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Opwekking Iran onder dreiging

Dear Partner and Friend
Iranians face difficult and uncertain times, more today than ever before.

In this month’s issue, Lazarus shares his assessment of the situation, and what he calls the ‘seven calamities that afflict Iran today’.

As you read this month’s issue, we urge you to pray for Iran.

Pray for the government (for salvation, for honour, for compassion);
Pray for the lost (to find the saving grace of Jesus Christ);
Pray for the Christians (for courage to be light in these dark times).
Pray for hope. Pray for His Kingdom of love, joy and peace, “on earth as it is in heaven”.
Pray that Iran will truly be changed for Christ, and that many will turn to Jesus as they seek answers.
1. Moral Collapse
For close to four decades now, Iran has established itself as one of the greatest theocracies in the world, preaching and requiring unprecedented levels of religious piety. Adulterers have been stoned, lashed, humiliated and thieves have lost their arms! Yet Iran has become morally bankrupt. People have lost faith in their leaders and in the religion of their forefathers. For generations the Islamic religion has been a binding factor for family and for society; now a catastrophic void has been created. One such issue, as an example, is the Shi'a clerics' advocacy of 'Sighe', or temporary religious marriage, which has resulted in the birth of tens of thousands of unwanted and undocumented children, subjected to unimaginable vices.
2. Ecological calamity
Irresponsible and greedy mismanagement of Iran's natural resources has seen lakes and rivers dry up, water beds recede to dangerously low levels. In places what was fertile land is turning to arid desert. There are sadly countless examples of this, such as the lush Urmiah region in the north west of Iran, once called the Switzerland of Iran, now highly vulnerable. The same fate is befalling the southwest fertile province of Khuzestan where the Karun river, the source of life for the entire province, is in peril, becoming increasingly salinated. Together these point to a looming ecological disaster, with hundreds of villages being abandoned and turned to wastelands.
Above: Zayandeh River in Esfahan, before and now
3. Water Calamity
One Iranian regime minister recently stated that no one can break Iran except the drought! It is now estimated that 50 million Iranians are at risk from a serious shortage of potable water. Subterranean aquifers have fallen below danger levels creating sudden huge sinkholes in Tehran, Marvdasht, Khuzestan. Cracks in the ground, tens of kilometres long have been appearing and the land is becoming non-irrigable. While the authorities are blinded by their ineptitude and self-preservation, the damage to the health and wellbeing of the nation is going to become almost irreversible for generations.
4. Financial Isolation
Supreme Leader Mr Khamenei instructed the Majlis (parliament) to reject the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) on money laundering proposals for measures to oversee international financial transactions. Of the 149 member nations, Iran poses the greatest risk of money laundering and support of terrorism. The IRGC (Revolutionary Guard) is also believed to be involved with opium trade, a multibillion-dollar operation diluted in other IRGC activities. Rejection of the FATF will result in Iran's complete isolation from financial dealings through conventional international banking systems. Without the SWIFT facility to make or receive payments, and further tightening of US sanctions, who will purchase Iran's crude oil? The financial ruin of Iran is near.
Above: protests in Iran
5. Economic Collapse
Rejection of the FATF will exacerbate the impact of further sanctions imposed by the USA. In a period of three months the Iranian Rial has been devalued by 45% against Western currencies. As a result, the buying power for ordinary people has plummeted. They are now fighting for day-to-day survival as sanctions have already been squeezing Iran; new levels of sanctions, at least by the US, will only make this worse. The downward spiral will accelerate, and my prediction is that inflation will soon hit 300% (already Western analysts estimate it to be 150%), and this will suffocate ordinary people. Protests have already been seen in Dec 17/Jan 18 and more recently in Tehran in Jun 18. These are times of huge social unrest. The people are revolting against the ruin of the economy and the few 'chosen ones' in power.
6. Social Disintegration
As a nation Iranians are very hospitable. Yet what has happened in the last 40 years has turned the 73 known people groups of Iran against each other. The 31 provinces are pitted against each other and instead of national cohesion, we are witnessing social disintegration. With an ever-decreasing middle class and growing poverty-stricken lower classes, there is deep-seated animosity against this plundering elite. It was, ironically, the rich, educated intelligentsia who conducted the 1979 revolution and handed over rule of the country to the poor, marginalised but power-hungry clerics. Now the poor and suffering masses will rise to change the course of history; the social tipping point is closer than predicted.
7. Political isolation
The ruling clerics, with a deep hatred of their ruling 'Sunni' Muslim neighbours, have created a huge rift between the Arab nations and Iran; any trust has long been broken. Except for Turkey (which constantly changes her course between befriending or demonising Iran in her bid to preserve her own interests) and Qatar (which promotes a different agenda to the other Arab states) and to some extent Oman (due to its historic indebtedness to Iran for aiding the survival of the Sultanate), Iran has no remaining friends. Russia will sacrifice Iran any day for her own interest, followed by her beloved Syria. Already Iraq is charting her own course instead of being Iran’s stooge. So where does that leave Iran?
Lazarus continues...

These seven 'collapses' will, in my view, herald the complete disintegration of the country; the end is near, and it is likely to get ugly.

But Jesus offers hope! He offers wisdom and redemption! The answer can only be found in the merciful, compassionate person of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray for the beautiful people and nation of Iran. And let us be ready.

The tide is turning, and as Christians we must be ready to step in and offer what we know to be life-changing and life-saving truth, to Iran’s hungry, starving people.
And let us not forget our brothers and sisters who are living in these conditions! The pressures on them are not merely that of persecution and an 'illegal' faith, but all the other pressures they share together with their fellow countrymen.

Pray for peace in turbulent times, pray for access to clean water, pray for health, pray for their businesses and jobs, pray that God will continue to use them to seek out the genuine seekers and guide them to the love of Jesus Christ.

And finally, pray for us at 222, as we work both to support those caught up in all of this, as well as preparing for the imminent fall of this regime, and the unprecedented opportunity it will offer the gospel. Pray for funds and the right people, as we work to prepare the prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors.

The sense of anticipation and urgency is great. We are preparing for the trumpet call to gather the harvest!
Thank you for partnering with us in this ministry. Together, we will see Iran changed for Christ!

Please donate and share with others as God puts on your heart. 222 is a faith based ministry and considers it a privilege to partner with those who feel prompted to sow into the work of God in Iran and amongst Iranians throughout the world. Click here to donate.
Visit our website: www.222ministries.org to find out more, to subscribe to our newsletter and to donate!