Millions of former Muslims will celebrate Easter this year. Meet one, Hormoz Shariat, the “Billy Graham of Iran.”

Hormoz Shariat, the "Billy Graham of Iran," and I discuss the Gospel on live satellite TV broadcast into the Persian speaking world.

Hormoz Shariat, the “Billy Graham of Iran,” and I discuss the Gospel — the good news of how Muslims, Jews, and all people can be forgiven and go to heaven — on live satellite TV broadcast into Iran.

(Washington, D.C.) — In 1979, there were fewer than 500 Muslim converts to Christianity in all of Iran. Today, there are over one million Iranian who love Jesus Christ, have become His followers, and are celebrating Easter.

In fact, this Easter millions of former Muslims throughout the Middle East, North Africa and central Asia are celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whereas they once saw Jesus as merely a prophet, now they are convinced that He is God, and they have renounced Islam and chosen to follow Him no matter what it costs them.

In my 2009 non-fiction book, Inside The Revolution, I wrote several chapters about this extraordinary trend of Muslims leaving Islam and becoming Christ-followers. In the book, I described my travels from Morocco to Afghanistan, interviewing “MBBs,” Muslim Background Believers in Jesus.

One of the leaders of this movement that I profiled in the book is Dr. Hormoz Shariat. He was a Shia Muslim in Iran in 1979 shouting, “Death to America!” on the streets of Tehran with his Muslim wife. But within a few years, they were actually living in the U.S. and had both become Christians after dramatic conversion experiences. They started sharing the Gospel with friends and leading them to Christ. In time, they started planting churches of Iranian believers, and eventually founded a satellite TV ministry to broadcast the Gospel and discipleship training into Iran and the Persian speaking world.

In the book, I dubbed Hormoz “the Billy Graham of Iran,” because God has raised him up to preach the Gospel to millions in their native language of Farsi. Now, a Christian magazine has just profiled Hormoz. I was interviewed for the article and was honored to discuss my friendship and respect for him.

I commend the article to your attention and encourage you not only to read it in full, but to share it with others.

Please be praying for Hormoz and his family and team, as well as for all MBBs this Easter season. They face intense spiritual opposition, and persecution. But they have see the great hope and freedom and forgiveness and peace that comes from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and most are eager to share the good news of God’s amazing grace and love with the Muslim world, regardless of the challenges and dangers they face.

THE BILLY GRAHAM OF IRAN

By Troy Anderson, Charisma Magazine, April 2014

Not long after the Iran hostage crisis, the authorities arrested Hormoz Shariat’s 16-year-old brother, Hamraz, on a minor political charge. At the time, Hormoz was a new believer in America and was confident his brother, a political activist who had a small role with the Mujahedeen, would be released. But in 1984, after two years in jail, Shariat’s brother was executed by a firing squad.

Shocked by the news of his brother’s death, Shariat broke down crying, asking God why He let it happen. He felt anger toward God and the people who killed his brother. A few days later, Shariat told God he wanted revenge—but then he recalled the Bible’s words that say, “Vengeance is Mine” (Deut. 32:35; Rom. 12:19). Shariat told God he hated those who had killed his brother—but then he remembered Jesus said anyone who is angry with their brother has already murdered them in their heart (Matt. 5:21-22).

He says he felt the Lord saying to him in prayer, “You know who your enemy is? These people—the clergy and the leaders of Iran—are not your enemy. They are lost children. You have only one enemy. Satan has been working to bring about this injustice. If you want to hurt Satan, evangelize. It hurts him really bad when you bring people to Christ.”

As Shariat tells it, that’s when he committed himself to sharing the gospel the rest of his life.

“I had a vision that by the end of my life I could bring 1 million Muslims to know Him,” he says. “I also learned that God’s love is the greatest power we have to stop Islam and help Muslim captives be free.”

Visions of Jesus

In the three decades since Shariat set his resolve, this minister—dubbed “the Billy Graham of Iran” by New York Times best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg—has not only watched that goal come to fruition, but has also been given a front-row seat to one of the most astonishing supernatural phenomenon in modern times: thousands of people in Iran and throughout the Middle East reporting visitations of Jesus in dreams and visions.

“It’s amazing,” says Shariat, who founded the satellite broadcasting ministry Iran Alive Ministries in 2001. “God is graciously appearing to people in visions, dreams and through miracles. Sometimes they have dreams or visions of Jesus, run across our satellite television broadcast, hear the gospel, and then they believe. They may have, as children, had dreams or saw visions of Jesus. The vision or dream prepares them for the gospel. Other times they watch our program, ask if this is true or not, and then they have a dream or vision that confirms what they heard.”

Shariat believes the message is clear—that God is telling Christians in the West, “You look at them as terrorists who have no hope of salvation. Are you looking at them that way? I’m not. Look at Me. I’m appearing to them. I’m doing it Myself. Would you join Me to reach out to the Muslims?”

Rosenberg wrote about this phenomenon of dreams and visions in his book Inside the Revolution. “It’s an exciting development,” he says, “and it’s consistent with the Bible prophecies found in Joel 2, in which the Lord says in the last days He will pour our His Holy Spirit and people will see dreams and visions.”

Explosion of Faith

Since the hostage crisis ended in 1981, Rosenberg says the number of Christians in Iran has increased exponentially, from 500 to a conservative estimate of 1 million. Shariat, however,  says the number may be far larger, noting that Iran—the world’s only theocracy, with 76 million residents—has the fastest-growing evangelical Christian population on the planet, according to the latest edition of Operation World’s manual. In fact, more Persians have come to Christ in the 35 years since the Islamic Revolution than in the prior 1,400 years combined—and most of these conversions have occurred in the past decade, as an estimated 62 million Iranians have gained access to the gospel message through satellite TV broadcasts….

[To read the rest of this fascinating article, please click here]

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>> Would you like to read a short explanation of the Gospel, and how you can have a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ? Please click here and read “The Four Spiritual Laws.”

>> An historic Christian awakening is under way in Iran. I discuss the inside story in this 20 minute interview with Dr. Hormoz Shariat.

>> Watch Hormoz Shariat share his story at an Epicenter Conference (YouTube)

>> Hormoz Shariat interviews Joel Rosenberg on satellite TV into Iran (YouTube)

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Three Christians killed by former KKK leader in Jewish Community Center shooting rampage in Kansas. Please pray for those grieving.

Mindy Corporon, the daughter & mother of two of the victims, speaks to reporters. "I know they are in heaven together."

Mindy Corporon, the daughter & mother of two of the victims, speaks to reporters. “I know they are in heaven together.”

(Washington, D.C.) — My heart is broken for the family and friends of those who were brutally murdered in Kansas, and for the Jewish community there, as well. Please join me in praying for them amidst one of the most horrific acts of intended anti-Semitism in the U.S. in recent memory.

As it turns out, three Christians, not Jews, were the ones shot and killed by a former senior KKK member at a Kansas Jewish Community Center and a Jewish retirement center on the eve of Passover. 

Authorities quickly apprehended the shooter — who yelled “Heil Hitler!” as he was arrested — and he is being held on first degree murder and federal hate crimes charges.

Dr. William Corporon, a medical doctor, and his grandson, Reat, were murdered in the rampage. They were both Protestants and from a devout Christian heritage.

“William Lewis Corporon was a man of strong faith. His father was a Christian minister, and so was his grandfather,” reported the Kansas City Star. “Reat, a Boy Scout in Troop 92 who had 22 merit badges and was working to become an Eagle Scout, was a bright and enthusiastic student who loved to sing and act. He competed in seven debate tournaments in the first semester of his freshman year at Blue Valley High School.”

“I know they are in heaven together,” said Mindy Corporon, the daughter of William and the mother of Reat.

Thus far, the name of a Catholic woman also killed has not been released by authorities.

  • “My heart and prayers are with all those who were affected by today’s events,” said Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, a strong Christian (and personal friend), who is known as pro-Israel and very supportive of the Jewish community. “We will pursue justice aggressively for these victims and criminal charges against the perpetrator or perpetrators to the full extent of the law.”
  • “On the eve of the Passover holiday, where Jews around the world celebrate the festival when the ancient Israelites broke the shackles of tyranny, the Jewish community of Kansas City was struck by a tyrant,” said Rabbi Marvin Heir, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization.
  • “We condemn the murders, which according to all the signs were committed from hatred of Jews. … The state of Israel together with all civilized people is committed to fighting against this plague,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • President Obama also spoke out against the crimes.

Again, please keep praying for the families and friends of those killed who are grieving their losses this day. Please also pray for the members of the Jewish community who have been traumatized by this vile act of anti-Semitism.

“The suspect in the Passover Eve killings of three people at two Jewish community centers near Kansas City is a former Ku Klux Klan leader with a history of spewing vitriol against Jews, law enforcement officials said on Monday,” reports Reuters. “Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, faces local and federal prosecution on hate crime charges after his arrest on Sunday for a shooting spree that killed a teenager and his grandfather outside a Jewish community center, and a woman visiting her mother at a nearby Jewish retirement home….None of the victims was Jewish. The boy and his grandfather were members of an area Methodist church and the woman attended a Catholic church.”

Excerpts:

  • Cross, of Aurora, Missouri, had a prior criminal history and was known by law enforcement and human rights groups as a former senior member of the KKK movement and someone who had long made public comments against Jewish people, according to the FBI.
  • Both the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leading anti-hate group, and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR) have tracked Cross, who also goes by the name Frazier Glenn Miller, for years. The groups say he was involved in creating an armed paramilitary organization in North Carolina 20 years ago.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said Cross is a “raging anti-Semite” who has posted online commentaries that include “No Jews, Just Right” and calls to “exterminate the Jews.”
  • Cross is a former leader of both the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, groups aimed at the unification of white people, targeting African Americans and others for intimidation, according to the SPLC. He served time in prison on weapons charges and for making threats through the mail, the group said.
  • The IREHR said he idolizes Adolf Hitler.
  • “His worship for Hitler and Hitlerism is real,” said Leonard Zeskind, president of IREHR, in a statement issued Monday.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

FORMER DEMOCRAT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BOB KERREY: Obama a Failed, Delusional Liar

I have a dream.

I have a dream that someday, somehow, a real media will emerge and replace what is now a nakedly partisan propaganda wing of the Democrat Party, which uses brand names like NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN, to name but a few.

But, until then, we’ll have to rely upon foreign media outlets to confirm what we all know to be the truth.

…Obama, he said Wednesday in his Manhattan office, knew full well he was lying when he promised that the Affordable Care Act would allow Americans to keep insurance plans they liked… ‘He had to know he was misleading the audience,’ Kerrey said quietly, recalling the newly minted president’s countless promises as Congress and the public debated his signature health insurance overhaul…

…Obama compounded his rhetorical mistakes with political ones, he said, by agreeing to ditch a proposal allowing Americans to buy into the Medicare system the way they would buy a policy from a private insurer…

…In his Washington, D.C. days, the former Nebraska governor often stood out as the rare Democrat who publicly lamented U.S. entitlement programs’ seemingly unstoppable march to insolvency…

‘We’re robbing from the future to pay for the past,’ he told MailOnline on Wednesday. ‘We just are… And we’re shoveling more and more money to people over the age of 65.’

The result, he said, is a set of financial chains clamped tightly on future generations.

…Asked how to break the congressional logjam, Kerrey thought for a moment and said, softly, ‘It takes a president. It takes a president.’

Is Barack Obama that president? Kerrey stayed silent but shook his head… ‘I’m shaking my head “no,”‘ he acknowledged, finally.

…Another of Obama’s failings, according to Kerrey, is an inflated sense of Americans’ appetite for programs to correct what the White House calls ‘income inequality,’ through new taxes and other income-shifting initiatives that transfer wealth from the rich to the poor… The president’s re-election 17 months ago wasn’t a mandate to conduct class warfare, he said.

…Obama isn’t the first president to make that kind of miscalculation – Kerrey calls it ‘self-delusion’ – while in office… Bill Clinton [was] an unusually good liar. Unusually good,’ the Nebraskan said in 1994.

He told MailOnline that he ‘actually intended it as a compliment,’ although Clinton ‘didn’t take it that way.’

Obama’s lies, he said, stem from the same human flaw… ‘That self-delusion moment comes in a single declaratory sentence,’ Kerrey said, which is, “If they just get to know me, they’ll vote for me” … ‘It’s just self-delusion. … Some of us are good at it, and some of us are bad.’

You know, it’s the strangest thing.

Bob Kerrey is a very well known Democrat, a former senator, governor and presidential candidate.

I just did a quick news search for Bob Kerrey’s statements in U.S. media. Can you guess what I found?

Yeah, that’s right: nothing. Nada. Bupkis. Zip. Nil. Zilch.

Which, coincidentally, is how much real Americans should rely upon vintage media.

Hat tip: BadBlue News

Doug Ross @ Journal

FORMER PENTAGON INSPECTOR GENERAL: Obama Administration Riddled With Deceit

Guest post by M.D. Kittle

Yes, government waste, fraud and abuse are the triplet children of incompetence, greed and unbridled ambition.


Joseph E. Schmitz, former inspector general of the U.S. Department of Defense, says the Obama administration doesn’t like watchdogs looking at it.

But these sins of public trust begin and end with dishonesty.And Joseph E. Schmitz has seen a lot of lying by the government to taxpayers in his lengthy legal career.

Schmitz, who served as inspector general of the U.S. Department of Defense from 2002-05, in an interview with Watchdog.org said, “no political party has a monopoly on waste, fraud and abuse and corruption.”

But he said he has seen some troubling patterns of deceit in the Obama administration.

Exhibit A, according to the attorney: Benghazi.

“I still represent whistleblowers, and I see the people in this current administration just blatantly lying — lying to American citizens, lying about people trying to redress grievances,” Schmitz said. “These huge scandals start with dishonesty.”

Conservatives have been critical of the Obama administration’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, an assault that killed four Americans — including a U.S. ambassador.

A Senate Intelligence Committee report released in January criticized the Hillary Clinton-led U.S. State Department and the intelligence community for not preventing the attacks.

The long-delayed bipartisan report asserts the State Department failed to increase security, although it had been repeatedly warned to do so, and it faulted intelligence agencies for not sharing information.

“The attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on the terrorist activity in Libya — to include prior threats and attacks against Western targets — and given the known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission,” the panel said in a statement.

The report was released a year after Clinton, in aggravation at a Senate committee hearing on Benghazi, asked U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., “What difference does it make?”

“Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans,” Clinton said. “What difference — at this point, what difference does it make?”

Schmitz, like myriad other conservatives, said the State Department’s actions, or lack thereof, made a big difference in the outcome of the attacks.

“From my standpoint, whoever wrote those fallacious talking points that (then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) Susan Rice repeated to citizens in government, those blatantly dishonest talking points that were propagated by senior officials. And nobody has been held accountable,” the former inspector general said.

Schmitz has been critical of the administration’s foot-dragging on replacing cabinet-level inspectors general. In a June 2013 op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, Schmitz pointedly offered this question: “With so many scandals breaking in Washington, one may well ask: Where were all the inspectors general when these bad things — at the IRS, at Justice, and at State before, during and after Benghazi, for instance—were going on?”

His answer: “The sad truth is that in the Obama administration many of the most important IGs mandated by Congress simply are not in place.”

Schmitz points out that for several years, President Obama “neglected his duty” to fill vacant inspector general posts at the departments of State, Interior, Labor, Homeland Security and Defense.

“At a time when American confidence in the integrity and transparency of the federal government has been shaken, inspectors general can help Washington get back to basic principles of accountability — but only if the IGs are properly appointed and allowed to do their jobs,” Schmitz wrote in the op-ed.

In May 2012, there were 10 inspector general vacancies, half of which were at cabinet-level agencies, and four of the positions had been vacant for several years. Obama last year finally appointed a State Department watchdog, following a five-year vacancy.

Schmitz said one of the biggest problems he saw during his time as Pentagon inspector general during Republican President George W. Bush’s administration, and what he sees playing out in Democrat Obama’s tenure, is a lack of leadership.

“People are called on to make tough decisions. The person in charge is supposed to ake hard decisions, and they wouldn’t be able to make a decision because lawyers would come along and make a decision by indecision,” Schmitz said. “That’s abusive, and I’m speaking as a lawyer myself. One of the biggest problems I saw was lawyers getting involved.”

For three-plus years, during times of war and crisis, Schmitz had a “pretty up-close-and-personal perspective” view into the Bush White House. He said he saw mistakes made, saw people “generally trying to do the right job but got bad advice.”

Bush received plenty of criticism for his decisions and the advice he followed during his two terms – “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq arguably the most pronounced.

Schmitz, too, had his own share of controversy as the Pentagon’s watchdog.

He resigned in 2005, as the Los Angeles Times reported, “amid accusations that he stonewalled inquiries into senior Bush administration officials suspected of wrongdoing.”

The resignation came after a congressional investigation inquiry into whether Schmitz had blocked two criminal investigations. U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, at the time chairman of the Senate’s Finance Committee, accused “Schmitz of fabricating an official Pentagon news release, planning an expensive junket to Germany and hiding information from Congress.”

Schmitz was exonerated of any wrongdoing by the Integrity Committee of the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency in 2006.

As the L.A. Times piece pointed out, Schmitz “comes from a family that is no stranger to controversy.”

“His father was the ultraconservative Orange County congressman John G. Schmitz, who once ran for president but whose political career ended after he admitted having an affair with a German immigrant suspected of child abuse. Schmitz’s sister is Mary Kay Letourneau, the Washington state teacher who served more than seven years in prison after a 1997 conviction for rape after having sex with a sixth-grade pupil with whom she had two children. After Letourneau’s release from prison, she and the former pupil, now an adult, married each other.”

Schmitz bristled at Watchdog’s question about his famous family.

“Everybody has people like that in their family,” he said. “That has nothing to do with my integrity of my professionalism,” he said.

While he has family in Milwaukee, Schmitz said he doesn’t believe he is related to Milwaukee-area attorney Francis D. Schmitz, who is serving as special prosecutor in a secret John Doe investigation into conservative organizations. Francis Schmitz, too, said he does not believe he is related to Joseph Schmitz.

The former inspector general wrote the book on watchdogging waste, fraud and abuse – literally. He is the author of “The Inspector General Handbook: Fraud, Waste, Abuse, and Other Constitutional Enemies, Foreign and Domestic” andThe Forgotten Preamble: Introduction to the Bill of Rights Gives More Meaning to the Tenth Amendment.”

While he credits investigative news organizations, like Watchdog.org, for doing the work government officials have failed to do, Schmitz acknowledges the job of an inspector general is difficult.

“The position is not fun. I wouldn’t recommend being an IG for anyone,” he said.

 
Contact M.D. Kittle at mkittle@watchdog.org

Doug Ross @ Journal