Bibles for Iran

Every year, Words of Hope smuggles thousands of Bibles inside the country of Iran. 

In order to get Bibles into the country, Kurdish smugglers carry them on their backs over the mountains that border Iran. Often the Bibles are packaged alongside other contraband items like cigarettes and alcohol. 

Once inside the country, Words of Hope has three main Bible distribution sites. The smuggled Bibles are brought to the first site, and from there smaller shipments are periodically sent out to the other sites to keep stock supplied. 

When the Words of Hope Iranian ministry team receives a request for a Bible, they must first vet the individual to determine if they are sincere in their faith, or if they might pose a threat (such as a government employee trying to expose the ministry). They engage in ongoing conversation with the person and request references to verify identity when possible. 

The team has PDF copies of the Bible that they send out immediately, but many people still want their own hard copy of the Bible, even though being found with one in your possession can mean trouble with the government. 

Once an individual is cleared through the screening process, they can receive a Bible if they want. Bibles are delivered from the distribution centers in one of two ways. They are either given to a bus driver who is paid to deliver the packaged Bible to the individual. Or a wrapped Bible is left somewhere near the individual’s home, such as under a tree, and the individual is sent a Google Maps pin of the location so they can retrieve the Bible. 

“Nothing is like having your own Bible,” says Iranian ministry director Mark. “In one of our house churches, they had one Bible for ten of them. They would let one person bring the Bible home each week. But now we have delivered more Bibles to them, and they are so happy. Now they each have their own Bible, and even some extras to give away.”

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The joy Iranians experience upon receiving their own Bible in Farsi truly cannot be measured. To print, smuggle, and deliver these Bibles costs $25 per copy.