please pray for Iran …
Urgent Prayer Needed
In a dramatic session before the revolutionary court today in Tehran, Maryam Rustampoor (27) and Marzieh Amirizadeh (30) were told to recant their faith in Christ. Though great pressure was put on them, both women declared that they would not deny their faith. Maryam and Marzieh were originally arrested on March 5, 2009 and have suffered greatly while in prison, suffering ill health, solitary confinement and interrogations for many hours while blindfolded.
On Saturday August 8, Maryam and Marzieh were summoned to appear in court on Sunday August 9 in order to hear a verdict on their case. The chief interrogator had recommended a verdict of ‘apostasy.’ However, when they arrived, no verdict was actually given. Instead, the court session focussed on the deputy prosecutor, Mr Haddad, questioning Maryam and Marzieh about their faith and telling them that they had to recant in both verbal and written form. This made it clear that in the eyes of the court, Maryam and Marzieh’s only crime is that they have converted to Christianity.
Mr. Haddad, asked the two women if they were Christians. “We love Jesus,” they replied. He repeated his question and they said, “Yes, we are Christians.”
Mr. Haddad then said, “You were Muslims and now you have become Christians.”
“We were born in Muslim families, but we were not Muslims,” was their reply.
Mr. Haddad’s questioning continued and he asked them if they regretted becoming Christians, to which they replied, “We have no regrets.”
Then he stated emphatically, “You should renounce your faith verbally and in written form.” They stood firm and replied, “We will not deny our faith.”
During one tense moment in the questioning, Maryam and Marzieh made reference to their belief that God had convicted them through the Holy Spirit. Mr. Haddad told them, “It is impossible for God to speak with humans.”
Marzieh asked him in return, “Are you questioning whether God is Almighty?”
Mr. Haddad then replied, “You are not worthy for God to speak to you.”
Marzieh said, “It is God, and not you, who determines if I am worthy.”
Mr. Haddad told the women to return to prison and think about the options they were given and come back to him when they are ready (to comply). Maryam and Marzieh said, “We have already done our thinking.”
At the end of the session, Mr. Haddad told them that a judge will give them his verdict, though it is not clear who will be the judge in their case now. He also allowed Maryam and Marzieh to have a lawyer represent them in the case for the first time since their arrest.
Both women are back in Evin prison tonight. During their five-month ordeal, both have been unwell and have lost much weight. Marzieh is in pain due to an on-going problem with her spine, as well as an infected tooth and intense headaches.She desperately needs medical attention. Two months ago the prison officials told her the prison had proper medical equipment and that they will attend to her, but so far no proper treatment has been given.
Despite the concentrated effort of officials to pressure them into recanting their faith, Maryam and Marzieh love Jesus and they are determined to stand firm to the very end no matter whatever happens. They have demonstrated their love for Jesus and would offer their lives for Him if they were called to do so. After today’s court session they said, “If we come out of prison we want to do so with honor.”
Maryam and Marzieh’s case is a clear and harsh violation of human rights and religious liberty by Iran’s authorities. They deserve the support of all those who respect human rights and to be released without charges so they can pursue a life of freedom.
What is Prayforiran.org?
Prayforiran.com is a website dedicated to encouraging prayer for the nation and people ofIran. As well as highlighting special prayer needs, the site provides 40 subjects for prayer to help you and your church pray intelligently for Iran. Simply click on one of the 40 links to take you to a page which will help you learn about the subject and guide you in praying. Each page has a slide show with images from Iran accompanied by some Persian worship music to help you intercede.
This site was launched by Elam Ministries in May 2006 when over 120 Iranian church leaders pledged to 40 days of prayer and fasting for Iran. They also issued a call to the global Church to join in praying for the strategic country of Iran. Many thousands across the world responded and joined in praying for Iran, and the site became available in nine languages.
Why Pray And Fast For Iran?
Iran has long played a leading role in the Islamic world. These days it is at the centre of a global crisis that could easily lead to war, deep political turmoil and economic chaos. We need to fall on our knees and pray that God, in His mercy, will intervene.
Also, the rapidly growing Iranian church is on the brink of unprecedented growth. Despite the prospect of persecution, men and women, young and old are putting their faith in Jesus Christ – many as a result of dreams and visions. We need to thank God for the open hearts and we want to cry out for a great revival. A strong church in Iran will impact the entire region.
What Are We Praying For?
For the persecuted Church in Iran – The Church has experienced severe persecution and restrictions since the 1979 revolution. In the last year, this intimidation of Christians has intensified. We pray for protection, wisdom and boldness for our brothers and sisters in Iran.
For Revival in Iran – Most of Iran’s 70 million people have never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. We pray that every Iranian will hear and understand the Gospel and that millions will repent and be saved.
For God to intervene in the political situation – We pray that God will give Iran righteous and humble leaders who will act justly and love mercy.
How To Pray
We encourage you to pray with faith and love for the people of Iran, not with fear and prejudice. Let the Lord show you how much he loves and cares for the people of Iran, just as he loved and cared for the people of Nineveh as in the story of Jonah. Secondly, please focus your prayers on the people of Iran – that they would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Don’t concentrate only on the political situation.
Finally, please let as many others know about this website as you can. http://www.prayerforiran.com/
Thank you so much for praying for Iran.
To God be the Glory.