Sunday, August 09, 2009

“We will not deny our faith” declare Iranian women


We have just received an update Elam Ministries regarding the situation facing two Iranian Christian women, Maryam Rustampoor (27) and Marzieh Amirizadeh (30), who have been detained for five months in Evin Prison in Tehran for their conversion to Christianity. You will recall that last night we received news from Elam Ministries that these two courageous women had unexpectedly been told that they would brought before the courts on Sunday morning at 7:00 am.  Here is what happened:

In a dramatic session before the revolutionary court today in Tehran, Maryam Rustampoor (27) and Marzieh Amirizadeh (30) were told to recant their faith in Christ. Though great pressure was put on them, both women declared that they would not deny their faith. Maryam and Marzieh were originally arrested on March 5, 2009 and have suffered greatly while in prison, suffering ill health, solitary confinement and interrogations for many hours while blindfolded.

On Saturday August 8, Maryam and Marzieh were summoned to appear in court on Sunday August 9 in order to hear a verdict on their case. The chief interrogator had recommended a verdict of ‘apostasy.’ However, when they arrived, no verdict was actually given. Instead, the court session focussed on the deputy prosecutor, Mr Haddad, questioning Maryam and Marzieh about their faith and telling them that they had to recant in both verbal and written form. This made it clear that in the eyes of the court, Maryam and Marzieh’s only crime is that they have converted to Christianity.

Mr. Haddad, 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 tonight. 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.

Despite the concentrated effort of officials to pressure them into recanting their faith, Maryam and Marzieh love Jesus and they are determined to stand firm to the very end no matter whatever happens. They have demonstrated their love for Jesus and would offer their lives for Him if they were called to do so. After today’s court session they said, “If we come out of prison we want to do so with honor.”

Maryam and Marzieh’s case is a clear and harsh violation of human rights and religious liberty by Iran’s authorities. They deserve the support of all those who respect human rights and to be released without charges so they can pursue a life of freedom.

Please uphold Maryam and Marzieh in your prayers. Pray that God would minister to their physical needs and give them the courage to continue to witness boldly for Christ before authorities and their fellow prisoners. We invite you to post a special prayer on their behalf on our online Persecuted Church Prayer Wall.

We also recommend IRAN 30 as a valuable resource in praying daily for Iran.  Visit www.iran30.org to learn more.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your update. I will continue to pray.

In His love,
Sue

Anonymous said...

I'm in shock!

These women are more Christian than I!

Im learning of them.

Anonymous said...

I am praying for boldness, strength, and the comfort of the Holy Spirit in their hour of peril. I pray for favor with the court and that God's unquenchable love will be demonstrated on their behalf.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Father,
I pray for these two beautiful brides of Christ Jesus. Watch over them Father please as they stand for Jesus. Give to them the strength they need to survive and give them peace. father, I ask that you heal them in their illnesses and their pains, as they are suffering in Christ Jesus' name. Help them Lord stay strong and to remain in Jesus with His faith in You, God. I pray for the contiuance prescense of the sweet Holy Spirit and to speak through them for Your glory Father. I ask for compassion of the court and that lives and hearts will be changed. We know that Your Word does not come back void. In all this I pray in Jesus name.
Amen

Lorraine said...

Praying for them now. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Anthony said...

Very moving, it reminds of what happend to sophie scholl, I hope however they are released to be a light in all of Persia.

Stephen and Bonita Ann Richie said...

We are praying fervently for these faithful and true servants of The Most High God and LORD Jesus Christ.

sr said...

Lord Father, thank you for these sisters in Christ. Grant these servants grace beyond measure, peace within Your arms, and glory through Your Son Jesus! As we lift them up in prayer to You, Father, keep them well. Keep them safe. Keep them forever.

Anonymous said...

Father, I thank you for these precious daughters of Yours. I thank you that you hold them in the palm of Your hand. I ask that you continue to strengthen, give peace, and give courage to Marzieh & Maryam. I ask that you would give them the medical attention they need. I pray for favor in the courts, for Truth to shine forth, and for their release. I am encouraged by their faith and I thank you that they are Yours. To You, Jesus, be the glory.

Glenn Penner said...

While we appreciate you folks posting prayers here, how about also posting them on our online prayer wall, as we suggest above?