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10/9/97 Outreach urged to Iranians in exile around the world

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP)–“But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam (Iran),” saith the Lord.
When the government of Iran changed in 1979 with the overthrow of the Shaw, so did the years of freedom and westernization, said Tony Emamghoraishi, pastor of Iranian Baptist Church, a mission of Oklahoma City’s Quail Springs Baptist Church.
The Ayatollah Khomeini brought oppression through his fanatical religious regime, Emamghoraishi said, causing millions of Iranians to flee the country. Extreme measures, both legal and illegal, were used to escape the new government. Thus, today, Iranians in exile can be found around the world.
This summer, Emamghoraishi, along with an Iranian pastor from Washington, traveled to Sweden to spend three weeks teaching and preaching God’s Word to Iranians there.
“We take for granted the ease with which we assemble in God’s house and hear his Word preached,” said Emamghoraishi. “So many Iranian believers in Sweden had been on their own, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, to learn God’s Word.”
Emamghoraishi said he visited Iranian homes and had Bible studies and discussions with many believers.
“Unfortunately, some of those we met had been exposed to false teachings,” he lamented. “We had to spend a great deal of time clarifying those teachings. These people heard God’s truths for the first time.”
Three Iranians were baptized in the Swedish Baptist Church, a historical event for this particular church, Emamghoraishi said.
“Never before had any Iranians been baptized there,” he said.
Emamghoraishi traveled by train to several Swedish cities where he spent 19 hours a day sharing and witnessing.
He said a great need is for Farsi-speaking churches and teaching materials in the Farsi language.
“Most Iranians living in Sweden speak Swedish, but it is still so much more effective to hear the words in their own language,” Emamghoraishi pointed out.
He added there is a tremendous need and a great potential for Southern Baptist churches to be started among Iranians.
“Churches in Scandinavia, as well as all of Europe are usually government-controlled,” he explained. “These churches are truly spiritually dead. There are a few independent churches, but they are also without life.”
Emamghoraishi said God speaks directly about Iran (Elam) and its people in Jeremiah 49:36.
It says, “I will bring against Elam the four winds from the four quarters of the heavens; I will scatter them to the four winds, and there will not be a nation where Elam’s exiles do not go.”
Yet, verse 39 says, “I will restore the fortunes of Elam in days to come, declares the Lord.”
“Our Lord is fulfilling the second part of his promise to Elam,” said Emamghoraishi. “Through the work of missionaries all around the world who are supported by Southern Baptists, Iranians are being restored in the Lord.”
Emamghoraishi said since returning from Sweden, he has prepared Bible studies and preaching tapes to send to the Iranian believers and has sent books and Farsi copies of the movie “Jesus.”

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  • Dana Williamson