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Iranian Imam Receives Christ Via Satellite TV, Escapes Country

By Mark Ellis

3/9/07 Iran (ANS) — One of the top Islamic leaders in Iran accepted Christ and left the country after facing death threats and imprisonment, according to an Iranian pastor living in the U.S.

The imam watched satellite programming supplied by TBN Nejat TV (, according to Reza Safa, founder and president of Harvesters World Outreach. TBN Nejat TV is the first all-Christian network in the Persian language, broadcasting 24/7 into Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.

The imam called one of the phone counselors connected to TBN Nejat TV and prayed to receive Christ in early February. “The man has been watching our TV programs for the past two years,” Safa noted. “He said he has believed since he began watching the programs but his salvation was sealed through his confession.”

“This man knows all the verses of the Qur’an by heart,” he added. “After he began watching, doubt began in his heart about the Islamic faith.” The man spent nine months in prison after he questioned the violence of radical Islam. Following his release from prison, he faced numerous death threats and escaped the country.

Several other religious leaders may follow suit. “He knows four other high-ranking imams that are in the same condition and want to leave Iran ,” Safa said.

The imam who fled left everything behind. “His salary was 700,000 of their monetary units every month,” Safa noted. “He was honored and respected, but when the gospel came to him he lost everything,” he noted. “Now he is a poor refugee in a foreign country.”

“God is shaking the foundation of Islam in Iran ,” Safa said. “We have been praying for some of the main government officials to come to Christ and God is answering us,” he noted. “I pray God will open more doors for us to send the gospel to the Middle East .”