IRAN – IMPRISONED CHRISTIAN WOMEN REMAIN STRONG IN CHRIST – Maryam Rustampoor and Marzieh Amirizadeh

Maryam Rustampoor (27) and Marzieh Amirizadeh (30) were arrested in March 2009 for converting to Christianity from Islam, and have been held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison for six months. They have endured solitary confinement and hours of interrogations, but still they proclaim their love for the Lord Jesus. The two women were summoned to appear in court on Sunday 9 August. The chief interrogator had recommended a verdict of “apostasy”, which potentially carries a death sentence in Iran, but no verdict was actually given. The women were instead subjected to intense questioning by the deputy prosecutor, who told them repeatedly that they had to renounce their Christian faith verbally and in writing. Maryam and Marzieh refused, saying, “We love Jesus.” They were told to return to prison and think about their options and to come back when they were ready to comply, but Maryam and Marzieh replied “We have already done our thinking.” They are determined to stand firm no matter what happens, saying, “If we come out of prison we want to do so with honour.” Both women have been unwell during their ordeal and have lost a lot of weight. Marzieh desperately needs medical attention as she is suffering from a problem with her spine, an infected tooth and intense headaches. Prison officials have told her that the prison has proper medical equipment, but so far no treatment has been provided. • Pray that Maryam and Marzieh continue to stand firm in their faith in the Lord Jesus and that He will keep them mentally and physically strong. • Pray that the women will be released and allowed to live freely as Christians without further harassment.

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