‘Iran, first country to ban Pokemon Go’ ran the headlines earlier this month. And then a little further down the story the journalist would explain how internet-savvy young Iranians are already trying to work out how to get round this latest ban.
Iran’s attempts to control the internet have generally not been successful. Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Telegram are either banned or have been in the past, but the bans make little difference. Millions of Iranians still access the sites.
The censorship and the slow connection speeds are irritations; but the failure of these bans underlines how it is virtually impossible to roll back the internet.
This is great news for the church. The church has long learned the importance of teaching across boundaries. The internet certainly helps that.
Today, the internet is a powerful tool for strengthening Iran’s church: discipleship on Skype; fellowship through Facebook; evangelism via Viber. It’s happening every day. And try as they might, the government can’t stop it.