Joshua Youssef of Help the Persecuted (HTP) tells AFN protests have been occurring daily in Iran since the death last week of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by Iran's Gasht-e Ershad, or religious police, for unsuitable attire.
"It appears as though the Iranian women, the Iranian people have said, 'This is the last straw,'" Youssef reports. "We are seeing public demonstrations. We are seeing huge social media presence, where Iranians both inside Iran and outside Iran – in the United States and Turkey and elsewhere – are saying, 'Enough is enough.'"
Youssef, whose ministry has been praying that Iran's current administration would come to an end, says this could be a watershed moment.
"It has been so oppressive, particularly to Christians, particularly to converts from Islam," he laments. "We are just praying that this might result in a change in government, an overthrow."
He says he hopes to one day visit Tehran, and he realizes that if that day ever comes, it will be thanks to "these brave men and women who are going to the streets and protesting."
Religious police in Iran routinely raid underground house churches, and those raids often result in the arrest, torture, and imprisonment of Christians. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, for example, has been detained and charged with "apostasy" and "evangelism" several times since 2006. He even faced execution for leaving Islam.
Now, with Amini's death, protests are reportedly intensifying – apparently "one of the largest displays of defiance of the Islamic Republic’s rule in years." According to The New York Times, at least seven protesters had been killed as of Wednesday, and "protesters have been calling for an end to the Islamic Republic." Women have also burned hijabs in protest against the law that requires all women above the age of puberty to wear a head covering and loose clothing.