Iran (MNN) — Tensions simmer in Iran following Revolution Day celebrations and symbolic pardons.

Every year on February 11, state-sponsored festivities mark the 1979 revolution that ushered in today’s Islamic rule. Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei, pardoned thousands of prisoners ahead of last week’s anniversary.

“We need to be careful not to imagine everything’s okay now for the young people or the Christians in this part of the world. A lot of people are still slated to lose their lives despite this announcement from Khamenei,” Denise Godwin of International Media Ministries says.

“A show of mercy isn’t necessarily a cure.”

More than 100 people arrested in connection to the protests could face the death penalty, and four have been hanged. Police have detained at least 20,000 people since the unrest began in September.

“While it’s great that some people are going to get pardoned, we need to keep praying for the freedoms of those that have been held,” Godwin says.

“There are people still suffering, and many are probably believers. There’s a very fast-growing community of believers in Iran.”

(Graphic courtesy of Transform Iran)

IMM uses media to reach closed countries like Iran with the Gospel message. Learn more here. “We are planning to do a social media piece to encourage people that sometimes we have to speak up on behalf of others,” Godwin says.

“In the case of Esther, to avoid genocide of her people, she had to stand up and speak even though it risked her life.”

Ask the Lord to give Iranian believers supernatural courage and strength.

“Most of our Islamic-background friends who’ve changed to be believers are [asking us], ‘Pray that I can be strong,’” Godwin says.


Header image courtesy of Heart4Iran.