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MNN (12/20/05) – An American evangelist has been threatened by a country that’s currently putting a lot of pressure on Christians. Evangelist Sammy Tippit says, “We received word here in our office from within the country, that in the public media inside Iran I have been declared an enemy of the state. Their view of me, I don’t think it can get any worse.”

Despite that, Tippit plans to air some special Christmas television programming into Iran .

Tippit says suicide will be the topic of discussion, but Iran won’t be the only focus. It will also be beamed into India .

Tippit describes the program, “We have gotten permission from Jenkins Entertainment to use a scene from a film that they have produced of a man attempting to commit suicide and then we’re coming back with a Gospel message, showing part of the Jesus film and tied in with me preaching the Gospel.”

This program will be historic in India . “This will be the first time that something like this has been done on a secular t-v channel to really share the Gospel story, the Christmas story in a very creative way.”

Tippit says Christmas may be a good time for this kind of programming. “People of all religious backgrounds are very open and very congenial during the Christmas season. Even in Iran , Christmas is a big deal, even though it’s a Muslim country the people know about Christmas. There’s not really ever been anyone in a creative way share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the true meaning of Christmas.”

Tippit is excited about what could happen. “We do expect to have a large response. We don’t know how large this response will be because it’s so new and something that’s different.”

Teams from each countries are set up to handle the response they will receive.

Christians in both India and Iran are seeing increasing amounts of persecution. Tippit says, “The persecution that’s taking place is taking place because people are responding so much to the Gospel. I think what’s going to happen, those that are hungry are just going to eat this up. There are people whose hearts are hurting and religion is not giving them the answer.”

Pray that this program adds fuel to the fire of the Gospel.