Captive in Iran
I just had the privilege to attend one of the most moving interviews/church sermons/mornings I’ve ever been a part of. Maryam & Marziyeh spoke at our church Holy Trinity Brompton in an interview format with Nicky Gumbel. Maryzam & Marziyeh spent 9 months in one of the harshest prisons in the world in Iran. Their crime? Experiencing the love, hope & promise of Jesus in a Muslim country and trying to share that same love, hope & promise with others. These 2 beautiful, petite women, set out on foot to educate and inform the country of Iran with the true Bible, not the one that had been edited to the Muslim liking- that didn’t speak of the true love & power of the life of Jesus. They literally packed their backpacks and set off.
Maryam & Maziyeh took action on freedom of voice, freedom of religion and freedom in general. So not only did they set out on this country-changing journey of distributing truth and showing hope, once they were wrongly imprisoned, they only grew in their convictions and their voice. They were offered “freedom” if they denied their faith, and they chose faith. They found even more presence of the Holy Spirit as their conditions worsened and worsened. And those around them? The prostitutes, the addicts, the convicts, they met that same love & hope. Their lives were turned around and they experienced freedom in the most physically un-free place imaginable. And guards, too. From hostile & angry to loved & free. And they’re still talking.
Now free from prison, now living a “normal” life where they could just tuck this in their back pocket and carry on? They can’t stop talking. Because of the delectable goodness they have tasted and because of their broken heart for those who are still in the trenches. Persecuted, voiceless, violated. Did you know that you can write letters to those who are imprisoned and persecuted for their faith in Iran? You can. And do you know what Maryzam & Marziyeh saw happen from some of the letters that were written to them that were stolen by the guards? Those letters changed the lives of those guards. Opened their minds, touched their hearts, impacted their actions.
Your words could have the power to do the same. Give voice to the voiceless. Give hope to the hopeless. My children & I? We are on summer break and one of our days this week is committed to reaching out to the persecuted. And their persecutors. 1 letter, 1 conversation, join us?!
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthews 5:6-10.
From Maryam & Marziyeh’s website:
Send Encouragement to Those in prisons in Iran
Please join us in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iran:
These are the names of Christians who are in prison because of their faith.
- Pastor Saeed Abedinigalangashi (Rajai shahr prison/ Karaj)
- Pastor Farshid Fathi Malayeri (Evin prison)
- Alireza Seyedyan (Evin Prison)
- Mojtaba Seyed Alaedin Hossein ( Shiraz Prison)
- Mohamad Reza Partoie ( Shiraz Prison)
- Vahid Hakani ( Shiraz Prison)
- Homayoun Shokouhi ( Shiraz Prison)
- Pastor Behnam Irani (Ghezel Hesar Prison)
- Pastor Farhad Sabokroo (Ahvaz prison )
- Hossein Saketi Aramsari (Ghezel Hesar Prison)
- Maryam Naghash Zargaran (Evin Prison)
- Rasoul Abdollahi (Evin Prison)
The addresses of prisons:
Evin Prison: Saadat Abad, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Rajai Shahr Prison: Karaj, Gouhardasht (Rajai Shahr), Rajai shahr prison
Ghezel Hesar prison: Karaj, Albourz state, Iran
Adel Abad Prison: Adel Abad, Shiraz, Iran (Edification Ward)
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 prisoners above. Younger children may participate by sending a drawing, encouraging these men and women 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. The best way you can encourage these prisoners is writing verses of bible in your letters.
Read more about Maryam & Marziyeh here.