THE LETTERS TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES SPEAK TO PERSIAN BELIEVERS
SAT-7 PARS’ latest documentary Seven Letters delves into the Book of Revelation, unpacking its letters to persecuted, struggling Christians in the seven ancient churches. Filmed in Turkey among the ruins of the seven churches, the program helps make Jesus known to the persecuted Church in Iran and Afghanistan today.
“The risen Lord still walks among His churches,” shares Sally Momtazi, who explored the ruins of the seven churches to present Seven Letters. “Jesus never wrote a letter, but He gave us these seven letters. Working in live shows, I’ve noticed a huge interest among Persian Christians in how these letters apply to our lives today.”
The letters in the Book of Revelation were written to churches in what is now the southwest corner of Turkey, and at the time, these churches were facing all kinds of external and internal challenges, including persecution, false teachings, and spiritual death (Revelation 3:1). These churches therefore serve as an example to all Christians, Sally explains. “If the saints in these cities could overcome these challenges,” she says, “they would be able to do so anywhere and at any time.”
Christians in the Middle East, especially in Iran and Afghanistan, are similarly facing persecution and spiritual challenges today. Due to a lack of freedom of religion and belief, Christians in Iran and Afghanistan face persecution and imprisonment, ostracism from their friends and families, and discrimination in the workplace. Due to COVID-19 they are also under immense economic pressure, and while the Church in Iran is recognised as the fastest growing church in the world, a lack of Christian resources and mature Christian leaders raises the risk of false teaching.
“The seven letters have a permanent and contemporary message to the persecuted Church in Iran and Afghanistan,” Sally explains. However, she says, there are few opportunities for viewers to understand them. “Unfortunately, the Book of Revelation is rarely taught by Iranian or non-Iranian churches,” she explains. By unpacking what Jesus Christ says to the seven ancient churches in this ten-part series, Sally hopes to share with viewers her commitment to know Him better and for others to do so, too.
“The Book of Revelation has fascinated me ever since I became a believer,” Sally shares. “They teach us about our love for God and our love for the people around us. They are a warning from Jesus, telling us to be ready for His return.” She explains that a vivid dream some years ago gave her a personal motivation to explore Revelation, one of the most challenging books of the Bible. In her dream, Sally saw worshippers surrounding God’s throne (as in Revelation 4), but when she wanted to draw closer into God’s presence, she felt pushed away. When she desperately called out to God in her dream, she heard Him tell her, “You are saved, but you do not know my Son well enough.”
Seven Letters, a dynamic documentary backed by strong research, is sure to appeal to Christians and non-Christians alike with its historical, archaeological, and theological insights. “Through this documentary series, our aim is to encourage viewers to go deeper in their Bible studies and to demonstrate how Scripture is relevant and applicable to us today. I pray that Seven Letters will deepen viewers’ relationship with Christ as they take its messages to heart,” Sally concludes.