It is with great hope and interest that Progressive Christians are watching the current political protests in Iran. The recent public address by Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri to the Iranian people was striking in its honesty. In his letter Ayatollah Montazeri slams the regime for its astonishingly violent attempts to purge dissent, and its illegitimate arrests of intellectuals, political opponents, and scientists.
Montazeri warns the ruling hierarchy of Iran that a legitimate state must respect all points of view, and should not oppress critical views. He urges the government to take all measures to restore people’s confidence, further warning that a government not respecting the people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.
To the youth of Iran, Montazeri encourages them in their continued struggle to reclaim what is rightfully theirs, while warning the police and army personnel not to “sell their religion,” and be aware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God. Censorship and cutting telecommunication lines can’t hide the truth, says Grand Ayatollah Montazeri.
Progressive words indeed. Let us hope for the sake of the Iranian people that their country is on the brink of seeing true reform.
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