(MNN) — Iranian security forces arrested Marzieh Amirizadeh Esmaeilabad and
Maryam Rustampoor on March 5, 2009, labeling them "anti-government activists,"
Voice of the Martyrs reports.
Since then, the two women have been held in three different
police detention centers and finally were sent to Evin Prison, which is
notorious for its treatment of women. They have been subjected to repeated interrogation, but authorities have
told their families that no judge is available to review their case.
""Their only crime is that they are committed
Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus," Farsi Christian News
Network explained. "They are being unfairly labeled as 'anti government
activists' because of the hostility of the government towards practicing
The prison allows 30-year-old Marzieh and 27-year-old Maryam
to call their families on the telephone for just one minute each day. Marzieh reported in the last telephone call,
on March 28, that she had an infection and a high fever. "I am dying," she said. Maryam is also ill and needs medical
Bail has been posted at the exorbitant amount of US
$400,00. Authorities also searched the
two women's apartment, confiscating their belongings. However, their faith in God remains strong
despite their circumstances.
"I've taken up my cross; I now have to bear it," one of
Muslims make up 99 percent of the population of Iran, which is
a theocratic Shiite republic, and Christians make up less than half of one
percent. The constitution guarantees religious
freedom, but in reality, Christians face discrimination when they try to meet
even the basic needs of their lives, including housing, education, and
Evangelism and the production of Christian literature are
also prohibited. Defection from Islam is
punishable by death.
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