As the conflict between nations and paramilitary groups in the Middle East continues to surge, we need to remember these hostilities are not new developments.

Iran celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution a few weeks ago. The day included crowds on the streets chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” and other demonstrations.

In a recent conversation with Voice of the Martyrs Canada, Dr. Hormoz Shariat with Iran Alive helps us take a step back and look at the “why” behind Iran’s opposition to Israel. He says it’s spiritual warfare and must be seen and treated as such.

“Number two is political. The Iranian government needs an enemy – [it] always has,” Shariat says. “[Iranian governors] need an enemy outside Iran so they will keep the minds of the Iranians busy.”

He refers to ‘Death to America,’ and ‘the great Satan, America,’ as often repeated phrases in Iran.

(“Death to Israel” is also present)

“For example, in the first [eight] years in Iran after the Islamic Revolution, the government of Iran welcomed a war with Iraq. For eight years, they had this war and it really benefited [them]. They stabilize[d] themselves.”

Shariat says there is a disconnect between Iranians and their government. Many do not agree with the regime’s hatred-driven policies.

Iran is listed as number nine on the World Watch List from Open Doors.

“I’m a very positive person,” Shariat says. “I look at [persecution] positive[ly]. That’s a sign of us Christians winning. That’s why the Iranian government is afraid of us. They’re afraid of Christianity, and they have no answer to it except violence, except putting them in jail and putting fear [into Christians].”

Yet God is moving in Iran. In the past 45 years, hundreds of thousands have turned to Christ. The Joshua Project says the number of evangelical Christians in Iran is growing by 19.6% each year — compared to the global rate of 2.6%.

Now is the time to pray earnestly for Iran! Pray not just for protection for these believers but for courage. Ask God to move powerfully and turn the nation to Christ.

Source » mnnonline