Iran is reeling. Violence and anger spreads like a blanket over the nation’s citizens and leaders, and every headline seems to add fuel to political fires. And according to Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs USA, Christians get caught in the flames.
As of late, most headlines focus on growing U.S.–Iran tensions. January brought news of the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Then, not long after protestors turned their anger against the U.S., an Iranian missile downed a Ukranian passenger jet, and protest immediately turned back toward Iranian leadership.
Rising Gas Prices Lead to Rising Frustration
But discontent started much earlier than either of these episodes. Iran is “a country that is facing hyperinflation [and] high unemployment rate,” Nettleton says. “Basic food items have grown too expensive for the average person, and so many people are just eating bread and cheese.”
As if things weren’t bad enough, Iranian officials raised gas prices in December.
Actually, they tripled them overnight.
“Literally you wake up the next door day and they say, ‘Oh, hey, by the way, gas just tripled in price today, and also you can only buy a certain number of gallons. There’s a ration system in place,’” Nettleton says.
This decision affects many Iranian citizens, but Christians were especially wounded by this move. According to Nettleton, “what our Christian brothers and sisters are saying is, ‘Hey, the part of our ministry is getting in a car and driving to places to meet with believers, but also to evangelize, to share the Gospel, not just driving across our city or across town, but literally driving around the country, driving to other cities where we have outreach events and where we have other churches that we’re coordinating with.’”
That means that by tripling the cost of gas, authorities have effectively tripled the cost of ministry for the Iranian Church.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Alex Anhalt
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for peace to come to Iran.
- Ask God to provide for Iranian believers wanting to travel and do ministry.
- Thank Him for Iranian receptivity to Christian ideas.