Learning Verses in Secret
[Photo: Iranian Christians praying]
Many Christians gather in secret in Iran. Most people in the country are Muslims, and the government does not want them to leave their religion to follow Jesus. It’s not unusual for Christians to be put in prison.
It’s against the law to print Bibles in Iran. Some Christians learn Scriptures using websites, mobile phone cards, and smartphone apps. They listen to Christian programs on satellite TV.
The Voice of the Martyrs recently received a list of 125 Bible verses that house church members and their leaders in Iran are memorizing. “They are recalling these verses when they are in jail or other places and are unable to access a Bible,” a VOM worker said.
You can see 10 of the verses below. Can you memorize one of the verses today? Why might each verse be inspiring to Iranian Christians today?
1. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
2. Who brought me out from my enemies; you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from men of violence. (2 Samuel 22:49)
3. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
4. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5–6)
5. But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. (Luke 6:27–28)
6. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
7. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
8. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. (1 Peter 4:14)
9. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. (Matthew 5:11)
10. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)