Donate | VOM Resources

Coloring Pages

Carpet making is a traditional art in Iran. Carpet makers in different areas of Iran produce carpets with different designs. Print out and color these two designs below to make your own Iranian carpets. Hang up the carpets to remind you to pray for the people of Iran.

Carpet
Also available in PDF.

Carpet
Also available in PDF.


Shahnaz and her Father

Iran
Young woman in Iran

Shahnaz was a Muslim in Iran before she gave her life to Jesus. Iranian parents often kick their teen and young adult children out of their homes if they become Christians.

But Shahnaz’s father, Ebi, decided to continue loving her. He hoped his kindness would encourage her to return to Islam, the religion of Muslims. Shahnaz had followed other fads before, and had even been a fan of pop stars in other countries. Maybe her interest in Jesus would pass, too.

But Shahnaz’s faith grew stronger She told others about Christ and started leading a Bible study group.

Ebi Trusts in Jesus
Before Shahnaz became a Christian, she had been in love with a Muslim. She wanted to marry him, but her parents refused to let her get married. Now they told her she could marry him. They invited the young man and his parents to their house to discuss marriage.

After the families talked for some time, Ebi took Shahnaz to another room and asked her what she thought about getting married. Shahnaz answered her father, “I’m sorry, Father, but I’m a Christian now. I cannot marry a Muslim man.” Then she encouraged her father to trust in Christ as his Savior.

When the young man’s family realized that Shahnaz didn’t want to marry their son, they left the house angrily. Shahnaz’s parents were embarrassed. “My reputation is ruined because of you,” Ebi told Shahnaz. He also said he was going to beat her until she returned to Islam.

Ebi started to beat Shahnaz with a belt, but stopped suddenly. “I am a bad person!” he said.

Ebi put his arms around Shahnaz and apologized. He told her that he had seen a vision of Jesus. In the vision, Jesus had his arm around Shahnaz, and he told Ebi to stop beating her. “Don’t beat her,” Jesus told Ebi. “She belongs to me.”

Shahnaz forgave her father. She told him, “Even Jesus said, ‘Forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.’”

Ebi became a Christian and now allows a house church to meet in his home.

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed.)


Snack and Share

Baklava

Baklava is a treat enjoyed by children in many countries, including Iran. Try the recipe below. Can you share the treat with a Sunday school class or group and tell them about Christians in Iran? Read the post Iranian Date Snack to learn how to make another Iranian snack.

Persian Baklava
Syrup Ingredients:
3 cups sugar
1½ cups water
2 tbsp. lemon juice

Filling Ingredients
4 cups chopped almonds
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp. cardamom

Additional Ingredients
1 box phyllo dough (24 sheets)
1 stick melted butter

Instructions

  1. Make the syrup first so it can cool. Over low heat, stir together the sugar, water, and lemon juice until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium, and cook without stirring about 5 more minutes until the mixture is a little syrupy.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the filling ingredients.
  3. Follow the instructions on the phyllo dough box about working with the dough. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking pan. Put one sheet of phyllo in the pan and brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat with five to seven more phyllo sheets. Spread half the filling on top of the stack. Repeat the process with six to eight more sheets and the rest of the filling. Top with six to eight more buttered sheets.
  4. Use a sharp knife to cut six lengthwise strips through the top six to eight sheets of phyllo. The strips will be about 1¾ inches apart. Then cut 1½-inch diagonal strips across the lengthwise strips.
  5. Sprinkle the top sheet with cold water. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees, and bake about 15 more minutes until golden brown.
  6. Cut through the lengthwise and diagonal lines all the way to the bottom of the baklava. Pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava and let it cool for at least 4 hours before cutting into the squares and serving.

Image credit: Kultigin/Wikipedia


A “Coward” Gets Courage

Iran
House church meeting in Iran

A Christian and his wife were leaders of a house church in Iran. The man was arrested for his Christian activities and put in prison for two months.

While he was in prison, his wife feared that she, too, would be arrested. So the woman prayed, “Dear Lord, I am not ready to go to prison. It is such a crowded and dirty place. As you know, I grew up in a wealthy family and had a comfortable life. I am afraid if I go to jail, I will not be able to stand it because I am a coward. And out of fear, I might give the names of other believers, and they might get arrested, too. And if they hurt me, I’m afraid I might even end up denying you against my will.”

Three days after she prayed, the police knocked at her door. Again she prayed, “God, I have already asked you not to put me in this situation. So whatever happens, it’s not my fault. I am not a strong person and I can’t tolerate persecution.”

The police took the woman and put her in prison. She was scared, and she was sick because the cell smelled very badly. Later the police came and took her to a room for questioning.

During the questioning, the woman felt God’s peace strongly, and she was no longer scared. The official asked her, “Why have you become a Christian?”

The woman answered, “I will be very happy to talk to you about Jesus. You also need Jesus in your life. Without Jesus, a person does not have peace, and life is hopeless. One day you have to stand in front of the throne of God and be accountable to him for your life. Jesus laid down his life so you can have salvation and not perish. I want you to know the joy and blessings of salvation.”

The official was angry. “Do you know what this means?” he asked. “You can’t preach to me. This will cost you a lot.”

The woman answered, “If I don’t share the truth with you, I will be accountable to God for it. Therefore, I can’t keep silent.”

After the guards sent the woman back to her cell, she felt scared again. She decided she would keep quiet the next time she was questioned. But the next day, the same thing happened. She felt God’s peace, and she shared about Jesus boldly with the official.

In the middle of the night, the woman heard a knock on her cell door. It was the official who questioned her. The woman was scared, but the official said, “Don’t be afraid. I need your prayers, and I need Jesus in my life. I believe God sent you here to share the truth about salvation with me.”

The woman talked with the official for three hours, and he repented of his sins and trusted in Jesus as his Savior!

The woman and her husband are now both out of prison. The official and his wife secretly keep in touch with them to learn more about Jesus. The official said that even some Muslim leaders have doubts about their religion and have a desire to become Christians.

A Christian in Iran said, “We thank God that he is touching the hearts of Muslim leaders and officials.”

(Edited from the original source for clarity.)


Fifteen Minutes in Jail

Newsletter

Mohammed was a Muslim in Iran who became a Christian four years ago. He trusts God completely, even when he is persecuted.

One day when he was at the beach, Mohammed was arrested by the police. “I just knew that God was sending me to a place to witness,” said Mohammed. “So I didn’t fight [or argue] so they would take me to jail.

“They took me to jail, and I saw two people who were bound because their crimes were very serious. When I came to those people I told them, ‘God has sent me to save you.’ By faith I believe that those who are around me God has sent for me to share the gospel. So I shared the gospel very briefly, just about 15 minutes, and they knelt and prayed to receive Christ.

“I only had those 15 minutes to share the gospel because immediately after I shared the gospel, the police came and said, ‘You were very kind to us, and we want to release you.’

“When they opened the door to release me, I hugged those two criminals, and they were crying and hugging me really hard. So the warden of the police was like, ‘You have only known these people for 15 minutes, and they act like you are family.’”

Mohammed tells people about Jesus outside of jail, too. He says he shares the gospel with everyone he meets and that more than 1,000 people have knelt with him in prayer and committed their lives to Christ.

“I am serving God now and I will serve God until the day I die,” Mohammed said. “I don’t want anything from God, because I feel like I am paying him back for what he has done for me. I know he has a great plan for me, and he will take me step by step towards his plan for my life.”

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed.)

To Think About

  • If you had only 15 minutes to tell someone about Jesus, what would you say to them? Ask a mature Christian for some suggestions, then practice talking with a Christian friend or classmate about your faith for a few minutes to prepare for a time when God may call you to share your faith with a non-Christian.
  • Read 1 Peter 3:15–16, then tell what those verses mean in your own words. How did Mohammed obey the verses?