Morality Police, Murder and a Revolution
Hump Day - Day of Prayer for the Muslim World Vol. 236
As many of you may already know, nationwide anti-government demonstrations erupted in Iran in September of 2022. They are still ongoing though perhaps more peaceful.
What Prompted the Protests?
The protests were prompted by the unfortunate death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman by the name of Mahsa Amini who was brutally beaten and detained by the "Morality Police." She died shortly afterward. In short, she was murdered by this "Morality Police" force.
Who are the Morality Police?
The Morality Police is an arm of the Iranian government tasked with trying to maintain a moral society. One of its functions is to enforce the government's strict dress code. In this case, Mahsa Amini was arrested for the crime of not wearing a hijab which ended up costing her life.
Jailed for Dancing?
On November 1, 2022, a young couple in their 20s (see photo below) were arrested for dancing in a public square and posting pictures of the event on Instagram. They have been sentenced to 10 years and 6 months of jail time! Their dancing was intended to be a peaceful protest for freedom in Iran. They were convicted of "promotion of impurity and indecency" and propaganda against the government.
What Do Protestors Want?
Above all, the protestors want freedom whether it be by democracy or monarchy or whatever.
With support for women wearing the hijab down to about 1/3 of the population (2018 poll by Iranian Parliament's research center), protestors are challenging the strict dress code laws which are one of the ideological pillars of the Islamic Republic. Increasingly, women are refusing to wear the hijab.
Protestors have rallied behind a slogan of "woman, life, freedom" and have stomped on pictures of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. In some cases, officials have been evicted from schools - bold acts for anyone no matter their gender!
What Toll Has the Revolution Taken Thus Far?
According to a NBC news article dated Feb. 1, 2023 we quote:
"After months violently cracking down on the protests, the Iranian government has now started hanging people in public, a response that prompted an outcry from human rights activists and Western officials.
So far, at least 527 people have been killed — including 71 children — four protesters have been executed, and almost 20,000 others have been arrested, according to the Washington area-based watchdog group, Human Rights Activists in Iran. Iran’s Interior Ministry said in December that the death toll was 200, including security forces who were killed."
Will This Revolution Succeed or Not?
Analysts don't agree as to whether this revolution will succeed or not. This "revolution" is 4 months long and counting - much longer than recent protests. The protests in recent years had no leaders, was visionless and chaotic. This revolution has begun to visualize a free Iran, and there is a surprising push to have Reza Pahlavi, the former Shah's son, become the leader.
Other analysts don't see the movement as having means to succeed against the unpopular iron handed regime which has been in power for more than 40 years now.
Thanks for praying with us today! We love and appreciate you!
- Pray for protection for the revolutionaries and that the LORD's will be done regarding the demonstrators' protests for a new government guaranteeing freedom for the people.
- With Iran having many of its people come to Christ in recent years, pray that will continue in the midst of this revolution.
- Pray for all forms of evangelism (satellite TV, national Christians' witness, Bible distribution, etc.) would be fruitful and bring about change in Iran.
Dream so big only Jesus can make it happen!
Jay & Marsha Crenshaw
Strategy Coordinators MECANA/USA