Iranian prisoner finds Christ amidst sanctions crisis

By December 12, 2018

Iran (MNN) — Iranian society is bearing the brunt of US sanctions put in place last month. According to Heart4Iran’s Peter Smith, truck drivers, teachers, and shopkeepers are refusing to work until something changes.

The latest round of sanctions target Iran’s oil exports, Smith explains. As oil sales drop off and national revenue decreases, so do teachers’ salaries. “With less oil, there’s less money to pay the teachers,” Smith says.

Teachers aren’t the only ones refusing to work until they receive a paycheck. Truck drivers are on strike and goods brought into Iran have no way to get from ports to shops. Shopkeepers were the next domino to fall.

“If there’s no exports being brought into their stores, there’s nothing for them to sell,” explains Smith.

“There [are] a lot of people frustrated with the government for not having truck drivers deliver their goods. Medical supplies [are] another thing being impacted by the sanctions.”

Instead of listening to its citizens, Iran is putting them under lock and key.

“The government thinks that by arresting its people, that will make this all go away…but it’s not,” says Smith.

“Since May, when the first set of sanctions started, these riots have consistently been going on…not just in one city but hundreds of cities. In our U.S. news they don’t cover that, but internationally it’s being covered.”

Nonetheless, God is still at work.

Of sanctions and salvation

In recent days, a man contacted Heart4Iran’s Call Center from a Tehran prison cell. He was arrested for protesting, but somehow managed to keep his cellphone and could access the Internet.

“He said, ‘I’ve been watching your satellite TV programs on the Internet and I’m calling today because I want to become a follower of Jesus. How do I do that?’”

(Image capture courtesy of Heart4Iran)

Heart4Iran’s Call Counselors led him to salvation, Smith says, but they didn’t realize he was taking that information and sharing it with other prisoners. Please pray these men will accept Christ as Savior when they learn the truth of the Gospel.

Pray also for Iranian Christians who secretly but steadfastly live out their faith under the Iranian regime. Pray they will be encouraged by Gospel-centered programming broadcast by Heart4Iran on Mohabat TV. Help reach Iran with the hope of Christ.

Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, “the average Iranian person realizes that [it] hasn’t delivered on all the promises it gave. What they’ve also discovered is Islam is not the answer,” Smith says.

“We’re encouraged by the more than 400 people each month who pray with our phone counselors saying, ‘I want to become a follower of Jesus.’”



Header image credit Frode Bjorshol via Flickr.

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