Protestor execution marks shift in Iran

By December 12, 2022

Iran (MNN) — Tensions remain high in Iran following last week’s protestor execution. “This is a huge escalation,” Reza* with Global Catalytic Ministries says.

“We are at a tipping point inside of Iran.”

Passionate activists vow to remain in the streets despite the government’s intensified crackdown. “It’s going to get worse because anger and grief are mobilizing families, friends, and acquaintances of the killed protesters,” an Iranian university student told DW.

Comprised of former Muslims, GCM disciples believers from a Muslim background in Iran and worldwide. More about that here. Reza and his cohorts have been monitoring the situation carefully, constantly communicating with believers on the ground.

“Iran is a powder keg waiting for something to ignite it, and this (protest movement) might be it,” Reza says.

“[When] riots were happening back in September, I said, ‘Until the IRGC, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, comes out and starts to stop this, we won’t see what the riots are made of,’” he recalls.

The underground Church in Iran isn’t stopping or giving up in the face of the chaos.
(Photo, caption courtesy of Global Catalytic Ministries)

An international response could affect what happens next in Iran. “It’s really important to see what the (global) community does because if [it] doesn’t do anything, doesn’t show how evil and wrong this is, Iran will continue doing [these executions],” Reza explains.

“They’re going to do everything in their power to stay in power, which is a great fear tactic. This is a great way to control people because [they] will be terrified to protest against the government.”

Protestor execution #1

Authorities hung 23-year-old protestor Mohsen Shekari on Thursday, the first known death penalty execution since demonstrations began in September. Ongoing mass protests signify the most significant uprising in Iran since 2019.

“It (Shekari’s execution) sent shockwaves [throughout] the country. People are so shocked that a very young man [was] forced [to confess],” Reza says.

“Even after he was executed, they showed his false confession, [and Shekari had] bruises on his face.”

Today, more than a dozen protestors that received death sentences could go the same way as Shekari. He was charged with “moharebeh,” a Farsi phrase that means “waging war against God.”

“Iran is an Islamic country [with] the rules and laws of the land based on the Quran. It’s also a theocracy where the Supreme Leader hears from Allah Himself and then runs the country based on what he’s heard,” Reza says.

“They’re using Islamic law to execute people.”

These laws also keep foreign powers at bay. While acknowledging the execution was “very troubling,” the U.N.’s top human rights official admitted his powers were limited.

“I can only … call on the authorities to immediately institute a moratorium on the death penalty, to release the ones who were arrested in connection with the protests, and to work towards the abolition of the death penalty,” he told reporters.

We can’t change Iran’s leaders, but we know the God who holds our world in His hands. “It’s a very special time inside of Iran; it is a kairos moment: ‘for such a time as this,’” Reza says.

“Inside of Iran is a perfect storm: social unrest, economic unrest, political unrest, and religious unrest. And God is moving so powerfully through dreams and visions. People are seeing ‘the man in white’ and coming to Christ,” he continues.

“Pray that this continues to happen, that God’s Holy Spirit continues to move mightily inside of Iran.”





Though it’s difficult for people not experiencing religious persecution to understand the situation, it’s important to note that Iran’s situation is about to worsen. (Photo, caption courtesy of Global Catalytic Ministries)

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