AI powers persecution in Iran

By January 4, 2024

Iran (MNN) — Artificial intelligence, or AI, is doing more than improving Iran’s military might. It’s also helping the Islamic regime clamp down on civilians.

Soon after Mahsa Amini died in 2022, the Iranian government allowed police to use AI-assisted tools to crack down on protestors. This reportedly led to more than 20,000 arrests and the killing of 500+ young protesters.

Heart4Iran’s Laurelle Gallant says, “Iran has been pursuing a goal of becoming a top 10 AI nation [by 2032.] The country has made significant progress in AI research and applications such as license plate recognition [and] face recognition.”

Today, AI-powered surveillance helps police identify and oppress women who flaunt the hijab laws. Authorities use the same types of tools to target Christians.

“The development of AI in Iran could pose challenges and opportunities for our work,” Gallant says.

“On one hand, [AI] could make it harder for us to operate safely and effectively in a hostile environment. On the other hand, it could create new avenues for us to communicate and connect with Iranians who are curious and hungry for the Gospel.”

Gallant describes four ways you can help Iranian Christians through Heart4Iran.

First, “Listeners and readers who are concerned about the situation in Iran and the fate of Iranian Christians should respond by praying for them fervently and regularly,” she says.

“Number two, they [can] support Heart4Iran’s work financially to provide Bibles and other resources to deepen the walk of believers in Iran and set the tone for future generations.”

(Graphic courtesy of Heart4Iran)

Research paves the way for a third way to help. Believers can “educate themselves and others about the reality and the needs of Iranian Christians and advocate for their rights and freedoms” by visiting Heart4Iran’s website, Gallant says.

Finally, “you should share the love and hope of Jesus Christ with Iranians and Muslims you may encounter in your community or online. It’s a shame and honor culture, so evangelizing will be different than evangelizing to Westerners,” she continues.

“[At Heart4Iran,] we offer and host a Muslim next-door training at churches. We can come to your church for a day or half a day and give training to help you understand the cultural differences and help cause your evangelism to Muslims to be more effective.”

Contact Heart4Iran here to learn more.




Header and story images courtesy of Heart4Iran.

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