After nearly two weeks of protests in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, is there any hope left between the violence and anguish? “Yes,” says SAT-7 PARS presenter Sally Momtazi. “Women are no longer alone; the country’s men are standing with them.”
“Tragically, what happened to Mahsa Amini is not the first instance of this kind. Iranian women are very familiar with news of violence against women. However, this time is different; men are also saying that enough is enough. After 44 years of disregarding human rights, we can see there is violence against women everywhere; in Iranian laws, in the streets, on TV shows”, explains Sally. “There was an intentional aim to create a mindset that would pitch men against women and women against men”.
Sally shared how women have suffered at the hands of men in their families or been restricted in society. Fathers have been pitted against daughters, brothers against sisters, and husbands against wives. This toxic culture seeps into every part of life; in extremes, it is accepted that it would be better for a woman who acts ‘shamefully’ to be killed to ‘protect’ a family’s honour.
“But we can see now that men and women in Iran are trying to stand by each other and help each other. Now, claiming basic rights is not just a women’s fight, but it has become the men’s too,” Sally shares, reflecting on the situation as it is now in Iran.
Sally left Iran and her family 15 years ago. This was a household decision and one that she remembers being very hard to make. She has not returned to Iran because of her faith as a Christian. Her children call themselves Iranian but have never visited their mother’s beloved homeland.
A voice for those who suffer
“As Christians, there is so much we can do”, shares Sally passionately. “The verses in Matthew 25: 31–46 come to my mind when I think about our role as Christians now. Verses 42 and 43 should be a warning to us all.”
42 For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes, and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison, and you did not look after me.’
“We must not be silent regarding what is happening in Iran today. We must be the voice of Iran. We must keep the Word of God in our hearts and be brave to go out and change the world”.
Sally ends the conversation with a plea to us all.
“We must pray, and we must be a voice for the people of Iran who are being so courageous but having their voices cut off from the world. I ask you to please share their voices with your communities and churches. Let us hope these voices are heard and influence decision-makers who can make a difference to all people in Iran.”
Join us in prayer. Join us in sharing the voices of the Iranian people.
WATCH MESSAGE OF SUPPORT
SAT-7 presenter Rozita Hovsepian offers a heartfelt message of support for the women of Iran.