Iran may be losing utopian sheen

By December 3, 2009

Iran (MNN) — 30 years after the Islamic Revolution, Iran is struggling to retain its image of a utopian society. 

Six months after a contested presidential election that divided the country and filled the streets with demonstrators, Iran's image may be tarnishing.

News leaked out of the regime of enforcers stamping out pro-democracy protests. That, coupled with more allegations of death, torture, and rape in secret prisons, and more saber rattling over nuclear issues, has caused some of Iran's allies to put a little distance between them. 

David Harder of SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the region, agrees. "The recent developments over the summer popped the bubble for those who were really looking forward one day to serving under Islamic religious leadership."

With Iran under the strain of lost influence, the government seems to have taken steps to stiffen resistance to all things deemed "not Islam." Harder explains: "The Christians there are suffering. There have been waves of arrests following the revolt."

Sara Afshari, SAT-7 PARS Executive Director, believes the unrest reflects an even greater disillusionment with life in general. "Some have turned to drugs, immoral lifestyles and even suicide. Others have been seeking hope elsewhere. This factor has led to the unprecedented interest of many to find out more about the Christian faith."

SAT-7 PARS plays an important role in introducing people to Christ. Harder says, "We are able to broadcast messages of hope and of love. Really, people are thirsty. They're realizing that some of the things they set up as examples of what they want to have, like an Islamic caliphate, may not be the answer." 

Harder goes on to say that SAT-7 PARS also plays a critical role in discipling Iran's new believers. "A man called and said how much he appreciated satellite TV which is able to reach in and help train and teach and mentor people who can't go to church."

Each day, the channel airs specific blocks of original programming for children, youth, and women, as well as teaching programs for a general audience.  

SAT-7 PARS broadcasts from Eutelsat Hot Bird 6 at 13º East, (Frequency 11.642 GHz, Horizontal Polarity, 27.5 MSym/sec, FEC ¾).

SAT-7 PARS can be watched 20 hours a day. Four hours of Turkish programming provided by SAT-7 TURK also airs each day on PARS frequency.


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