President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to the U.S., while historic, represents no real change in the Iranian government since the Supreme Leader and Islamic clergy rule and run the country.
In this short video, I discuss why President Rouhani is simply a different face on the same political system that has been in place in Iran since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Regardless of who is elected president, the simple fact is the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, makes every high level policy decision and will never abdicate that power to anyone else until his replacement has been named, likely upon his own death.
Pray that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus and truly lead a transformation of Iran unlike anything we have ever seen.
Iran…the world’s only theocracy and home to such infamous leaders as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ali Hosseini Khamenei and the late Ayatollah Khomeini, who ushered in the brutal Islamic regime in the revolution of 1979…the same country whose government counts such countries as Lebanon, Venezuela and Syria, China and Russia as friends…the same nation that has labeled the United States as the Great Satan and Israel the Little Satan and is among the most public anti-Semitic, anti-Christian and anti-women’s rights nations in the world…this Iran, has the fastest growing Evangelical population in the world!
You may be thinking to yourself, “Well, if the Evangelical population has grown from 10 to 1,000 people, that explains rapid growth, but it is a bit underwhelming.” Actually, conservative estimates place the Evangelical population of Iran around 1,000,000! Compare that with the estimated 500 Christians that were believed to exist in Iran in 1979 when the Islamic Revolution took place. The fact is, more Persians have come to Christ in the 34 years since the Islamic Revolution than in the 1,400 years prior, combined. Most of these have occurred in just the past decade, as satellite TV has become a pervasive tool for safely and effectively taking the Gospel into the homes of the 55 million Persians who have access to satellite dishes.
It is for this reason that I have spent the past 11 years devoting my ministry efforts into satellite TV programming and launched a 24/7 Farsi network with the objective of taking the message of Hope into the homes of these millions of hopeless and desperate people.
You can see in the chart below, taken from the research of Operation World, that the highlighted countries are Farsi speaking nations, which our satellite TV signal reaches with 24/7 Christ-centered programming.
I like to tell people that God is running a special on Muslims right now. There has never been a more exciting or fruitful time to be about the business of Kingdom building in Iran than Right Now!
Chart courtesy of: Jason Mandryk, Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation (Colorado Springs, CO: Biblica Publishing, 2010), 916.
This is a startling statistic, which is changing the face of Iran and has the potential to impact the entire Middle East. Let me explain.
When I was a young college graduate, living in Iran during the Islamic Revolution of 1979, I was part of a generation that was demanding change. At the time, we did not know that we were exchanging something we perceived as bad, for something much, much worse than we could ever have imagined. Today, only 30% of Iran’s surviving population was even alive at that time. The overwhelming majority of the population knows nothing but the incredible persecution and oppression that they have experienced under a government that they never asked for and certainly do not want.
Perhaps this helps to shed some light on fact #5, The Mosques Are Empty. The younger generation has seen only a lifetime of misery and hopelessness, while the older generation has seen broken promises and a system that has failed them completely.
As a result of this youthful demographic, Iran has established itself as a top consumer and producer of social media in the Middle East, despite the fact that the government attempts to restrict Internet access and intimidate people from engaging with Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs and other forms of Social Media. However, as with all younger generations, Iran’s youth possesses technological savvy and continues to stay ahead of the government’s attempts to stem the tide.
You need only look at the Green Movement of 2009, when tens of thousands of young Iranians flooded the streets of Tehran to protest the presidential election results. The horrific shooting death of Nedā Āghā-Soltān was captured on a cell phone, uploaded to the Internet and viral within hours.
Pray for the youth of Iran, as they are the key to reaching the country for Christ.