Drug addiction is an open wound in Iran. The combination of a deeply disillusioned, troubled population and a huge influx of illegal substances from neighbouring Afghanistan, has resulted in a long-term picture of widespread drug abuse. Police in Iran confiscate over a ton of narcotics a day from smugglers and, according to a recent statement by the head of Iran’s anti-narcotics police, an estimated 30 drug smugglers and addicts are identified and arrested every single hour in Iran. At present it is amongst female students that addiction is increasing most dramatically.
The sheer scale of Iran’s drug problems is deeply distressing. Behind the statistics are broken families, torn marriages, financial ruin and the emotional turmoil of individual precious lives. Iran has opened more than 500 nongovernmental organizations and hundreds of detoxification and methadone clinics to try to combat the issue.
However, many addicts are instead finding that it is Jesus Christ that truly delivers them from their bondage. Yousef is just one example: after giving his life to the Lord and leaving drugs behind, he dedicated himself to New Testaments in Iran. Beginning his ministry at 5 a.m. each day, he bravely risks his safety for the sake of passing on the Word of God that has so powerfully changed his own life. Many others with a story like Yousef’s continue to reach out with the gospel in Iran: passionate evangelists for Jesus the Healer.
• Continuing powerful witness of ex-addicts in the church
• Female students to resist the growing temptation of experimenting with drugs
• Many more to be freed from addiction in Christ