On Thursday 20 June, tensions between Iran and the US escalated dramatically when Iran shot down an unmanned US surveillance drone. Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that it had been flying in Iranian airspace, while US officials said that the drone was in international territory at the time. The incident follows months of harsh rhetoric between the two nations raising concerns of the possibility of war. President Donald Trump ordered a retaliatory military attack against Iran after the drone was shot down, but then called it off, saying the response would not be “proportionate” and pledging new sanctions against Iran instead. In the past few days, Mr Trump has indicated that he would also be prepared to consider a deal to boost Iran’s economy.
The tension between the USA and Iran is not new, but relations began to deteriorate last year after the Trump administration withdrew the US from a 2015 accord between Iran and world powers which focused on limiting Iran’s nuclear programme. Relations in the region have worsened significantly in recent months.
Iran has a population of more than 82 million people – approximately 98% Muslim and 1.3% Christian. The US has a population in excess of 320 million, of which an estimated 75% are professing Christians. The US has an incredible legacy in Christian missions and remains the top sending nation of Christian missionaries. Iran is the largest Shiite Muslim nation, but has a significant and thriving ‘underground’ Church. Ongoing tensions between the US and Iran could result in heavier persecution against Christians living in Iran, but along with persecution often comes growth as well. Source: INcontext International
This is a situation that Christians need to take to the throne of grace so that we can find mercy and be helped at the right time. These type of situations has no human solutions – they easily lead to devastating wars. We have seen this over the last in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan to mention just a few.
- Pray that these two countries will not make foolish, emotional and unwise decisions. Many people will die and/or suffer severely if war breaks out and extreme measures will be taken by the US to “control” the situation.
- Pray for Christians to intercede, stand in the gap, this situation is resolved.
“Intercession is the truly universal work for the Christian. No place is closed to intercessory prayer: no continent, no nation, no city, no organisation, no office. No power on earth can keep intercession out.” Richard Halverson