discuss their questions and struggles.

Because Iran is a country known for persecution of Christians, said Meschi, safety and security threats are a significant risk for Iran Alive Ministries.

“Ministries operating in hostile environments face security risks due to the nature of their work,” said Meschi. “This has involved threats from extremist or militant groups, harassment, or violence against staff or members.”

To effectively reach Iranians in their cultural and religious landscape, Iran Alive adapts its methods and messages to resonate with Iranians while staying true to the Christian message and respecting the Iranian culture and traditions. To connect with younger Iranians, Iran Alive Ministries utilizes social media platforms, websites, and online streaming services. They tailor their content to resonate with young audiences, addressing relevant topics such as personal development, relationships, mental health, and social issues from a Christian perspective.

“Today, Iran stands on a precipice, a profound point in its long and fabled history. From this spot, the nation could by God’s grace soar to new heights of freedom or plunge even deeper into darkness and despair,” said Meschi. “We need partners and prayer warriors to come alongside us to see God’s promise for Iran found in Jeremiah 49:38 unfold.”

Iran Alive has been an NRB member since May 2023. To learn more visit

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