“The Billy Graham of Iran”: The incredible journey of Dr. Hormoz Shariat

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“The Billy Graham of Iran”: The incredible journey of Dr. Hormoz Shariat

June 13, 2024 -

In this episode of the Denison Forum Podcast, Mark Turman speaks with Dr. Hormoz Shariat, an Iranian-born Christian with an inspiring journey. Hormoz shares his story of growing up in a devout Muslim family in Iran, his eventual questioning of Islam, and his transformation after coming to the United States to study. He details his intellectual and spiritual journey comparing the Bible and the Quran, and how simple gospel truths changed his life. 

Dr. Shariat also discusses his ministry, Iran Alive, which broadcasts Christian messages to millions in Iran through satellite TV and secure online platforms, leading to countless conversions. The conversation touches on the historical and current cultural landscape of Iran, its prophetic significance, and the transformative power of integrating faith and technology. Dr. Shariat emphasizes the urgency of spreading the gospel and training new believers in Iran. 

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  • (00:38): Introducing Hormoz Shariat: An Iranian Christian
  • (02:45): Hormoz’s Early Life in Iran
  • (03:49): Journey to the United States and Academic Pursuits
  • (06:51): Encounter with Christianity and Transformation
  • (08:37): Sharing the Gospel and Ministry Beginnings
  • (14:57): Faith and Science: Complementary Worlds
  • (18:08): Family Reactions and Personal Testimonies
  • (21:22): Addressing AI Concerns for Christians
  • (24:20): Challenges and Successes in Ministry
  • (28:01): Transition to Media Evangelism
  • (32:21): Spiritual and Political Landscape of Iran
  • (37:23): Call to Prayer and Support
  • (41:02): Conclusion and How to Get Involved


About Dr. Hormoz Shariat

Dr. Hormoz Shariat is a remarkable individual whose journey is nothing short of awe-inspiring. He is known as “the Billy Graham of Iran,” and when you learn about his life, you’ll understand why. Joel C. Rosenberg, a renowned author, has even hailed him as “the most influential Iranian American.” But there’s so much more to Dr. Shariat than just titles and accolades. His story is one of deep personal conviction, heartbreak, and unwavering faith.

Armed with a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from the prestigious University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Theology from Jessup University, Dr. Shariat began his ministry journey. In 1987, he took a leap of faith and planted a church in San Jose, California. Little did he know that this church would grow to become one of the largest of its kind in the United States, with hundreds of Muslim converts finding solace, community, and a profound connection to their newfound faith.

But the story doesn’t end there. In the year 2000, guided by divine purpose, Dr. Shariat founded Iran Alive Ministries. This organization harnessed the power of Satellite TV to reach millions of lost and broken souls not only in Iran but throughout the Middle East. From their studio in Dallas, Texas, they broadcast the Gospel 24/7, driven by an unyielding belief that God will use their efforts to bring about a transformation in an Islamic nation like never before.

About Dr. Mark Turman

Dr. Mark Turman is the Executive Director of Denison Forum and Vice President of Denison Ministries. Among his many duties, Turman is most notably the host of The Denison Forum Podcast. He is also the chief strategist for DF Pastors, which equips pastors and church leaders to understand and transform today’s culture.

About Denison Forum

Denison Forum exists to thoughtfully engage the issues of the day from a biblical perspective through The Daily Article email newsletter and podcast, The Denison Forum Podcast, as well as many books and additional resources.

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