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News / Thoughts

Iran: Reacting to the protests

October 10, 2022

You may have seen the protests spreading across Iran in the news recently. People across the country are angry at the authorities over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained by the country’s morality police for wearing an ‘improper’ hijab and fell into a coma on 13 September while in police custody. She died in hospital three days later. Open Doors – along with members of the Iranian Christian diaspora in the UK – condemns the ‘systematic oppression of women and the widespread violation of human rights in Iran’.

“Christians are joining in the demonstrations”

The case at hand unveils a broader issue of Iran’s gross violations of international norms on freedom of expression, women’s rights and freedom of religion or belief, which affects many religious groups in Iran, including Christians.

Since the Iranian government has shut down the internet, Iranian Christians are asking the global church as the body of Christ to be their voice.

Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland, says: “The Iranian regime has one of the worst human rights records of state persecution in the world. Christians in Iran will only be able to enjoy their religious rights if the rights of the whole population of Iran are honoured. Christians both in and outside the country are joining in the demonstrations. Everyone is supporting Iran’s struggle for freedom. We are hopeful for a change.”

“Persecution is on the rise in Iran but despite this, we also see the growth of the church,” she adds. “Iranian Christians are not alone.”

The restrictions on religious freedom in Iran affect Christians there in many ways, including harsh limitations on places of worship. Christian gatherings in private homes have been denounced as ‘illegal groups’ and believers caught at these gatherings are frequently arrested for ‘crimes against national security’, often resulting in long prison sentences.

What’s it like to be a Christian in Iran?

Open Doors urges the Iranian government to respect the right to freedom of religion or belief for all, which involves ceasing to impose the obligation on women to abide to an interpretation of religious clothing that might not align with their own religion or belief.

Pray now…

Lord Jesus, pour out Your peace and justice on Iran today. Comfort Mahsa Amini’s family as they grieve and seek answers about her death. Protect protestors from violence – help them to make their voices heard and so bring about greater freedom of religion or belief in the country. Help the church in Iran to unite in prayer and be a beacon of hope to their communities during this turbulent time. Amen.

Do something…

1. Add you your light to our interactive prayer map and help make hope last across the Middle East. Do that here…

2. Iran are playing in the World Cup! Get our free World Cup prayer wall chart and pray for Christians in Iran during the tournament.
Order yours here…

3. Learn more and pray: Get our free glow-in-the-dark World Watch List Map and find out more about the places where faith costs the most. Get your map here…

4. Pray regularly: Every Monday night at 7pm we’ll be praying one prayer for one minute for the one in seven Christians around the world who face persecution. Set an alarm and tune in…

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.