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Lord, have mercy on the Iranian people, and protect our Christian brothers and sisters there.
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Analysis. Demonstrations in Iran began after the mid-September death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian visiting Tehran. Iran’s “morality police” arrested the young woman allegedly for improperly wearing a hijab to cover her head and body, and the authorities reportedly rained down blows on her head while she was in custody. Government representatives say she simply had a heart attack, but the unwavering claims of witnesses have sparked a firestorm in the country.

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Over the last few weeks, protesters have stood up in solidarity with Amini in Tehran and in more than 80 cities across the country — even some very religiously conservative areas. Often led by young women, many of whom are defying the regime symbolically by publicly burning hajibs and cutting their hair, the protests are uniting Iranians across ethnic and class boundaries who are fed up with the repression, economic incompetence, and global extremism of their government.

Though social media is heavily restricted in Iran, some posts making it past state censors are giving the world glimpses of the unrest. Chants reported at the protests include “We don’t want the Islamic Republic,” “Khamenei is a murderer,” and “Death to the dictator!”

Iranian authorities under the leadership of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are so far responding as they did during the Green Movement of 2009 and more recent uprisings: They are unleashing violence against the crowds to squelch their fervor. At least dozens (if not more than 100) of Iranians have already been killed in the protests. And many more have been arrested.

But the demonstrations do not yet seem to be abating. CBS News reported one college-age protester as saying: “Everyone is out on the streets. We have to keep going. They can’t arrest all of us.”

Marjan Keypour Greenblatt, a scholar at the Middle East Institute, recently wrote: “The last few weeks in Iran arguably have been as tumultuous as the final days before the fall of the Shah. And they could be just as consequential — if the West and regional powers respond appropriately.”

In an article outlining her recommendations for the U.S., she added: “While Iran is undeniably at the center of this escalating conflict, what external actors do matters.”

Eyes are on our nation — and all the more after the ayatollah recently blamed the uprisings on the U.S. and Israel. Moreover, the defiant visit of Iran’s hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi to the United Nations in late September while these protests and state counterattacks were underway seems to demand a response.

President Biden has not been silent. For example, earlier this week he issued a statement expressing grave concern and affirming that our nation “stands with Iranian women and all the citizens of Iran who are inspiring the world with their bravery.” He noted that the U.S. is helping Iranian citizens get access to the open internet and promised swift new sanctions against officials, like the morality police, who are deploying violence.

However, Biden remains under pressure to stand in solidarity with demonstrators — a task that is extra tricky given his administration’s ongoing efforts to revive the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal that President Trump rejected in 2018. Even while extremely wary of a nuclear Iran, Greenblatt, for example, said: “President Biden simply cannot offer the prospect of sanctions relief and de facto legitimize a regime that is ruthlessly gunning down its own citizens in the street.”

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) has been another prominent voice for standing with the protesters. In an address on the Senate floor last month he highlighted messages he had been receiving from contacts in Iran showing the extent of the demonstrations. With that backdrop he warned against the resumption of the Obama agreement.

“The Iranian people that are begging for their own freedom do not want the American response to be sending cash to the regime so they can oppress their people more,” Lankford declared.

Meanwhile, Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is also urging the Biden administration to re-evaluate its engagement with Tehran. Calling the pursuit of the nuclear deal “fruitless” and “shortsighted,” he said U.S. leaders should take stock of the root problem in Iran: the regime itself. He asserted that no true agreement with Tehran is possible with a government “whose identity is premised on opposing the United States.”

“It is time for the Biden administration to broaden its Iran strategy not only to focus on countering the destructive aspirations of the Iranian regime, but also to champion the aspirations of the Iranian people to live in a free society at peace with the world,” Sadjadpour declared.

As the deadly regime in Tehran faces the most robust challenge to its hold on power in years, will you pray for light and liberty to break through? And on my heart in all of this are our brothers and sisters in Christ in Iran. We know they are already under intense persecution and have been vilified by state authorities (see this July IFA article ). May the Iranian people, particularly in such a stormy time, not be duped into seeing Christians as nefarious enemies but rather as neighbors who love them and their common community.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1–2).

Prayer Point: Lord, please give our leaders wisdom on how to support liberty in Iran. Thwart tyranny there, and please watch over our Iranian brothers and sisters in Christ in this tumultuous time.

How are you praying for Iran and its people, and especially for its Christians? Please share below.

Aaron Mercer is a contributing writer with two decades of experience in the Washington, D.C., public policy arena. Photo Credit: mostafa meraji on Unsplash.

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Susan CC
October 9, 2022

The 2022 World Watch List’s annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution. https://www.opendoors.org/en-US/persecution/countries/

Mark 1:15 Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe in the gospel!”

1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all—the testimony that was given at just the right time.

How Many Prophecies Did Jesus Fulfill?

If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Maranatha!

Dear Father God, despite severe persecution, Iranian Christians are growing in number and faith. “Lord, have mercy on the Iranian people, and protect our Christian brothers and sisters there.” Despite severe persecution, African Christians are growing in number and faith. “Lord, have mercy on the African people, and protect our Christian brothers and sisters there. Despite severe persecution, Asian Christians are growing in number and faith. “Lord, have mercy on the Asian people, and protect our Christian brothers and sisters there. So many more Lord…have mercy on all Your people suffering for their love of Christ.

Father, You are God Almighty who created more than we see or imagine. Jesus, You gave Yourself as a ransom, fulfilling every prophesy ever spoken. Holy Spirit, You are His Breath of Life, powering His people. Maranatha!

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Carroll Dannettell
October 9, 2022


We pray for those that are willing to stand up against the evil regime that has been in place for many years. Thank you for raising up hundreds to protest for freedoms and we pray for thousands and thousands more. We pray that the reign of the ayatollah will be overcome, and that Iranians will once again be free, and that the power of Your love would start transforming the hearts and minds of that country. We pray for such a revival in Iran that no devil in hell would be able to stand against it.

Eileen Larson
October 8, 2022

I am praying that God will draw them to Himself and to provide them with accurately translated Bibles, safely. I pray that God will raise up people to spread the gospel. I pray for the children who Jesus said, Suffer the little children to come unto me. Forbid them not, for such is the Kingdom of God.” I pray that muslim parents will not reject or harm those who chose to accept Jesus.

October 8, 2022

As I have said before God will prevail and no tyrant can stop him.

Marcia Barthel
October 8, 2022

As Iranian Christians reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives, the Spirit will make their witness compelling to those around them. As they are clothed with the armor of God, they will be kept strong in their faith and their witness. Thank You, praise You, Lord of Your children in Iran and for Your spiritual provision and protection for them. Please keep Your children everywhere in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Iran. In Jesus’ powerful name we pray.

October 8, 2022

Father God your word says no one comes to you unless you draw them. It also says to love our enemies. I ask you to draw Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to YOURSELF with supernatural visitation. Cause him to know YOU because you are not willing that any perish but all come to repentance.


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