Iran’s Crisis and the Iranian Church

 By Hamid Hatami - Posted at TableTalk Magazine:

Since September, the nation of Iran has been in a state of turmoil and pain. Iranian men and women, young and old, are in the streets crying for justice, freedom, and liberty from the dictatorship of the Islamic regime with one resounding slogan: “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi,” which means “Woman, Life, Freedom.” They have been motivated by sadness, anger, and grief.

It is not the first time that Iranians have taken to the streets since revolution began in 1979. The current protests, however, are unlike any previous because they are not limited to a specific group or social class. Anti-regime protests have erupted in more than one hundred cities of all thirty-one provinces of Iran. These protests began in response to the death of twenty-two-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish girl who died in the custody of morality police after being detained for an alleged violation of improperly covering her hair. Over the course of the protests, revolutionary guards, militias, and secret police have brutally killed at least 250 protesters, including twenty-nine children. Many more have been injured, with some of the injured being arrested after being hospitalized.

I asked a small group of my Christian friends from different denominations what biblical topics most Iranian Christians would like to learn about, and they named justice, hope for victory, supporting the oppressed, their role as individual Christians and the role of the church in political processes, and whether the church is to be passive. They understand that Christians are to seek to submit to God’s will and divine providence despite persecution, with love, prayer, and forgiveness, avoiding hate of authority.