Society

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Maryam cannot believe her ears. These kinds of things only happen to other people, don’t they? She leaves the doctor’s surgery feeling numb; a formidable choice is before her. Words ring in her ears: “No hope of recovery...It would be better to terminate.” As she heads home, a different message comes to her remembrance, from a women’s conference she attended a few months ago. The child in her belly is a person,...
Friday, January 10th, 2014
Iranians love cinema; it’s their favorite medium of entertainment and so it’s a massive industry in Iran. But movies are highly censored; there’s no freedom on screen to address issues of religion or politics. Filmmakers are tightly controlled; there’s much pain. This industry needs the light and love of Christ. There were signs that the tight control on cinema might soon be eased when President Rouhani was elected...
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
There was a sea of smiles from ordinary Iranians at Tehran airport welcoming back the Foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and his team after they had negotiated a nuclear truce. They were celebrating because the deal, which sees a very limited easing of sanctions, brings them concrete hope that their economic nightmare will end. For air passengers there will be an immediate impact. Unable to get the necessary...
Wednesday, November 06th, 2013
A desperate cry rose up last month from a young woman, giving voice to all Iranians who are suffering due to international sanctions. Posting on Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s Facebook page, an anonymous student demanded that he put the suffering of the Iranian people before Iran’s nuclear program. “I can’t afford the bus fare into town for my studies,” she lamented, “I’m on the verge of depression.” She went on...
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
As the rate of divorce in Iran increases, a strange new phenomenon is reportedly emerging in Tehran Province: ‘divorce ceremonies’. While some divorces may mark the necessary end to an abusive or adulterous marriage, Christians should pray earnestly for the many who are enduring the pain of divorce, and pray that fewer people would want or need to go through such ‘divorce ceremonies’. The Islamic Republic has the...
Monday, September 30th, 2013
While President Rouhani campaigns to get the sanctions lifted, the economy - recently likened to a ‘crash victim in intensive care’ by an Iranian MP – is still causing misery for millions. A lot of the misery is inflation. President Rouhani says it is now running at about 40%, a much higher figure than was ever acknowledged by the previous government. Some of the price hikes have been eased by cash handouts....
Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
Increasing numbers of Iran’s young people are being rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment for alcohol abuse. Many of them have attempted to distil their own alcohol at home. It’s a cause for much concern and prayer, for these hearts are crying out for the hope and meaning that Jesus brings. High unemployment, lack of opportunities, rising prices, oppressive government - to escape these pressures, young...
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Bizarre but true: Iran has the highest rate of nose surgery in the world.  Physical beauty has become a full blown obsession in Iran and beauty salons are springing up everywhere. But at the same time, beauty is also feared, and sometimes demonized, by the religious establishment. In the midst of this complex relationship with beauty, Christ is bringing healing and restoration to many women who are discovering that...
Tuesday, August 06th, 2013
On July 18th Iran 30 highlighted the impact US sanctions on medical supplies were having on the sick, especially those in need of dialysis. Readers were asked to pray that medical supplies might flow more easily. On July 27th Reuters reported that the US government had expanded the list of supplies that could be sold to Iran without special permission. On that list were electrocardiographs and dialysis machines....
Thursday, July 18th, 2013
It’s not a good time to be sick in Iran. There’s a chronic shortage of medical supplies across the country due to the international sanctions and internal mismanagement. The shortage is putting countless lives at risk. “My mother-in-law Fatimeh has kidney problems and she is being affected by this,” says Delaram, “Iran is slowly losing its dialysis machines because one vital part of the machines has to be imported...
Thursday, June 27th, 2013
During the recent election campaign Iranians who rely on Skype to talk to friends and family resigned themselves to the internet being deliberately throttled. Speeds were painfully slow, virtual private networks (VPN) - used to evade filters - were neutered, and sometimes there was no connection at all. For the government it was all a part of keeping the country calm during a potentially tense time. For Iran’s...
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
Iran’s economy is in a mess. Unemployment is high, especially amongst the young. The cost of living is spiralling. Inflation is rocketing. Business is suffering. It is not surprising then that the nation’s brightest and best are leaving Iran in increasing numbers to seek a more promising future elsewhere. A report by the International Monetary Fund in 2009 placed Iran at the top of the list of countries losing...
Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Divorce is worryingly common in Iran, and many marriages are reportedly unhappy. But when investigating the cause of this trend, there is one major issue that researchers seem to have erroneously overlooked: television addiction. The Islamic Republic has the fourth highest divorce rate in the world, according to its office for births, marriages and deaths. This year Tehran alone saw a 6% rise in couples splitting...
Thursday, May 02nd, 2013
Iranians lined up to buy basic food commodities in Tehran on Monday April 22, 2013, as food prices continued to rise. The cost of staples such as imported cooking oil and chicken jumped up as much as 60 percent after the government announced last week that it would soon increase the official dollar exchange rate for importers. Consumers are stocking up en masse before prices rise even higher. In an interview with...
Tuesday, April 02nd, 2013
A young man is in a Tehran park with two friends. Let us call him Nader. Nader and his friends are relaxing and listening to music on a personal device, minding their own business. Suddenly the police appear and begin questioning them, rifling through their bags and searching them. The three young men are roughly informed that the music is illegal, and their music player is confiscated before the group is...
Friday, March 01st, 2013
The co-director and star of the well received film, ‘Closed Curtain’ have had their passports confiscated so they cannot travel abroad to promote the film. To live in a country where your passport can suddenly be confiscated is a constant source of stress for thousands of ordinary Iranians. Yes, there are all the practical problems such restrictions throw up, but also there is that sense of vulnerability, and worse...
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
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...
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
The collapse of the rial against the dollar continues. On Sunday January 23rd, 2013 it cost about 33,000 rials to buy one dollar. Just two days later the price of the dollar had risen to 36,250 rials. In September 2012 a dollar cost 24,000 rials, and a few years ago it was only 10,000 rials. The impact of this continuing collapse is devastating. For the average family whose income is just over 100 million rials ($...
Tuesday, January 08th, 2013
On Saturday (5th January 2013) life in Tehran virtually ground to a halt. It was the smog again. It was virtually impossible to move around, and for those with breathing problems, life became very dangerous. Already for the year March 2011 – March 2012 there are reports that over 4,000 people have died as a result of the air pollution. There are two main reasons for the smog. First there is the badly refined...
Thursday, December 06th, 2012
Launched in January 2011 Iran’s Cyber Police are having an impact, and not just among ordinary internet criminals involved in hacking, scams or identity theft. For when the Cyber Police, known as The FTA, was launched, the chief of police, Ahmadi Moghaddam, made it clear this unit would have a wider agenda, namely taking on ‘anti-revolutionary’ or ‘dissident’ groups. This has made using the web stressful for many...

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