Ali Khamenei was born in 1939 and grew up in a very poor, humble family, the son of a cleric in Mashhad, the holiest city in Iran. He became a cleric at the age of 11 during the time of the secular-leaning Shah, Reza Pahlavi. He studied under the future Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Qom, and agreed with Khomeini’s teaching that religious leaders ought to control the government.

Ayatollah Khamenei married in 1964 and has six children: four sons and two daughters. He is a simple man who loves poetry and gardening. Everything about him is unremarkable.

From 1962, he joined Khomeini protesting against Shah Reza Pahlavi’s dictatorship, and he was jailed six times. He helped form the Islamic Republic Party.

Elected Iran’s supreme leader in June 1989 by the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Khamenei serves as the head of state and commander-in-chief of Iran’s armed forces, using armed force to impose his will and oppress and halt all protests. He brutally suppresses uprisings and ignores popular demands. His regime treats Christians harshly.

His control of the Revolutionary Guard guarantees that the religious clerics have authority over the civil government. He thus has power over the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, as well as the military and media. Khamenei personally decides government policy in all significant matters and oversees his own financial empire.



  • Pray for Ayatollah Khamenei to turn to Jesus.
  • Pray for revelations of Jesus and access to God’s Word for him and his entire family.
  • Pray for his power and influence to be used to lead many to Jesus.

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