The Whispers of King Cyrus: Part 1
02/06/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – King Cyrus’ footprints are found throughout the Old Testament. He is the king who helped exiled Jews return to their homeland and rebuild the temple. Isaiah refers to King Cyrus as anointed by God. Meanwhile, Daniel prospered under the reign of King Cyrus.
Today, he is remembered as the first emperor to codify religious freedom. Sadly, his country is currently known across the world as one of the worst violators of religious freedom.
This February marks the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Iran’s violent transition from a secular to Islamic nation was filled with a religious energy that sought to sanctify the nation. Almost overnight, the country transformed.
“The Church used to be a sleepy Church because there was so much prosperity and there were so many foreigners living in Iran,” remembered Tat Stewart from Talim Ministries. Stewart was a missionary living in Iran and witnessed the country’s political transformation firsthand. Iran’s embrace of Islam forced the Church underground.
“They went from sleepy, once-a-month members, to a Church on its knees,” explained Stewart. “But by closing churches and forcing them underground, they (the regime) could no longer monitor. And all an underground church needs are people who are hungry for it.”
Dr. Mike Ansari from Heart4Iran agrees. “Before the revolution, the Church in Iran was just maintaining a mere presence. It was a Church (whose) legacy was being maintained… after the revolution, persecution started and we saw the favor and growth of Christianity in Iran.”
Forty years later, the desire for Islamic piety in Iran has been replaced by a longing for cultural authenticity. The youth, who have only known Iran’s harsh interpretation of Islam, are weary of the country’s moral and economic bankruptcy. Last year was particularly challenging for Iran’s ruling elite, who struggled to repress massive waves of discontent across the country.
Stay tuned for Part 2, coming tomorrow.
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