Iran (MNN) — Last week, a Twitter clash featuring all-caps and threats of war flared between American President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Then, in a complete reversal, Trump offered to meet with Rouhani without preconditions and discuss how to improve national relations. Iranian officials firmly rejected the offer.
Tensions have grown over the last several months between the US and Iran. When the US withdrew from the nuclear deal — which required Iran to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for lifting international sanctions — it threw international relations for a loop. Now, with the US sanctions reimposed, Iran’s economy is suffering.
While Iran is noticeably frustrated with the US government, Iran’s parliament is also displeased with Rouhani. According to Business Insider, Iranian lawmakers have summoned Rouhani to explain why he allowed the nation’s economy to decline, even while the nuclear deal was in place.
It is easy to focus on the players on the prominent, political stage in this conflict. However, there are millions of others who are deeply impacted by these interactions — the Iranian people.
David* with Heart4Iran says, “We hear from [Iranians] that things are kind of at an all-time low in Iran. They have no freedom to move. We have heard that flights from Iran to Europe are being canceled [and] that people don’t have any money because of the huge inflation that’s happening and the currency devaluation that is happening. People just aren’t able to afford daily life and so it’s a lot of pressure and a lot of stress.
“When the news of these tweets comes out or when things flare up, it just makes the situations worse inside the country and the people feel the pressure.”
There have been rumblings for a long time in the Iranian Revolution’s wake — a slow swelling of distrust and disillusionment. The people feel restricted by their government and failed by corrupted leaders.
However, the disappointment does not stop at Iran’s politics. David also says, “We look at it as kind of a trend that’s been going on for years now — that people are disillusioned with Islam.”
This may be, in part, why Iran has the fastest growing Church in the world. Heart4Iran seeks to equip and encourage believers in Iran and reach Muslims for Christ. David hears this building hunger for spiritual answers in Iran firsthand.
“Every day, people call us from Iran and they talk to us about their problems, they talk to us about what’s happening on the ground, they talk to us about religious things, and they talk to us about Christ. So we hear from them what’s happening and these political things that are going on in the background just seem to be part of a growing kind of pressure that is building on them.
“It’s just a stark contrast that the Gospel presents versus what they are being shown on a daily basis and what they are living on a daily basis. So God gets a lot of glory in that because His true identity is shown in Christ and when they hear that, they run to it.”
Our Iranian brothers and sisters in Christ are carefully and boldly spreading the Gospel in their nation. What they need now is the encouragement of fellow Christians.
“We definitely should be praying for the people of Iran. They are going under a lot of intense pressure right now…. So we just want to pray that God will be glorified in this situation. These pressures can lead to people soul searching, and a lot of times that happens. People call us and they want to talk about the message of hope and the message of love in Jesus Christ that they’re seeing on Mohabat TV,” David shares.
Mohabat TV is a major part of Heart4Iran’s ministry. Through Mohabat TV, they broadcast the Gospel on satellite television into the homes of Iranians searching for truth.
“As the Body of Christ around the world, I want us all to pray for them. Pray for the people in Iran. They are coming to Christ, and they are experiencing new life in Christ, and this could just be the catalyst that makes that happen.”
(Header photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
*Name changed for security purposes