This month marks the 34th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution. Speaking on Sunday at a celebration, President Ahmadinejad declared that the 1979 revolution inaugurated an “awakening of the human spirit,” rich with “divine values,” that is speeding the return of the Twelfth Iman, or ‘Mahdi’. The Mahdi is the awaited Messiah of Shiite Muslim theology, who will usher in the End Times. Ahmadinejad made his speech to flag-waving crowds at Azadi (Freedom) Square in Tehran at one of the many rallies that took place to mark the anniversary. The president used his platform to hail what he called a “golden age” in Iran, focusing upon the achievements of the Revolution and of his presidency.
But off the TV screens and in the homes of the people, few will really celebrate. This is because in the eyes of the majority of Iranians, the revolution has failed to deliver the grand promises it made. Economic breakdown is foremost in people’s minds as they struggle to make ends meet. They blame the government. But the suffering is far more than just economic: Social problems have increased greatly, and the many political injustices are well documented.
So while the rhetoric will continue, the stark reality of life in Iran will drive many on the journey to find spiritual meaning, and many may turn to Christ.
• Revelation of the truth of Jesus as the nation ‘celebrates’ the revolution
• Struggling families to look to Jesus
• Christians to be ready to share their hope in Christ