Iran (MNN) — A leaked state document from Iran warns of “rising discontent” in the country. The economy has suffered from years of mismanagement by the religious authoritarian regime.
The prices of food, energy, and other goods have skyrocketed. Iran faces heavy U.S. sanctions over its nuclear programs, adding to the economic woes.
Iranian Christians risk severe persecution, often unable to meet together openly.
Gilbert Hovsepian, whose father was kidnapped and murdered in Iran in 1994, has started writing songs specifically for the Iranian church. Rev. Haik Hovsepian Mehr was the President of the Council of Protestant Churches in Iran. Five years later, the family fled Iran.
Joe Willey talks about the SAT-7 PARS show Songwriting with Gilbert. “Gilbert and his guests collaborate both musically and lyrically. One may be on guitar while another writes lyrics and Gilbert joins on a keyboard. It’s really fascinating to look at the collaborative process.”
The musicians share one goal: writing worship songs in Farsi, the heart language of Iranian Christians. Willey says, “They do not want to translate the songs of others into that language. They are trying to build a catalog of songs from Iranians, for the Iranian Church.”
Guests on the show
Gilbert hosts other Iranian musicians on the show, most of whom are refugees. One suffered beatings from his father-in-law over becoming a Christian. Another left a life of sorcery to follow Jesus. Willey says, “So the songs were born out of hardship and trouble. But the songs are also a fantastic reminder to worship Christ regardless of the circumstances.”
Read more about this program and even see a clip from the show here.
Pray these songs will strengthen isolated Christians in Iran. And pray their love for Jesus will be a witness to the entire country.
Header photo courtesy of SAT-7 USA.