At least 11 people have been killed this month in Iran during protests following the funeral of woman who died in the custody of the country’s “morality police.”
But that’s only half of the story.
Video coming out of the Islamic terror-supporting nation seems to indicate that the protesters, despite the risks, may have the upper hand this time around.
Because of the regime’s stranglehold on information coming in and out of the country, it’s difficult to verify many of reports of protests in Iran. But the videos often seem to speak for themselves. In one, a crowd appears to attack a lone police officer; in another, a large group of authorities is pushed back by advancing protesters.
WARNING: The tweets in this commentary include violent content that some viewers will find offensive.
تصاویر هولناک از ضرب و شتم شدید یک مامور نیروی انتظامی pic.twitter.com/UtbU2g0BS2
— خبرگزاری تسنیم 🇮🇷 (@Tasnimnews_Fa) September 22, 2022
— Fazel Hawramy (@FazelHawramy) September 22, 2022
— Alireza Nader علیرضا نادر (@AlirezaNader) September 21, 2022
And less violent, but perhaps most revealing of the longing for freedom that is finding voice among Iranians, from Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad:
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 23, 2020
“Let me make it clear that Iranian women who are facing guns and bullets right now in the streets, they’re not protesting against compulsory hijab like just a small piece of cloth. Not at all,” Alinejad told The Associated Press.
“They are protesting against one of the most visible symbols of oppression,” she said. “They are protesting against the whole regime.”
Of course, there’s another battle playing out in Iran, one that’s not always visible to the naked eye.
Even mainstream publications have noticed the revival of Christianity in Iran over the past year or two, even in the face of extreme persecution by the radical Islamic regime.
Do you expect to see the end of the Islamic Republic of Iran in your lifetime?
And just as the Great Awakening had a powerful impact on American culture that contributed significantly to the American Revolution that set us free from the Great Britain of King George III, so might the flame of the Holy Spirit among so-called Muslim-background believers be refining a new desire for freedom in Iran.
After all, “[n]ow the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor. 3:17)
Given that the BBC has estimated that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard boasts nearly 200,000 members, Iranians seeking change may have a long and bloody struggle ahead of them. Alinejad, however, predicts that the days of the radical Islamist government are numbered.
“Whether the regime cracks down on the protests, whether they shut down the internet, people of Iran won’t give up,” she told the AP. “The anger is there.”