Beloved of the Lord,
Today, I would like to share with you a special report about all the turmoil currently taking place in Iran, and the spiritual perspective on the whole situation.
I grew up in Iran in a very strong religious Shi’ite family. My father was a Muslim scholar and a writer who trained me in the Islamic laws and all of its practices. I was 19 years old when the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 took place and the Shah of Iran was deposed and was replaced by a regime of religious “Ayatollahs”.
For the past 39 years, this Islamic Regime has done nothing but oppress the people of Iran. The Iranian people are fed up with the Islamic regime's corruption and its squandering of the nation's wealth to fund terrorism abroad.
The economy has been in shambles. The official unemployment rate is 12.4%, but according to the Interior Minister of Iran, it is upwards of 60% in some regions. Young people under 30, which constitute more than half the population of Iran, are particularly affected.
Currently, people have no freedom. Even the way they dress publicly is controlled by the Islamic Regime. So now, for the second time since 2009, the people of Iran have taken to the streets in cities all across Iran to protest against economic hardship and political repression.
The demonstrations are the biggest in the country since the highly-controversial presidential election of 2009, when millions of Iranian voters demanded a recount.
The demonstrations started in Iran's second largest city of Mashhad, when hundreds of people protested against high prices of basic goods. Since then, the protests have spread to some 50 cities and towns, including the capital Tehran, where tens of thousands have taken to the streets.
The protests have turned violent in a number of locations and Iran’s media states that at least 21 people have been killed in clashes with security forces. Hundreds have also been arrested.
For the first time in the past 39 years of the Islamic Regime, citizens were chanting "death to the dictator" - an apparent reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
President Donald Trump expressed his support for the protests in a series of tweets. On Monday, he wrote that Iranians were "hungry for food & for freedom", adding that it was "time for change”.
What are the spiritual ramifications of the current situation in Iran?
For the past 10 years Iran has experienced a tremendous move of God as we witnessed tens of thousands of Muslims convert to faith in Christ. The Islamic Regime has tried tirelessly to put a stop to this great move of God. They have shut down churches, arrested thousands of believers, imprisoned many of them, and some have even been executed.
The only church available for these new Iranian believers has been Christian satellite TV. Thank God for TBN. Because of TBN, it has been possible for us to spread the Gospel of our God in the Farsi language to all of Iran. For the past 13 years, TBN has been sponsoring these 24/7 broadcasts into Iran. TBN has been the church for millions of Iranians and Afghanis since this Christian revival broke out in Iran in 2003.
In 2009 when Millions of people took to the streets to demand a recount amid allegations of widespread fraud, Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, insisted the result was valid and ordered a crackdown on dissent. Many members of the opposition party were killed and thousands more were detained.
At that time in 2009, I said to the Lord, “If this government changes now, we will lose this tremendous harvest of souls in Iran, because the nation will turn secular in a short amount of time.” Historically, people respond to God when they are oppressed. Now, we do not desire for them to be oppressed, but oftentimes natural hardship betters a people-group because of the spiritual ramifications of that hardship.
But today, I feel different. I feel it is time for the establishment of the church in Iran. If this Islamic Regime falls to the citizens, it means that God is allowing His church to be established in Iran.
It is important to think in terms of the Church and salvation of souls when we read historical events and political changes. Iran has played an important role in God’s plan for Israel in time past, and now it will play an important role for the Islamic World.
God is preparing an army of Ex-Muslims to evangelize the Islamic world…
If indeed this is the time for a political change in Iran, our prayers today need to be that a proper, and right government is established in Iran…
We greatly appreciate your support of TBN. Your support is making it possible for millions of people to come to the knowledge of the truth. Thank you for your prayers and thank you for your support.
- Pastor Reza Safa