We serve Christians around the world whose brave faith in Jesus means they are, beaten, threatened, imprisoned, tortured, falsely accused, disowned and hated.

Iran: Reacting to the protests


You may have seen the protests spreading across Iran in the news recently. People across the country are angry at the authorities over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained by the country’s morality police for wearing an ‘improper’ hijab and fell into a coma on 13 September while in police custody. She died in hospital three days later. Open Doors – along with members of the Iranian Christian diaspora in the UK – condemns the ‘systematic oppression of women and the widespread violation of human rights in Iran’.

“Christians are joining in the demonstrations”

The case at hand unveils a broader issue of Iran’s gross violations of international norms on freedom of expression, women’s rights and freedom of religion or belief, which affects many religious groups in Iran, including Christians.

Since the Iranian government has shut down the internet, Iranian Christians are asking the global church as the body of Christ to be their voice.

Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland, says: “The Iranian regime has one of the worst human rights records of state persecution in the world. Christians in Iran will only be able to enjoy their religious rights if the rights of the whole population of Iran are honoured. Christians both in and outside the country are joining in the demonstrations. Everyone is supporting Iran’s struggle for freedom. We are hopeful for a change.”

“Persecution is on the rise in Iran but despite this, we also see the growth of the church,” she adds. “Iranian Christians are not alone.”

The restrictions on religious freedom in Iran affect Christians there in many ways, including harsh limitations on places of worship. Christian gatherings in private homes have been denounced as ‘illegal groups’ and believers caught at these gatherings are frequently arrested for ‘crimes against national security’, often resulting in long prison sentences.

What’s it like to be a Christian in Iran?

Open Doors urges the Iranian government to respect the right to freedom of religion or belief for all, which involves ceasing to impose the obligation on women to abide to an interpretation of religious clothing that might not align with their own religion or belief.


Lord Jesus, pour out Your peace and justice on Iran today. Comfort Mahsa Amini’s family as they grieve and seek answers about her death. Protect protestors from violence – help them to make their voices heard and so bring about greater freedom of religion or belief in the country. Help the church in Iran to unite in prayer and be a beacon of hope to their communities during this turbulent time. Amen.

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