Armenia lies between the Eurasian countries of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkey. It is an area that has endured much conflict despite its proud claim of being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity in the early 4th century. Over 3 million people live in this hot-summer, cold-winter climate where small-scale agriculture dominates the economy. The country is heavily dependent on Russian support, especially in view of its economic isolation from Turkey and Azerbaijan. Our project will be located in the city of Yerevan where 50,000 Iranians live for business, educational, and other purposes. In sight of Mt. Ararat to the south, Yerevan is a thoroughly urban city with the full range of amenities. The streets are relatively safe but living in an apartment is the safest way to avoid burglary. The U.S. has a huge embassy in the city.
The People Group
Persians is another name for Iranians, of which less than 1% is Christian. Mainly Shi’a Muslims, of the Iranians in Armenia there are only 30-50 baptized SDAs. Because Iranians in Iran are becoming disillusioned with the ruling regime and dissatisfied with Islam, there is a growing underground house-church movement developing and a window of opportunity is open to us. The two types of Iranian groups in Armenia are those who live and work long-term in business and trade, and those who travel to Yerevan for 1-2 weeks to learn about Jesus Christ before returning to Iran to worship in underground SDA house-churches.
Workers to learn Armenian and study the Iranian culture, develop Bible study materials to be used with Iranians bringing new believers into the fellowship of the SDA Church and providing pastoral care and nurture for them, develop guidelines for living and worshipping in underground SDA house churches in Iran, and develop Complete Christian Culture materials for Iranians. There is also a need for English language lessons to be offered as a gateway to greater trade and business opportunities for Iranians. The Global Mission Pioneer from Iran also needs careful guidance in Bible studies and further discipling.*