Bye-bye World Wide Web, hello Iran-only Internet

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Despite the fierce filtering used by the Iranian government, Christian agencies have had success reaching people through the web with the Gospel and even hosting churches (see ‘Suffering but growing church’ section). And when sites are blocked, many Iranians know how to use ‘Virtual Private Network’ software which locates their computer in another country and so bypasses the filter.

Now this ministry is under threat. Iran has been developing her own national internet which is due to be rolled out in March 2013. It is not clear how this will impact Iran’s connection with the World Wide Web, but an announcement on Sunday 23rd September from a deputy minister doesn’t bode well for the future. He warned Iranians that google and gmail would soon be unavailable. This would point to a plan for Iranians to use the national network.

As well as frustrating millions of internet lovers, this policy will also be a major challenge for Christian agencies who want to minister through the World Wide Web.

Pray for

• Impact of active internet ministries
• Email contact with Iran to remain safe and secure
• Restrictions on wholesome sites to be eased