Date: October 10, 2023
Iran (MNN) — In September of last year, Mahsa Amini died while in the custody of Iran’s morality police. It was a tragedy that lit a fire in the hearts of Iranians across the nation. For the last year, protests have become a daily occurrence. In the words of Lana Silk of Transform Iran, “Those individuals who might have thought they were alone so that no, there are hundreds if not thousands of others up and down the country who not only feel the same way but are prepared to do something about it.”
The response from officials has been vicious. “The government really are brutal in how they’re retaliating to what the people are doing,” Silk says. “They are killing, raping, torturing, and detaining. They’re intimidating and threatening the young people of Iran and their families.
But even in death, the voices of the oppressed demand to be heard. Silk recently learned about a young woman who was arrested during a protest against mandatory hijab laws. Because of her defiant behavior, she was tortured and abused.
“So she recorded a video that was essentially saying, ‘I don’t think they’re going to let me go, I don’t think their response to my actions is finished. If I was to disappear if I was to be arrested, tortured, martyred […] please remember this, remember us.’ And she specifically says, ‘Be our voice. We need you to be our voice. We need you to empower this movement.’”
After releasing the video, the young woman disappeared. Officials arrested and beat her parents. The abuse she predicted became a reality.
So what happens now? Right now, young people who are fighting for their freedom are experiencing immense trauma and pain because of their resilience. Transform Iran hopes to step into those challenges and provide the tools for standing strong. “We offer a whole lot of teaching on identity, on healing, on how to have victory over addiction, on overcoming the pain and struggle from trauma,” Silk says. “Then through that process, we invite people to connect with us in person and have one-to-one counseling, particularly in relation to trauma that they’ve experienced.
Transform Iran is asking for support for those branches of their ministry, especially as they look to add a new cohort of specialist counselors.
They’re also asking that you continue watching and listening. Pay attention to the stories of Iranian young people. Pay attention to the way young people seek freedom, both physically and spiritually. And pay attention to the ways God is working even amidst the violence of Iran.
Header photo courtesy of Transform Iran