The Common Good

Iran: We are Born to be Free

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Are you tracking with the developments in Iran? I'd love to hear your thoughts:

How are you processing the election protests in Iran? What are your thoughts and emotions?

The photo above (source: Boston Globe) is so beautiful and powerful. So much emotion. Make sure you check out all the pics from the Boston Globe. In addition, here are some other news sources to check out:

  • CNN: Hatred, chaos and savage beatings in Tehran
  • NY Times: Top Cleric Calls for Inquiry
  • UK Guardian News: Shots fired as more than 100,000 Iranians defy march ban
  • Al Jazeera: Updates on Iran situation

During my couple years in Korea in 1995-1997, I witnessed the 'protest culture' of Korea. There were protests nearly every day, and on a few occassions there were protests and marches that involved over a million citizens. I participated in a couple of them and it was an incredible experience. When I asked some folks why Korean citizens were so prone to protests, I'll never forget this one particular answer:

We have had a history of an oppressive government. They sought to crush the spirit and will of the people and while it may have worked on numerous occasions, the spirit of the people and their desire for freedom and to be heard eventually overthrew the military regime in 1985 and ushered in a new era. We protest today to remind the government that they serve the people and not the other way around.

This is what I see happening in Iran and it is both hard and joyful to see. You may oppress your people for a period of time, but in the long run you cannot quench the human spirit for freedom. We were born to be free. God created us to be free.

I appreciated this letter that one of our church folks wrote to his senator from his home state of Texas. It encouraged me to write my elected officials, and I would encourage you to do so as well.

Dear Senator Hutchison,

While the Iraq war has had its setbacks, one of the policy goals in initiating the war was to provide an environment for democracy to take root there and more broadly in the Middle East.

We are now witnessing a historic movement for democracy in Iran with students of the "Green Revolution" protesting the corrupt leadership and stolen election.

I have been following coverage on Twitter and several blogs with excitement as these students bravely challenge their repressive and dictatorial leaders.

I hope that the United States government is doing everything it can to support these students in their struggle for democracy. Specifically I hope we are mobilizing assets to support communications and information infrastructure so that Iranian citizens can remain informed and coordinate their activities in the context of the regime's crackdown on media and reporting.

Sincerely,

David O.

Eugene ChoEugene Cho, a second-generation Korean-American, is the founder and lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle and the executive director of Q Cafe, an innovative nonprofit neighborhood café and music venue. He and his wife are also launching a grassroots humanitarian organization to fight global poverty. You can stalk him at his blog or follow him on Twitter.

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