Government Control Slipping in Iran as the People Thirst for Freedom: Part 1

10/03/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – This year, a hopeful thirst for freedom has defined Iran. Protests, which started in late December of 2017, continued throughout the spring and sum­mer, spreading to every corner of the country. This large out­pouring of unrest is historic, with far-reaching implications.

For almost 40 years, Iran has been governed by the religious elite who have ruled the country with an iron fist. They have built a wall defining their citizens’ religious identity as Islamic, with serious consequences for breaching their code of conduct. They have entrenched the country within the grave socioeconomic consequences of poor governance decisions.

The Iranian people are weary of the regime’s pro­tectionism, and are eager to tear down the barricades that define every aspect of their life. Their search for political liberation includes a desire for spiritual freedom, which has led to a number of opportunities for the Church to grow, even as religious persecution intensifies.

“The youth have rejected the spiritual and moral authority in Iran. They see no future for them­selves, so they want to experience all the freedom that they can,” explained Tat, who leads a ministry for Iranian Christians.

Often, because normal expressions of personal­ity and opinion are heavily censored, Iranians are forced to explore them in secrecy. This opens the door to darker pursuits. Depression and addiction to drugs and alcohol are all too common. These vices have created a culture of harshness reinforced by a brutal regime.

This year’s protests should not be interpreted sim­ply in socioeconomic terms. It is not just a cry for political freedom, but also a cry for spiritual freedom. Many Christian ministries have taken this opportu­nity to pray, preach, and push for a brighter future for the Church in Iran.

The fall of the theocracy in Iran, as an out­come of the protests, is the silver lining of the dark cloud that hangs over the country. “Much is happening in Iran today politi­cally, socially, and spiritually. I believe that we will see a major change in Iran soon, and it will be in weeks, months, but not years,” wrote Dr. Hormoz Shariat of Iran Alive Ministries.

Although the political change may seem slow, spiritual change is happening quickly. “If you’re a Muslim in Iran, there is a good chance you either don’t want to be a Muslim anymore or you think that this is not true Islam,” explained Tat.

“Because so many Iranians have become Christian, most people know someone who is a Christian,” he added. “They hear through the grapevine that uncle so-and-so became a Christian. Or they are just curious. It’s hard to get a Bible, however. I would say that it is much easier to find out about Christianity now than it was before because there are enough Christians.”

Stay tuned for Part 2, coming tomorrow.

For interviews with Claire Evans, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

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