Iran (MNN) — It's been 14 months, but two Iranian Christians have been acquitted of all the charges they were facing. 27-year-old Maryam Rostampour and 30-year-old Marzieh Amirizadeh were arrested in March 2009 on anti-state activities, propagation of the Christian faith, and apostasy. However, anti-state charges were dropped.
President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller says his ministry has been advocating for the women since their arrest. "One of the hallmarks of their incarceration was their solid commitment to maintaining a Christian witness inside Iran despite all the hardships that they faced."
Moeller says the women suffered in prison,:"They, in fact, suffered physically from the stress and the actual incarceration that they experienced in a very difficult prison situation."
While they were released conditionally in November, Moeller says, "They were able to actually leave the country. So right now, Maryam and Marzieh are free. They are in a second country, and they're rejoicing in God's great provision."
Moeller says Maryam and Marzieh never recanted their faith. "This speaks volumes about the nature of the Christian faith as opposed to any other political ideology in the country. Christianity is strong, powerful, and it's growing in Iran as it is in most parts of the world where Christians are persecuted."
Open Doors is an advocate for Christians who are facing persecution around the world. Moeller says thousands of Christians are suffering right now, but "when we use our voice to speak out for those who have no voice, we are truly making an impact. And I think this is one situation where we can see the hand of God moving."
Open Doors is launching a series that will help you understand the plight of persecuted believers around the world like Maryam and Marziah. It's called UNDERCOVER with Persecuted Christians. In the days ahead, MNN will have more on this pilot series that will be airing on Christian television early next month.