WORSHIPPING IN SILENCE
Open worship, free of fear, is something that Christians can often take for granted, but it is a freedom many Persian-speaking Christians in countries such as Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, cannot currently enjoy.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEXT SUNDAY?
If you belong to a congregation you will probably go to church and won’t be nervously looking around to check who might be watching. During the service you will take part in praise and worship. You might raise your hands, if so inclined, and your voice too, as you are led by musicians playing a variety of instruments.
Most won’t worry that a neighbour may hear and report you to the authorities. There is no risk you may end up in prison for years, or face a death sentence.
However, Christians in certain areas of the Middle East have to be careful about activities that would make it easy for the authorities to discover their faith. One Iranian Christian recalls:
“When we gathered [at] a house [we would play] worship songs on CD or a satellite program… and if we had a worship leader they would lead us in worship. But very quietly and with no clapping. We had to be especially careful in apartments. Sometimes, we would use blankets to soundproof doors for extra security.”
LIMITED PERSIAN WORSHIP
Another challenge for Persian believers is that the repertoire of Persian worship material is limited, and musicians are relatively scarce. In other parts of the world, the church has had the benefit of worship music going back centuries, but the Persian-speaking church lacks this rich musical heritage.
SAT-7 PARS’ weekly live show, Heavenly Worship, makes live Persian worship music accessible to isolated believers, enabling them to know that they are part of a larger church family across the globe.
“We get feedback from our viewers who meet at home and are unable to sing aloud,” shares Producer Mostafa Keshavarz. “Some don’t know how to sing. We make sure the song words are on the screen and invite the viewers to join in with the singing and worship – whether silently or aloud. Viewers get in touch and tell us how happy they are that they had the opportunity to join us in praise and worship, and this is really encouraging for us.”
SPIRIT AND TRUTH
For a follower of Christ, every thought, word or action is meant to be an act of worship, and there is a particular joy in worshipping the Lord through music. For Jesus there is only one kind of worship that counts:
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24
Our prayer for our Christian brothers and sisters everywhere is that they are freely able to worship the Lord in spirit and truth.
Help SAT-7 continue to connect with persecuted believers in the Persian-speaking world.
SAT-7 PARS is a 24/7 satellite television channel broadcasting a message of hope and encouragement to millions in the Persian-speaking world, with a dedicated Audience Relations team offering prayer and support to hundreds of viewers each week.