With a hard-line agenda in place, persecution will increase in Iran

By January 30, 2024

Iran (MNN) — Iran is getting ready to choose a new Supreme Leader, and the replacement process begins with elections on March 1.

A mural in the holy city of Qom depicts Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, on the left and Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader of Iran, on the right. (Photo/Caption courtesy of David Stanley via Flicker)

This is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s 35th year in power. Joel* with Global Catalytic Ministries says, “It (the change) is expected simply because the current Supreme Leader is 85, so obviously, his ‘expiration date’ is coming up.”

Experts say the elections will likely produce yet another hardline leader. “It’s clear that they’re pushing for hardliners who won’t compromise,” Joel says.

“The Supreme Council wants to become much more adversarial. That primarily affects American foreign policy and troops in the region, but of course, reflects the church as well.”

The Shi’ite leaders of Iran present themselves as “agents” or stewards of God on earth. “To maintain power, they need to maintain the belief of the people,” Joel says.

Iran is one of the ten most dangerous places in the world to follow Christ “because when people believe in the Gospel, the government loses power.”

Religious zealots view non-Shi’ite faiths – Christianity included – as existential threats. For example, “The current president is a hardliner. When he came into power, we saw persecution drastically step up,” Joel says.

Now, “if the government is stepping forward to a much more hardline government, then we can expect the persecution against the Church to be drastically increased.”

With a hardline agenda securely in place, persecution won’t let up anytime soon. “The goal is regional Iranian dominance,” Joel says.

“It’s not simply Islamic dominance, but specifically their version of radical Shia dominance with their imamate.”

Global Catalytic Ministries equips believers from a Muslim background to make disciples in spiritually dark places, including Iran. More about that here. Pray Gospel workers will trust in Christ daily.


*Name withheld for security purposes.



Header image courtesy of Global Catalytic Ministries.

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