This week we have played broadcasts I did with Shahram Hadian about a year ago. Today I had Shahram back on the broadcast live. I wanted to get Shahram back on the program because of the news coming out of Iran. Remember, he was born in Iran, raised as a Muslim, came to the West, found Jesus Christ, and is now a preacher of the Gospel. He still has family in Iran so I can’t think of a better person to turn to concerning what is happening over there.
The news is telling us that the demonstrations are primarily about the bad economic conditions in Iran. I am sure this is a big part of it, however, there is more to it than that. The Iranian people have been under the yoke of Islam since 1979. Shahram’s family fled Iran just six weeks before the revolution that put the Islamic clerics in control of the country.
Iran is unique in the Middle East. It has not been under Islamic rule for hundreds of years. Iran, which is the old Persia, has had a secular government for a long period of time. It had been conquered by Islam centuries ago, but it has not been an Islamic region in the same sense as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, North Africa, and other nations where Islam is the dominant religion.
This is important because you have a generation in Iran that still remembers what it was like before. Some of the younger people don’t, but there are many who do. About 65% of the Iranian population is under the age of 35a, but their parents and older siblings remember what Iran was like before the revolution. It was like a European, Western nation. It had freedoms, including religious freedom.
I believe that the narrative coming from the media telling us that this is about economic issues is in error. Of course it is a part of it. It is also about religious and political freedom. I think it is first of all about political freedom because they are tired of Islamic rule and want what they would see as democracy. I am not sure that a pure democracy will work, but they want something more like our Western type of government. They want religious freedom because there is a huge underground church movement in Iran. Some estimate that it is the fastest growing Christian movement in the world. I have heard that there are more than a million and a half born again believers in Iran.
There are some differences between what happened in 2009 when Obama was President, and what is happening now. First of all, theses protests are happening in pretty much every major city in Iran. The 2009 protests were primarily in Tehran, the capital of Iran, and maybe a couple of other cities. Another major difference is having a world leader like President Trump, as well as Benjamin Netanyahu, saying they stand with the Iranian people in their protest.
Under Obama, those who rose up against the Islamic leadership in Iran said they didn’t want our military or financial support. All they wanted was our moral support. Obama refused even to give this support. He said it is not our job to interfere in the affairs of other nations. He didn’t have a problem in trying to stop Netanyahu from being reelected. He didn’t mention his meddling in Egypt, Morocco, and other nations. When there were uprisings in Egypt he said it was democracy in action. For some reason he didn’t see it the same in Iran. We now know why. Obama’s confident Valerie Jarrett has family connections in Iran and they were working on the ungodly nuclear deal which gave billions of dollars to the the Iranian Islamic regime, which has been used to spread Iran’s influence in the Middle East.
We have recently seen a lot of evidence showing that the Obama administration was blocking the DEA, and other government organizations from going after Hesbolah for drug trafficking. This has not yet been fully proven, but it is looking more and more like this is true.
Obama would not support the Iranian people’s uprising, but he did support the so-called Arab Spring. This was really an attempt at an Islamic revolution. Obama gave billions of dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood when they were taking over Egypt.
What a difference an administration makes. President Trump is making it very clear that the US stands with the Iranian People. Our UN ambassador has made it clear that our fight is not with the Iranian people, it is with the despotic Islamic regime.
We need to understand that the President and Parliament in Iran are only token figures. It is the Ayatullah Khamenei, the supreme leader, and the counsel of 12 that really run the country. It is a theocracy under Islamic rule and Sharia Law.
This is a serious movement in Iran, bigger than in 2009, and more serious for the Islamic regime. The people want, first of all, political freedom, and secondly religious freedom. We need to be praying for the Iranian people and their quest for freedom.
Another issue that has not been seen in the media has to do with the role of women. The pictures of the protests show many women on the streets. One woman held up her hijab on a stick in defiance of the regime. She has been arrested and we don’t know what has happened to her. The involvement of women in this protest is very important. Where are the feminists on this issue? Where are those who claim to stand for women’s rights? Where are those who say that Islam liberates women and is tolerant? Why haven’t we heard anything from them supporting the Iranian people?
The woman who was arrested is being called the Rosa Parks of this protest. We can now see her face, it is no longer hidden by her hijab. We may never learn her name, but her face has spread across the Internet. It is sad that, because of the despotic Islamic regime, we may never see her alive again.
Could this be the beginning of a revolution in Iran that will take the present regime down? It is possible, but as Christians, our job is to pray that the Spirit of God will work through the Iranian Christians to effect this change.
The sad thing is that most European nations are signaling their support for the present Iranian regime. We also know that this revolution will not be successful without paying a heavy price, and it will not come without bloodshed. Remember, this regime is a Shia movement of what are called “Twelvers.” They believe they are setting the stage for the Islamic messiah, the Mahdi. They are seeking a position of power in the Middle East.
I believe this could result in a revolution, but if it does, it will not come without paying a heavy price in lives. I believe that the Iranian people have had enough, and we need to pray for them and give them moral support.
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