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The year 1979 was a significant year for Iran and the entire Muslim world. Widespread social injustices, exiled leaders, Western-oriented politics and religious tumult led to a revolt. The Persian monarchy (installed by US and UK powers in the 1953 coup d’état) was replaced by an Islamic Republic. The famous Ayatollah Khomeini came back to Iran from his exile in France to be the leader of the revolution and establish a new Islamic state.
The country of Iran exchanged Western cultural influences for a conservative Muslim theocracy with the segregation of women, and the censorship of media and culture. These changes spread into many surrounding Muslim countries. Arab States such as Egypt also became more conservative, restricting the freedom of their citizens and influencing daily life for millions.
In Iran, more than 40 years after the revolution, the population is aging, many who could leave, have left and many who remain are unsatisfied with the results. The economic situation seems hopeless, the drug addiction rate is one of the highest in the world and many people are disillusioned in their Muslim leaders.
But at the same time, Christian media and supernatural revelations are leading many Iranians to follow Jesus. Our next article will tell you more about the growth of secret house churches in Iran. The Islamic revolution had an impact on the whole Middle East region and the world – but so did the message of the Gospel when it arrived. Perhaps it will do so again.
How to Pray
- Pray for the leaders and people of Iran to pursue a new revolution for peace, stability and freedom.
- Pray for the Iranian people, suffering under difficult economic and social conditions. Be inspired by Psalm 63.
- Thank God for the the new movement happening in Iran – the movement towards becoming disciples of Jesus – and pray that it would also grow and spread to other nearby nations.
Photo of Qom City view by Mostafa Meraji via Flickr (Creative Commons)