Iran (MNN) — Iran cracks down on potential dissent ahead of the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death on Saturday. In recent days, family members of the protestors killed in last year’s unrest were arrested without cause – including Amini’s uncle.

Mahsa Amini, 22, died in police custody on September 16, 2022. Her death sparked months of nationwide protests, fueling the most significant threat to Iranian leaders in decades. See our coverage here.

Denise Godwin with International Media Ministries says Iran faces global pressure for its draconian measures.

Iran carried out seven public executions linked to the demonstrations. More than 500 people – including 71 minors – were killed, hundreds wounded, and thousands arrested when Iran authorized its Revolutionary Guard to end the protests.

However, diplomacy is not changing the regime’s behavior. “They continue to persecute, kill, arrest, and harass people,” Godwin says.

As a result, protestors are not in the streets now like they were last year. Yet the rebellion continues, fueled by economic pressure.

“If you talk to Iranians, they will say, ‘Oh, absolutely, protesting is continuing, but we can’t get on the streets without physical danger.’ So, they are blasting music out of their houses in the middle of the night or screaming things,” Godwin says.

Iran’s evil atmosphere creates the perfect Gospel opportunity. “These people (Iranians) are under a lot of pressure, and yet the Gospel is going forward like never before,” Godwin says.

“Sources tell us that they barely mention the truth of the Gospel, and people accept Christ. People are so hungry that the evangelism is easy.”

(Photo courtesy of IMM)

IMM recently created a new social media video to introduce Iranians to the hope of Christ.

“At the end of this little short piece we’re calling The Esther Reveal, we ask, ‘What is worth risking your life for?’ That’s the conversation we’re encouraging people to have in their own language,” Godwin says.

“Jesus said, ‘Greater love has no man than he would lay down his life for his brother.’”

On September 30, you can join a “watch party” to learn more about the Esther project and how you can help IMM reach Iranians for Christ. Details and registration here.

“We are doing an online release [in] English for anyone interested in watching this and hearing the testimony of someone who has survived persecution,” Godwin says.


Header image courtesy of Transform Iran.