Protestors clash with riot police

By June 25, 2009

Iran (MNN) — Iran's supreme
leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned on Wednesday that the government would not
yield to protestors or back down from the results of Iran's June 12
presidential election.  

However, his warning did not
deter the protestors from gathering, as the opposition had promised, near
Tehran's parliament buildings on the same day. When they did, they met swarms of riot police and the situation turned
violent.

According to CNN and BBC,
witnesses reported beatings. The police
were "beating women madly" and "killing people like hell," one
source told CNN.

Only time will tell whether
beatings can preserve the regime's power and prevent political change. However, Iranian Christians tell the
International Mission Board that their country is changing.

"Islam is losing its power," said
Davoud (name changed for security). 
"This is the best time for Iran to turn to God." 

His wife, Susan (name changed for
security) explained that Iranians are generally different than Americans would
expect them to be. 

"Most of the new generation are
educated people, so they are not fanatics," she said. "Unfortunately, the biggest problem is that the
heart is empty." 

Iran's population is young: about 70 percent is under the age of 35.  This generation tries to
fill its emptiness with drugs, sex, and partying, Susan and Davoud
explained. But they have higher hopes
for their people. 

"Always, we (both of us) pray for
special new generation in Iran," Susan said. 

In the
meantime, the couple is seeking refugee status in another country as the only
alternative to imprisonment for their faith. They disregarded the Iranian, saying that being a Christian isn't a
problem unless you're an active one.

"If you try to give people [the] Holy Bible, if you have a place, a room for Christian books, if you openly
invite people to Christianity and do other things helping people to get to know
Jesus Christ, you are considered an active Christian," Davoud explains. "If you
have a house church, you are an active Christian. If you help people to get
baptized, you are an active Christian."

Davoud had a successful career in
Tehran's entertainment deals. He
brokered motion picture deals and was a popular, accomplished artist.  He left it all behind, however, when he
became a Christian. 

Susan and
Davoud grew up in families where religion was an obligation to be tolerated. Susan felt like she was "always behind a
barrier so you cannot touch a real God. But in Christianity, I can reach Him
very easily. I'm always open to hear Him, to interact with Him."

When Susan became
a Christian through the witness of a friend, Davoud thought, "Don't react.
After a while, she's going to forget [her impulsive decision] and everything
[will] be the same."

But he couldn't shake his
depression and restlessness and a need for more meaning to life. He had a recurring daydream in which he
approached a group of people sitting in a circle, and they turned and faced
him. 

One day,
Davoud called out to the people in his dream, "What do you want from me? Who
are you people?" One man emerged from
the circle, looked at him, and asked, "Have you suffered more than I have?"

He discussed the dream with a
Christian friend, who led him to the Lord. Now he is no longer depressed, but he knows his troubles did not
magically end when he became a Christian. 

"God came to
save me from my spiritual problems, but you can still encounter problems in
life in Iran, especially if you become a Christian," he said. Nevertheless, he and his wife know they now
have a Friend who is always with them. 

"When I pray
to God and when I think, 'I can talk to God directly,' at that time I can
understand how God loves me and how much I love Him," Susan said. 

"When you
read Acts, you don't find yourself lonely," Davoud explained. "So, we [Iranian
Christians] are experiencing this truth — that our Lord was tortured, He was
insulted and He was [put to death] in the most brutal way. We are His followers."

To get more perspective on the situation in Iran, click here. To support IMB's work, click here.

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