“Major crackdown” forecast as US-Iran tensions escalate

By January 7, 2020

Iran (MNN) — EU leaders will meet on Friday to discuss U.S.-Iran conflict. European diplomats tell Reuters renewed UN sanctions may be forthcoming.

Heart4Iran’s Mike Ansari says things won’t calm down anytime soon. “The Iranian Islamic leaders are seeking ways to retaliate on hard or soft American targets globally. This development will escalate the tension between the two countries,” he explains.

“In fact, this is the farthest [the] U.S. and Iran have ever been from establishing peace.”

Outside the former US embassy in Tehran, Iran, where on the 4th of November 1979, Iranian students took American diplomats hostage and held 52 of them for 444 days.
(Photo, caption courtesy of Orly Orlyson via Flickr)

Over the weekend, Iraq voted to expel U.S. troops and Iran pulled back from the 2015 nuclear agreement. U.S. President Trump tweeted warnings about further attacks while Congress took steps to block military action.

Believers remain a target as U.S.-Iran tensions escalate. “When Iran’s relationship with the West is strained, the Iranian Christian persecution ramps up,” Ansari says.

“In light of this latest news, one can expect a major crackdown on Christians and other minorities living in Iran.”

The threat doesn’t stop there. “Furthermore, the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) has been identifying and actively monitoring Iranian groups or factions residing in the West, whom they deem as a threat to the Islamic institution of Iran,” Ansari explains.

“This includes Iranian churches, synagogues, special interest groups, student groups and opposition leaders residing outside of Iran. The threat of IRGC retaliation may extend to any of these groups in the West.”

What’s happening in Iran?

As noted yesterday, tit-for-tat attacks between the U.S. and Iran rose significantly in both severity and frequency over the past two weeks. The U.S. drone attack and subsequent death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani may have Iranian leaders ready for war, but it’s a different story on the ground.

“In the first 48 hours… there was a mix of reaction coming from inside Iran,” Ansari says.

Iranian General Qaseem Soleimani
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

“Naturally, all state-sponsored media are mourning the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, who was fast becoming the face of the Iranian Islamic military zeal across the region. Yet, a large number of people inside Iran seem to be expressing the exact opposite.”

According to Ansari, there’s a spiritual revolution underway.

Heart4Iran broadcasts Christ’s hope to these “secret and isolated believers” through its satellite TV platform, Mohabat TV. Learn more here.

”Because Iran is an Islamic Republic, its Muslim citizens are strongly discouraged from converting to other religions,” Ansari says. “Yet, based on reports from organizations like Open Doors… there [has been] a massive conversion of Iranian Muslims to Christianity in the last few years.”

How to help Christians in Iran

By giving online, you can send the hope of Christ and spiritual encouragement to believers throughout Iran. Most importantly, pray. There are prompts listed alongside this article.

“Pray for Mohabat’s Virtual Church platform. This is a primary outlet where people can learn how to stay spiritually strong despite social unrest,” Ansari requests.

“Inside Iran, converts to Christianity are watched and acted against on a regular basis.”

Ask the Lord to protect people who call in response to Mohabat TV programming. “The number of calls to Mohabat TV is slightly down due to internal restrictions put on Iranian telecommunication. Rana, a Mohabat TV phone counselor, [told Ansari], ‘I think they are afraid to call us, some of them asked me, can this call make trouble for us?’,” Ansari says.

“We’re very careful with not exposing Iranian callers to danger. All the calls inside and outside of Iran are monitored by Iranian intelligence.”

 

 

Header image depicts January 3 demonstrations in Iran. Photo courtesy Fars Fotógrafos via Wikimedia Commons.

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