ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, along with two Christian women coverts from Iran who were sentenced to death for spreading the gospel, joined Sean Hannity’s radio program to discuses the ongoing persecution of Christians in Iran and the rest of the world. These two brave women were arrested and imprisoned in Evin Prison – the same prison where Pastor Saeed is now being tortured, serving an eight-year sentence.
Maryam and Marziyeh, the two Christian converts who were imprisoned in Iran, also joined Jay Sekulow Live! and shared there experience at the hands of Iranian captors and their fight for freedom. Listen as they discuss with ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow how Pastor Saeed and others are persecuted for their faith by the brutal Islamic regime. Listen to the interviews here
You can learn more about their experience in their new book, Captive in Iran. A Remarkable True Story of hope and triumph amid the horror of Tehran’s brutal Evin Prison
Recently I returned from a ministry trip to India, but within thirty-six hours I was on the road again. This time my destination was a women’s retreat about ninety minutes from Atlanta, Georgia. I spoke in the evening, and the next morning the director of the retreat came to my cabin with two Iranian women she felt I would be interested in meeting. I was given the American version of their names: Marcie and Miriam.
We chatted for a moment, and then, knowing they were both from a Muslim nation, I asked them each to share how they had come to place their faith in Jesus Christ. I wasn’t prepared for the thrilling blessing they began to pour out upon me as they shared their personal journeys of faith. They hadn’t been just saved from sin. They hadn’t just converted to the Christian religion. They were both in love with Jesus! For the next hour or so, they shared with me why—it was a love forged in the fires of pain and persecution.
Toward the end of our time together, with tears streaming down their lovely faces, they made a comment that haunts me still: They said it had been easier for them to experience God’s peace and presence and power inside Evin Prison than on the outside in America. Evin Prison! The prison in Tehran that has a worse reputation than Alcatraz or Angola in the United States. A place that causes even the strongest to shudder. How could that be?
Because I had a plane to catch, there was no time to find out why they would make such a comment. Or to hear some of their experiences inside Evin Prison. Or how they had known God there. Or how their faith had not only survived the experience, but thrived in it! So several weeks later, when I received a letter from them asking for permission to send me the manuscript of their new book for the purpose of writing the foreword, I quickly agreed. I couldn’t wait to plunge into the details of their experience. And I was not disappointed.
As I read, I was held spellbound page after page, story after story. But what impacted me most was not the words they used to describe life behind prison walls, but what I read between the lines. I was, and still am, blown away by their boldness, their strength, their steadfastness, and their unwavering declaration of Jesus as the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the risen Lord and King. They lovingly and fearlessly presented Him to broken women who responded with tearful desperation, to manipulative women who tried to use them for their own purposes, to hostile officials and guards who had the power to torture, to judges who could have released them earlier if they had just been willing to compromise their faith.
Inside the dark hell of Evin Prison, Marcie and Miriam turned on the Light! Their love for the least, their kindness to the meanest, their gentleness to the roughest, their willingness to serve in the dirtiest place imaginable is truly a stunningly clear reflection of the Jesus they love, as well as evidence of His presence inside those walls. He didn’t just carry them through somehow— He carried them through triumphantly!
And I wondered . . . has God brought them here, to America, to share their remarkable stories in order to prepare His people for what’s coming? So we will know that our God is faithful and true, wherever we find ourselves? Because we all have our prison experiences, don’t we? Prisons of physical pain, of financial ruin, of emotional brokenness, of spousal abuse, of marital betrayal . . .
Captive in Iran has strengthened my faith. Read it, and I believe you will be strengthened in yours, also. -Anne Graham Lotz
About the Authors
Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh were born into Muslim families in Iran. They both became Christians as young adults and met while studying theology in Turkey in 2005. Deciding to work together, they returned to Iran and began sharing their faith. In 2009, Maryam and Marziyeh were arrested in Tehran for promoting Christianity—a capital crime in Iran. The official charges against them were apostasy, anti-government activity, and blasphemy, for which they were sentenced to execution by hanging. They spent 259 days in Evin, perhaps the world’s most notorious prison, as many around the world prayed for their release. Following international pressure and after months of interrogation and abuse, they were freed in November 2009 and subsequently cleared of all charges. They now live in the United States.
Information on how to write to friends of the authors that are still in Evin Prison
Here is how to address letters of encouragement to the friends of Maryam and Marziyeh still imprisoned in Evin for being Christians:
Islamic Republic of Iran
Farshid Fathi Malayeri
Islamic Republic of Iran
Important information about what to say, and what not to say
We encourage you to pray for and write a personal letter of encouragement to Saeed and Farshid. You can personalize the letter by sending a family photo. Younger children may participate by sending a drawing, encouraging these men in their times of trial.
When writing your letters or cards, please do not state anything negative about the Iranian government. Do not mention any specific names, foreign organizations or churches that are supporting the efforts to free Christian prisoners. While it is safe for prisoners to receive encouraging letters, naming a person, an organization or church or criticizing the Iranian government could potentially place these Christians in more harm.
For more information about Captive in Iran please visit HERE