Pearl of Persia
Pearl of Persia exists to reach the broken in Iran with the love and power of the gospel. To see the 5 million prostitutes, victims of sexual sin, and drug addicts in Iran saved, healed, restored, and transformed.
Iran is facing largescale revival and church advance. However, even after 30-40 years of such growth, the Church is still incapable of skilled, appropriate response and help for the millions of drug addicts, prostitutes and victims of sexual abuse, living in hopeless circumstances.
We need a better equipped, better prepared Church. If we want to see Iran transformed with the love and power of the gospel, we cannot sideline this section of society. This includes the lost who will turn to the loving saving power of Jesus as a means out of their hopeless situation, and the saved, who still need counseling and help in order to be truly healed and freed from the trauma of their past.
Pearl brings a message of hope, quality specialist counseling, and support for those who want to break free from lifestyles of addiction and self-destruction. The mission is to restore the family.
The need is great. And it is not something limited to the ’outcasts’ of society or something that can be solved with a rehab center. It runs much deeper. This is a crisis of culture. Prostitution, abuse, addiction and depression are interwoven into families and marriages. They have penetrated the fabric of the family and are destroying lives indiscriminate of education or social standing. Iran’s AIDS Research Center, a Welfare Organization, claims that 50% of the women in Iran who are in prostitution, are housewives.
Thousands of girls between the ages of 5 and 14 are forced into marriage each year, with pregnancies reported as young as 10, giving rise to a growing population of divorced, and now destitute, young girls. In Ahvaz, a city in Southwestern Iran, reports indicate that between one and three girls, under 15 years old, get married every day. According to the Head of the Women’s Committee in the Governorate of Ahvaz (Pooneh Pilram), “When families cannot provide for their children, they first get rid of their daughter.”
There are no reliable statistics on the numbers affected, but the various studies done paint a devastating picture of a broken people:
- Prostitution starts from 12 years old – more than 1 million Iranians are trapped in this world. ‘Sighe’ temporary marriages legalize rape for girls of any age.
- Child marriages account for one fifth of all marriages with girls as young as five years old married. Hundreds of babies born to mothers aged 10-14 each year.
- A serious national drug problem effect more than 4.4 million Iranians.
- 18-22 million Iranians (21-25% of the population) suffer from mental health or development disorders, especially depression and anxiety disorder. In 2021 Iran’s Minister of Health announced that 25% of Iranians are clinically depressed. On September 3 2023, Ahmad Jalili, the head of the Iranian Psychiatric Association, stated that, “according to conducted research, the rate of depression among citizens living in Tehran is close to 34 percent.”
- Suicide rates saw a 44% increase over the last 20 years.
- Iranians are a deeply traumatized people in need of hope and healing.
Pearl of Persia is a ministry of healing and hope for victims of trauma, sexual and substance abuse and addiction. Pearl is also committed to see the many broken families and marriages in Iran restored.
It is time for the Church to show a better way, to restore Iran’s youth, and redeem the integrity of the family unit in Iran. We share the good news in a way that will speak directly to this sector of society, we offer specialist counseling, and support in practical ways.
How can I tell my story in a few words? I experienced horrific abuse through my childhood. As a result of that, I ended up in relationships with many men (including sighe). I was caught up in a cycle of stealing, lying and more. One day I was searching TV channels and I found Pearl of Persia’s programs. I called and spoke to a counselor. She explained many things to me. I gave my life to Jesus, received 1:1 counselling from the Pearl of Persia counselor and I found my freedom again. With encouragement from my counselor, I learnt about skincare and jewelry making and started my own business. I could not contain the joy of what Jesus had done for me. I started witnessing to those around me. By this point I had grown a successful business and started helping others. The government saw this and arrested me. They jailed me for my evangelism and took my business away. After my release, I fled to Turkey. This was 4 years ago. I am now in Istanbul. Transform Iran has stood by my side through all these years. They have helped me with housing and I am receiving counseling and healing for the trauma of all the years before. I would love to work full time for Pearl of Persia and help others like me, mentoring women in setting up their own businesses.