Pars Theological Centre for Iran and the Persian-Speaking Diaspora
Today, the country of Iran is faced with many uncertainties. Amid this socio-cultural and economic fragility, Iran is hosting what can only be described as a spiritual revolution. In a recent report conducted by a non-profit, secular organization, it has stated that 1.2 million identify as Christians, 1 million of whom are believers from a Muslim background. Not only is the number of those identifying as Christians in Iran much higher than what many expected, but the churches growth rate is also exponential. In January 2021, the Economist Magazine reported that “Christianity is growing faster in Iran than in any other country.”
The 1 million believers from a Muslim background (BMBs) in Iran are not recognized by the government and are not permitted to worship in the Persian language. As a result, BMBs worship in underground house churches and house church networks across the country. Sadly, many BMBs, when found to be Christians, are thrown out of jobs and universities, and those who are in a position of leadership are often arrested and issued sentences of up to 15
One of the most critical needs of this rapidly growing, persecuted church in Iran is training faithful and effective servant-leaders who will lead the church toward greater long-term health and mission. Restrictions brought about by persecution mean that providing leadership training to those in the country is extremely challenging.
Pars Theological Centre was founded in 2010 by an interdenominational team of Iranian leaders, pastors, theologians, and counsellors who dreamt of a hub for biblical, holistic, and contextual leadership training for Iran in response to the above-mentioned need. Today, we are home to a blended Persian-language School of Leadership, the Iranian Leaders Forum, a Counselling Centre, a Publishing House, and multiple online platforms devoted to discipleship
and leader development. Through all of these, we are committed to the following mission: to equip and mobilize the Iranian church by training a new generation of biblically rooted, emotionally healthy, and spiritually mature men and women of God, committed to leading the church in loving God and neighbour, transforming the Persian-speaking world for the glory of God.
Pars is currently training 800 Iranian leaders through our formal and non-formal programs. 50% are women. 100% are involved in ministries such as pastoring churches and house churches, church planting, youth work, refugee outreach, addiction recovery, and more.