Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tidbits from Iran

Well, you thought I only was up to date on missions in the Arab world....wrong.

I have been spending a good amount of time lately with people connected to ministry to Iranians, both in country and in the huge Iranian diaspora. You get juicy tidbits of news from time to time. For example:

+Iranians are more and more using traditional Persian names for their kids (Cyrus, Darius), rather than the Arab names you hear in the news (Mahmood, Aali, etc.)

+One lay minister estimated to me that 70% of Iranians don't believe in Islam. maybe half of those are secularists, the other half are looking for some other way to live in God's presence.

+Some young Iranians are trying to purge their language of Arabicisms. So rather than using the Arabic greeting 'salam' they will use Persian phrases.

+One man told me he used the phrase 'in sha' allah' (Arabic, but commonly used by Muslims all around the world), and she corrected him, you must say God willing (in Farsi, not Arabic).

+Some people ask, are you Iranian or Muslim?

+I have a pretty good idea of the number of MBB's in Iran, it is sizable. But sometimes it is best not to publish such numbers on the internet.


Samn! said...

How much do you think the secularizing or anti-Islam trend in Iran is limited to the urban, educated classes? While my own experience with Iranians is that most I meet tend to be either non-religious or prone to a sentimentalized or intellectualized Sufism, I always assumed this is because the Iranians I, like most westernerns, have the opportunity to meet are very well-educated and so chafe under the restrictions of their current regime...

Mr. T's place said...

Love your blog. John Alley turned me on to it.

Question for you: What is an MBB?

yeongseok said...

MBB= Muslim Background Believer

Abu Daoud said...

Mr T: Yeongsak has correctly answered your question. And thanks for dropping by!

Samn: You are asking a complex question, maybe more so thann you realize. Urban groups are more attracted to a semi-occidental form of the Christian faith. And the rural folks? Much harder to determine. My guess is some to the occidental form of the faith, but some others a very Islamic-Christian form that incorporates material forms of Islamic tradition into its worship and life.