Hormoz firmly believes that Iran as a nation is ready for a major
transformation—spiritually, socially, financially, and politically as prophesied in Jeremiah 49:38.
Hormoz Shariat (Research scientist in artificial intelligence)
Shariat was born in Iran as a Muslim. He came to the United States in 1979. He realized that “Jesus didn’t look like the prophet in the Koran.” Jesus seemed strong and confident and he liked the teachings of Jesus, especially the Sermon on the Mount. He asked Christians and finally accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior in 1980. He became an evangelist. He is famously known as The Billy Graham of Iran, a name given him by New York Times best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg.
Not long after the Iran hostage crisis, the authorities arrested Hormoz Shariat’s 16-year-old brother, Hamraz, on a minor political charge. At the time, Hormoz was a new believer in America and was confident his brother, a political activist who had a small role with the Mujahedeen, would be released. But in 1984, after two years in jail, Shariat’s brother was executed by a firing squad.
Shocked by the news of his brother’s death, Shariat broke down crying, asking God why He let it happen. He felt anger toward God and the people who killed his brother. A few days later, Shariat told God he wanted revenge—but then he recalled the Bible’s words that say, “Vengeance is Mine” (Deut. 32:35; Rom. 12:19). Shariat told God he hated those who had killed his brother—but then he remembered Jesus said anyone who is angry with their brother has already murdered them in their heart (Matt. 5:21-22).
He says he felt the Lord saying to him in prayer, “You know who your enemy is? These people—the clergy and the leaders of Iran—are not your enemy. They are lost children. You have only one enemy. Satan has been working to bring about this injustice. If you want to hurt Satan, evangelize. It hurts him really bad when you bring people to Christ.”
As Shariat tells it, that’s when he committed himself to sharing the gospel the rest of his life.
He has been heavily involved in church planting among Iranians in the US, Europe, and Iran since 1987. Since December 2001, he has been using Satellite TV broadcast to reach into the homes of millions of Iranians to help them transform their personal and family lives with the Biblical principles. As a result, hundreds of underground house churches have been planted in over 100 cities in Iran. Hormoz is a gifted evangelist and a well-received host on TV. As a result of his broadcasts since 2001, there have been over 33,000 registered decisions for Christ.
He wrote on his personal blog,
In 2001 I followed the Lord’s leading and founded Iran Alive Ministries, which utilizes Satellite TV to reach the millions of lost and broken people of Iran and the rest of the Middle East. Today, we broadcast the Gospel 24/7 from our studio in Dallas to Iran and the Middle East, trusting the Lord to use us to transform a nation, which is responding to the Gospel unlike any other time in history.
Hormoz is from a Muslim background and became a follower of Jesus in 1980 after a comparative study of the Bible and Quran. He has been married for over 38 years and has three grown children.
Hormoz’s ministry has been featured in Christianity Today, Charisma and other publications. He has been a guest on various radio and TV stations such as CBN’s 700 Club, Daystar, and TBN. He has been called “The Billy Graham of Iran” and “the most influential Iranian American” by best-selling author Joel Rosenberg. Hormoz is a frequent speaker at the Voice of the Martyrs conferences.
Hormoz is a native of Tehran, Iran, where he lived until completing his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at Sharif University in 1978. He immigrated to the USA in 1979 to continue his studies at the University of Southern California where he completed a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. He has also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Theology from Jessup University.
Hormoz has been a pastor and a church planter since 1987 He planted six churches in Northern California before launching a 24/7 Satellite TV broadcast in January 2012 in order to focus on transforming Iran with the Gospel. In addition to producing TV programs, he oversees the church plants in USA, Europe, and Iran.