Responsible for law and order in a vast land of 75 million people is no small task. Hence Iran’s judiciary deserves our prayers. As well as the normal crimes that afflict all countries, the Iranian judiciary finds itself on the frontline of the war against the drug traffickers who operate from Afghanistan. In response to the avalanche of opium tipped over its borders, the judiciary has shown no mercy to drug sellers. Many have been executed this year.
More controversially the judiciary in Iran has constantly played a decisive role in politics. In the 1990’s it was the intervention of the judiciary that defeated the Reformist movement, and after the 2009 it was again the vigour of the judiciary that ended the protests after the presidential elections. There is an internal logic to the judiciary’s role here: the state is Islamic, not democratic, hence the role of the judiciary is to only support that which is truly Islamic. This logic then gives the judiciary the authority to oppose any movement which it deems as unIslamic.
As in all religious governments in history, this then gives great power to the people who decide what is orthodox and what is not. One of those men is Sadegh Larijani, the present head of the judiciary. As the youngest ever incumbent in the post, his appointment in June 2009 raised some eyebrows. Normally the head of the judiciary is an older cleric widely recognised for his scholarship. While Sadegh Larijani might not have age or a heavy academic reputation, he is most certainly a government insider, with close connections with influential people, not least his two brothers. Ali Larijani is the speaker of parliament, and Mohammad Larijani is head of the Human Rights Council in the judiciary. Mohammad used to be the number two at the foreign office.
Sadegh Larijani has been very energetic as leader of the judiciary. He carries much responsibility and as a believer in God as the final judge, he will know that he will have to give account for his decisions on that great day. He will be aware that Christians have suffered the ordeal of being arbitrarily arrested and kept in prison this year, even though they are not guilty of any criminal activity. It is important to pray that Sadegh Larijani and all his officials are given divine strength to deliver justice for the criminals who should be in prison, and freedom for all those who want to live quiet and godly lives trusting in Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
• Revelation of Christ to Sadegh Larijani
• Energy of officials to combat crime
• Wisdom to stop persecution of Christians