Alcohol is banned in Iran, and raids and police seizures are frequent, but that does not stop Iranians from drinking. Many are brewing their own alcohol at home and selling it on, meaning that alcohol can be acquired easily if you know who to call. The messy picture of growing alcohol abuse means we need to pray for local Christians who are reaching out.
Wild parties in Iran’s cities are common occurrences; there are no nightclubs, so it all takes place at home. “By drinking we forget about our problems,” said one young man. “Otherwise we will go crazy with all the limitations on young people in Iran.” “You don’t even need to leave the house,” said Reza, a computer engineer in Tehran. “Nasser, the brewer, will deliver [alcohol] to your door.”
The availability of alcohol has caused alarm among the country’s leaders, many of whom accuse the West of plotting to lure Iranians away from pious religious observance. There are as many as 200,000 alcoholics in Iran, according to Iranian media reports. Last September, a permit was quietly issued for the country’s first alcohol rehabilitation centre in Tehran. But the need is far greater than the government’s efforts can address. Thankfully, Christians are reaching out and helping alcoholics find freedom from addiction through Christ, and helping casual partiers find purpose and peace in Him. But the need is escalating and the road is tough: let’s pray for strength and endurance for them.