Unprecedented anti-regime protests in Iran going strong after 7 weeks despite crackdown

Protesters in the Iranian capital, Teheran last Friday (PHOTO: Sky News)

Compiled from reports in CBN News, The Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel

Nationwide protests in Iran on a scale and nature unprecedented since the 1979 Islamic revolution are in their seventh week and showing no signs of abating despite a state crackdown in which at least 253 people have been killed, including 34 children, in the mainly peaceful protests and more than 12 000 people have been arrested.

The protests were sparked by the death in police custody of a 22-year-old woman – Masha Amin – who was arrested by Iran’s infamous morality police for allegedly improperly wearing a woman’s head covering, the hijab.

Initially the protests were led by women burning their hijabs but now participation is broad based, with demonstrations in residential areas, major avenues and universities nationwide. Unlike past protests about the economy and poverty, the current unrest has evolved into popular opposition to the repressive theocratic state and a cry for freedom. In some protests demonstrators have filled the streets chanting “Death to the dictator” while others lit trash cans on fire and chanted against the police.

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According to reports in western Media an Iranian schoolgirl, Parmis Hamnava, was beaten to death by police after they found a torn picture of former Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini in one of her schoolbooks. Another schoolgirl, Asra Panahi, reportedly died after police beat her for refusing to sing a song praising the country’s leader. Local authorities have stormed schools to squelch any signs of protest against the hardline Islamic regime.

Solidarity protests have been held in cities worldwide and world powers have imposed fresh sanctions on Iran.

At a recent Feast of Tabernacles celebration hosted by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in Jerusalem, Sharren Haskel, an Israeli MP, cut her own hair in solidarity with the women of Iran..

She said she hoped the more than 2 000 Christians from 70 nations at the event would influence their nations to stand with the Iranian people.

Two Christian Iranian exiles at the Feast said the protests were a cry from the people for freedom from the theocratic regime.

One of the exiles, Perman Mojtahedi shared three prayer requests for Iran: “Pray for comfort for Iranians who are grieving over what’s happening.  And pray for hurting to find their healing and lasting hope in Christ.  And pray for Iranian Christians inside of Iran. Especially in these days when we are hearing that so many Christians are going outside and helping and spreading the Gospel,” he said.

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