The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country in Central Eurasia and/or
Western Asia.  Iran is the name used officially in political contexts,
while Persia is used as much as “Iran” in cultural contexts.  It is a
republic with Shia Islam being the official religion.  The
highest state authority is the Supreme leader and he has been ruthless
in suppressing any demonstrations by citizens who are disillusioned and
desire freedom.  Rapid urbanization and earlier rapid population growth
created jobless, young urbanites with unemployment running up to 30%.
Inefficiencies in industry and infrastructure undermine the economy.
Foreign investors are few, and only 20% of the economy is in the private
sector.  There is great wealth in oil and natural gas, which supply 80%
of export earnings.  Iran is determined to develop nuclear power,
assuring the world that it will be used for energy purposes only.


The population is ~75,078,000.  The official language is Persian.
There are ~100 ethnic groups, but dominated in population by Persian and
~67.9% are Iranian-Median(Persian, Luri-Bakhtiari, Kurd, Baloch, Others)
~25.9% Turkic (Azerbaijani, Others)
~2.3% Arab, ~2.3% South Asian
~0.5% Others (Armenian, Georgian, Jew, West European, East Asian).
Around 200,000 of Iran’s best-educated young people emigrate every year,
and 36% of Iranians aged 15-29 expressed an intention to do the same.
Iran has the highest rate of opium addiction in the world, 200,000
street children and a very large number of prostitutes.


Shi’a Islam is the state religion and 89% of Iranians follow this.  The
government supports terrorist groups to spread Shi’a Islam throughout
the world, with the goal of establishing Islam as the global religion.
Sunni Islam is respected and largely followed by the Turkmen, Kurd and
Baloch population.  The Iranian attitude toward religion can seem
contradictory – heavy-handed but laid back, very chaste in public but
much less so in private.  The courts may impose death sentence on male
apostates and life imprisonment for female apostates.  Minorities such
as Jews, Zorastrians, and Assyrian and Armenian Christians are
recognized by the constitution, but the Baha’i are not.  Iran is a
religious dictatorship where little of consequence can occur without the
approval of the Mullahs. 
~98.64% are Muslim, ~0.51% Christian, ~0.4% Baha’i,~0.28% Non-religious,
~0.15%  Other, ~0.02% Jewish.
In the Christian category:
~0.31% are Orthodox, ~0.15% Independent,~0.04% Catholic, ~0.02%
Protestant, ~<0.01% Anglican.
Evangelicals represent ~0.2% of the population.
Charismatics are ~0.1% and of those <~0.1% are Pentecostals.
Massive numbers have recently become Christians, with growth of the
underground church.  Signs and wonders, dreams and visions abound.

Donna Siemens


Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.

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