The Aftermath of Protests in Iran, the Crackdown, and a Missing Christian Human Rights Activist

Headline photo: Demonstrations in Iran over the death of Qaseem Soleimani during the US attack on the Baghdad airport in Iraq.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Iran’s protests felt like a revolution was in the wind.

The protestors seemed to be bolder, more focused, and overall, observers thought that what was happening in Iran reflected a shift in the Middle East of growing anger and intolerance of injustice.

What started as the mourning of a national hero, a beloved general quickly transformed into anti-government fury as Iran admitted to accidentally shooting down a Ukrainian airliner.

The government’s denial and cover-up just added fuel to the anger over corruption, economic stagnation, and mismanagement. After all, these were the same issues behind the November protests.  This time around, people were calling for Ayatollah Khamenei to step down. The next step he takes, as Supreme Leader, determines whether the uprising turns into a real revolution.

The crackdown begins

Past responses to quash the demonstrations included an active military and police response, which led to violent clashes.  Although not everyone connected to the opposition wants the same thing, the shame Iranians suffered over the Ukrainian plane crash seems to keep them focused for the time being.

There’ve been sweeping arrests of the ‘troublemakers’ to try to regain control.  On January 12, while protests were taking place in Tehran, police arrested Christian activist Mary Fatemeh Mohammadi. Since her arrest, her whereabouts remain unknown.

Heart 4 Iran’s Mike Ansari says the ministry, “strongly condemns the arrest of Mary Fatemeh Mohammadi, a Christian human rights activist.”  Last year, she faced several challenges as a result of her converting from Islam to Christianity and sharing her faith. Ansari explains that “Mary is among a large number of Iranians who have converted from Islam to Christianity.   These are Iranian citizens who are seeking ways to promote religious freedom and human rights in the face of real danger.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama


  • Pray for the church to rapidly multiply and mature despite horrendous persecution against non-Muslim peoples.
  • Pray for Christians to capitalize on unprecedented opportunities to spread the Gospel via Internet, TV, and media.
  • Pray for a great harvest resulting from faithful believers sharing bold accounts of their faith.