“By a sweet tongue and kindness, you can drag an elephant with a hair” – Persian proverb
I spent most of my formative years in the South, primarily North Carolina. My boss, on the other hand, is from Boston, and is somewhat of a history buff. At times this places me in the interesting position of representing the cause of Dixie in our passing conversations. He will make some remark about “the War of Rebellion” and I will respond with mild confusion, until I realize he’s talking about “the War of Northern Aggression” – or, as the leaders of the Confederacy saw it, “the Second Revolution” (the one we lost).
Of course I have no intention of defending the Confederacy, but it is interesting that one man’s rebellion is another’s revolution, just as one man’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist.
Word on the street is that the country of Iran, only thirty odd years removed from an Islamic revolution, is experiencing another revolution. This one comes not with guns and violence, and the instantiation of a caliphate, but with meekness and the Word of God.
There are some news reports leaking out – like this one from “Open Doors” – indicating that growth is explosive even in the face of religious oppression from the regime. (Note to the mullahs: oppression has never really worked as a means of stamping out Christianity. Better to tolerate it, and tolerate everything else too, and hope for the Christians to drift away of their own accord. But I digress.)
There have been Christians in Iran for a long time, and they have faced persecution from the regime for a long time. (I have friends who fled the country years ago because they were facing arrest for their beliefs.) But it seems that much of the explosive growth has come after the 2009 protests over the likely fraudulent election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The ensuing government crackdown apparently opened the door for true freedom to come in – freedom in Christ.
We’ll know just how serious things are for the mullahs by their reaction to all of this. If persecution ramps up (which it apparently is) then they recognize the danger a country full of Christians poses to their power, based largely in theocratic oppression.
So let’s pray today for our brothers and sisters in Iran. They’ve chosen to follow our Lord in the face of potential imprisonment and even execution. What beautiful people.