Iran's house church movement is on the rise despite ongoing persecution of Christians, according to various media reports.
Last week, Mohabat News reported that over 200 natives and Afghans were baptised near Iran, and that the mass baptizing service was organized by eight local churches.
"According to our contacts in Iran, the house church movement is seeing astounding growth. This is despite the intense persecution the house church movement faces from the government," Stark, International Christian Concern's Regional Manager for South Asia, told The Christian Post.
God Reports, an activist platform, said that the Iranian church is witnessing a spectacular growth and may be one of the fastest growing churches in the world.
"The word that a lot of our senior leadership team has been using recently is momentum, the Lord is really doing something," said Mark Howard of Elam Ministries.
"We see incredible opportunity," he added, "reaching Persian speaking refugees in Europe, planting churches in Iran - people are so open right now."
"Every day we have many coming to the Lord. If you give a starving person food and water they will want to share it. That's what they find in Jesus. They are so hungry and thirsty for the truth. They are experiencing it in a powerful way. When they do they want to share it with others."
God Reports quoted Elam Ministry as saying that Iranians have a special affection for Jesus who they see as a "revered prophet." The ministry said that many Iranian poets have written about Jesus.
"They [Iranians] are spiritual people. As many search for truth and hunger for the truth, it is natural to look for that in Jesus. When someone tells them about Jesus they are eager," Howard added.
Christians continue to face persecution in the country. Many believers, especially Muslim converts, are arrested for practicing their faith or are harassed in day-to-day life.
Recently, three Christians were sentenced to 80 lashes by a Sharia court for drinking holy communion wine. The three men were Christian converts from Muslim backgrounds, and were imprisoned for several weeks before being released on bail.
It is not illegal for Christians to drink alcohol in Iran but under Sharia law, Muslims are forbidden from drinking and it is illegal for Muslims to convert to another religion.
In June, three Azerbaijani Christian men who were attending a wedding in Iran were arrested and put in Evin Prison. They were imprisoned for two months, and charged with engaging in missionary and anti-regime activities. They were released but may be arrested again.
"Prayers are definitely needed to continue for these men that they won't be rearrested, because that can happen in this country and it has," said Emily Fuentes of Open Doors USA. "But we're thankful they're out of prison, because that's also not the fate for many Christians."