Global Catalytic Ministries is an organization with a purpose of transforming Muslims across the world through the power of Jesus Christ. A March 2023 Global Catalytic Ministries blog article explores the story of Purim and how it points toward a movement of Persian Christians at the vanguard of peace.
Celebrated each March just before Ramadan appears in the Muslim calendar, Purim celebrates the anniversary of a heroic act by Esther. Secretly Jewish, she was chosen by King Ahasuerus to be his new queen. The primary advisor of Ahasuerus, Hamaan was in support of a decree that would have resulted in the death of Jewish people across the kingdom. But Esther risked her life by revealing her Jewish faith and became the advocate of the Jewish people. King Ahasuerus ultimately relented and spared her people. This story of her brave act of free will, amidst persecution, is one that still resonates today.
As explained in the article, the story is particularly relevant to today’s situation in contemporary Iran, where Jews and Christians are targeted for persecution. Just as in Biblical times, people are dying for propounding the Christian faith. Much of this violent behavior is learned and socially defined, as even Iranian schoolchildren are programmed to seek the destruction of Israel.
Through a burgeoning underground church movement, those who follow Christ are finding that such teachings are misguided and incorrect. Just as God disguised Esther’s identity so that she could perform a heroic act from a position of power, God works to protect church leaders’ identities in Iran so that the underground church can grow and flourish.