Maryam and Marzieh – In danger of being forgotten in Iran

The two Iranian Christian women, Maryam Rustampoor (27) and Marzieh Amirizadeh (30) continue to be held in Evin prison in Iran because of their Christian faith, unfairly labeled as ‘anti-government activists’, because of the hostility of the government towards practising Christians.

In the aftermath of the political turmoil in Iran, they are now in danger of being forgotten. One church leader from Iran said, “With so many hundreds of protestors now in the prison system, Maryam and Marzieh are likely to be forgotten.”

Arrested on March 5 , 2009, the two young women have now been in prison for four months. After being in solitary confinement for three weeks in May and early June, they were then put one small cell together for about two weeks. Then, following the arrests of thousands of protestors after the disputed presidential elections, Marzieh and Maryam were moved to a larger cell to make room for new prisoners. About 600 women were brought Evin prison during the days of the protests. There is still no clarity regarding their case. In one court session in June a judge told them that he would make sure they were both executed as ‘apostates’. Maryam and Marzieh have responded with courage, however, telling the judge to “expedite his sentence.”

“Maryam and Marzieh have demonstrated great courage and trust in God. They believe the promise of Jesus that they will be given the words to speak when they are taken before judges,” says Sam Yeghnazar, founder of Elam Ministries.

Please continue to pray for Maryam and Marzieh as they suffer in prison in Iran. Pray they will continue to experience the strengthening presence of God and that they will be a witness of the love and grace of Christ in Evin prison. We invite you to post a prayer on our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall.

Please also consider Maryam and Marzieh in prison at:

Evin Prison
Saadat Abad
Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran

Yes, you can write in English but if you wish to compose a letter in Farsi, our US sister mission has an online tool that can help you. Click here.

Please note
When writing a letter, never mention the name of the source of your information or the name of any organization such as Voice of the Martyrs or Prisoner Alert. It is not dangerous for a prisoner to receive letters from individuals, but if an organization is mentioned they may be accused of links with ‘foreign organizations’ and receive harsher sentences. Also, please do not state anything negative about their government.

Posted by Glenn Penner at 7/09/2009

persecutedchurch.blogspot.com/2009/07/maryam-and-marzieh-in-danger-of-being.html

May God, the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ be glorified by their trials. Father, I pray that you bless both of them with the right words to speak and that you use them to make yourself known to the people around them.

Amen!

I admire their courage! “Expedite your sentence.”

A modern-day Felicity and Perpetua. May God give them strength.

Iranian Court Demands Christian Women Recant Their Faith: They Refuse
Arrested by the Iranian authorities on 5th March, 2009, two Christian women from Tehran’s house churches have been held in the city’s Evin prison, without charge and sometimes in solitary confinement. This Sunday (August 9th) they were brought to court where it was made clear their only ‘crime’ is that they were born into Muslim families, but have chosen to become Christians. During the trial the women, Maryam Rustampoor (27) and Marzieh Amirizadeh (30) were told to recant their faith in Christ. They refused.

It was the deputy prosecutor, Mr Haddad, who questioned Maryam and Marzieh about their faith. He asked the two women if they were Christians.

“We love Jesus,” they replied.

He repeated his question and they said, “Yes, we are Christians.”

Mr. Haddad then said, “You were Muslims and now you have become Christians.”

“We were born in Muslim families, but we were not Muslims,” was their reply.

Mr. Haddad’s questioning continued and he asked them if they regretted becoming Christians, to which they replied, “We have no regrets.”

Then he stated emphatically, “You should renounce your faith verbally and in written form.”

They stood firm and replied, “We will not deny our faith.”

During one tense moment in the questioning, Maryam and Marzieh made reference to their belief that God had convicted them through the Holy Spirit.

Mr. Haddad told them, “It is impossible for God to speak with humans.”

Marzieh asked him in return, “Are you questioning whether God is Almighty?”

Mr. Haddad then replied, “You are not worthy for God to speak to you.”

Marzieh said, “It is God, and not you, who determines if I am worthy.”

Mr. Haddad told the women to return to prison and think about the options they were given and come back to him when they are ready (to comply).

Maryam and Marzieh said, “We have already done our thinking.”

At the end of the session, Mr. Haddad told them that a judge will give them his verdict, though it is not clear who will be the judge in their case now. He also allowed Maryam and Marzieh to have a lawyer represent them in the case for the first time since their arrest.

Both women are back in Evin prison. During their five-month ordeal, both have been unwell and have lost much weight. Marzieh is in pain due to an on-going problem with her spine, as well as an infected tooth and intense headaches. She desperately needs medical attention. Two months ago the prison officials told her the prison had proper medical equipment and that they will attend to her, but so far no proper treatment has been given.

Maryam and Marzieh’s case which has been taken up by Amnesty International
(see amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/030/2009/en) is a clear and harsh violation of human rights and religious liberty by Iran’s authorities.

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