Support for Afghani Christians

Name of Partnership: Bringing the Love and Power of Christ to Iran—and Beyond.

Ministry Name: Transform Asia (formerly 222 Ministries International)

Type of Project: Evangelism/Discipleship/Church Planting

Country/Region: Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey

Project Overview:

Our Vision

“We dream of the day when every Iranian man, woman and child will know the love of Christ and the transformative power of the gospel will penetrate, redeem and renew all aspects of society across the nation of Iran.”

Lazarus and Maggie Yeghnazar were born and raised in Iran and have served the Iranian Church their whole lives. In the late 1980s, following the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and the Iran-Iraq war, along with a numbers of other emigres,  they left Iran to go to Europe. They felt the call of God leading them to prepare the Iranian church and develop leaders for the time that Iran would one day open to the Gospel.

In 1991, they established 222 Ministries, based on 2 Timothy 2:2, to equip reliable men who could teach and train others. For over three decades, they worked and served together as 222 Ministries, grew in impact and in vision. In recent years it became clear that though discipleship and leadership development were still core to the work, the vision had grown to see transformation throughout Iran. In November 2022 ‘222 Ministries’ became ‘Transform Iran.’

Through this ministry, and by the grace of God, churches have been established in 17 nations including hundreds of underground churches in Iran and seven in Afghanistan, more than 100,000 have become followers of Christ, thousands have been directly discipled, and thousands of leaders have been trained and released into ministry.

Transform Iran has pioneered numerous strategic initiatives and is honored to have paved the way for many other ministries that serve the nation of Iran. These strategic initiatives include Farsi language Christian TV, Farsi language digital Church, Farsi language apologetics, Farsi Christian news, as well as a wide range of other activities that ensure every aspect of society in Iran is reached with the powerful message of the Gospel.

Project Summary:

Transform Iran is committed to providing the necessary resources and tools to support effective discipleship – Bibles, worship, prayer and devotional materials, Bible study tools, counseling and mentoring, trauma counseling, strategic training events and more. Primary ministries:

  • Bible Translation. Some 26 million Iranians do not have the Word of God in their own ‘heart’ language. Transform Iran is busy addressing this Bible poverty so that converts in Iran’s ethnic groups can read and study the Word of God in their heart language, ensuring easier understanding and deeper connection.
  • Media. Transform Iran broadcasts live and pre-recorded discipleship teaching through satellite TV, radio and social media. Millions have heard their Bible-based teachings through Transform Iran’s media ministries.
  • Apologetics. Transform Iran has a “Question and Answer” website that  draws tens of thousands of visitors each month and engages directly with the questions of those still trying to understand certain aspects of faith and theology. Answers are published on the site for others to benefit. To date more than 5,400 questions have been answered on the site.
  • Victims of Trauma, Abuse and Addiction. Transform Iran’s Pearl of Persia  ministry works specifically with survivors of trauma, abuse and addiction, providing specialist counseling and discipleship as they find complete healing and freedom from their past, discover their true identity in Christ, and are released to pursue the fulness of their calling.
  • Publications. Transform Iran protects the doctrinal integrity of the Church in Iran by providing a wide range of Bible-based discipleship resources (printed and digital) through its publishing house, 222 Publications.
  • Digital Church and Church Planting. For the scattered, isolated and at-risk, they a very effective way for believers to experience Christian community and worship with other Christians. Persian Community Church gathers thousands of Farsi(Persian)-speaking Christians from all over Iran and around the world and builds an interactive community where they can pray, worship, learn and grow together.
  • Bible-based Discipleship Course, a Free Bible College, Training Events and Conferences. Transform Iran offer a discipleship course for Christians, and for those who want to dive deeper, a free online Bible course in Farsi (currently about 1,000 active registered students), and training events, including women’s conferences, for Iranians in secured locations. 

Leader Bio:

Lazarus Yeghnazar was born in Tehran, Iran in 1949 to an Armenian Christian family. At the age of six he saw a vision of Jesus and committed his life to His service. At 21, Lazarus was ordained as an elder at the Central Jamaate Rabani Church in Tehran and appointed as a member of the General Leadership of these churches across Iran.

Having a flair for business, Lazarus also established Pars Link, one of the frontrunning electronics engineering firms in Iran and became a successful international businessman. At 30, he founded and led the first Tehran chapter of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International.

Lazarus also established Pars Link, one of the frontrunning electronics engineering firms in Iran and became a successful international businessman. At 30, he founded and led the first Tehran chapter of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International.

He was imprisoned twice before he was 25 for preaching the Gospel in different cities in Iran (during the time of the Shah). After the Islamic Revolution, when the hostages were captured at the American Embassy, he was the only one called upon to conduct Christmas and Easter services for the hostages.

Lazarus also established Pars Link, one of the frontrunning electronics engineering firms in Iran and became a successful international businessman. At 30, he founded and led the first Tehran chapter of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International.

Lazarus is a visionary with a pioneering spirit.

Maggie Yeghnazar was also born in Tehran, Iran in 1953, to an Armenian, nominally Christian family. At the age of ten she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and became absorbed into all aspects of spiritual life and service in the newly established Iranian Church in Tehran.

From her teenage years, Maggie has committed herself to serving wherever there was a need. Her main passion has always been studying and teaching the word of God – an area of great gifting. She has taught in various Bible schools, conferences and TV programs both inside and outside Iran, sourced and translated countless books to edify the body, and developed strategic groundbreaking discipleship courses for the growing Church in Iran.

An ordained minister herself, she is one of frontrunning female voices in the Iranian Church and has paved the way for many women to stand up and be counted in the mission. She continues to inspire and mentor men and women across Iran and the Iranian Diaspora to follow the call of God on their lives.

Support for Transform Iran:

Currently, Global Opportunities is supporting Transform Iran’s work among the Afghani Christians. Since August of 2021, when the Taliban took over Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal, Operation World has ranked Afghanistan as the most dangerous country in the world for Christians to live, eclipsing North Korea that held that spot for two decades. The Taliban have been doing house to house searches for Christians. Many of them have been driven from their homes and forced to flee to other countries. Some have gone into hiding. Those that have been found have been tortured and killed, young girls and women have been raped and taken as sex slaves, or sold in the market. This is a terrible time for Christians in Afghanistan. Some, however, have chosen to stay to minister among their people. Transform Asia maintains contact with many that were in their network prior to the Afghanistan takeover, and helps provide encouragement and financial support to those in need.

Project Budget: $20,000

Sponsoring Organization:

Global Opportunities for Christ