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 labelled 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.”
It made me think of the martyrs Felicity and Perpetua who suffered together in a Roman prison, Incidentally, today is their feast day. Let us ask their intercession in for these two Iranian women and for all Christians who live where the Faith is persecuted.