Iran (Mission Network News) — Forty-five years ago, on October 12-16, 1971, Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi threw a lavish party celebrating the 2,500th year of the Persian Empire. The celebration cost an estimated $200 million USD, and featured 50 tents with lush Persian carpets, French linens, and marble bathrooms, according to The New York Times.
Eight years later, Shah Pahlavi was deposed in Iran and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini stepped into power. He established the Islamic republic and declared Islamic law in Iran.
According to Open Doors USA, in Iran, to be ethnically Persian is to be Muslim. A Persian who is not Muslim almost doesn’t make sense — which is why leaving Islam and following Christ is a big deal, even punishable by death.