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 Campaign to Free Two Christian Women

Global News Prayer-Soldier writes "On 7 Nov 09, Christian Today reported that Open Doors USA has launched a campaign to press the Iranian government to free Maryam Rostampour (30) and Marzieh Amirizadeh Esmaeilabad (30) who were imprisoned for converting to Christianity. The report relates that the two women were imprisoned on 5 Mar 09 for “acting against state security” and “taking part in illegal gatherings.” The report went on to relate that at a 7 Oct 09 hearing, the judge dropped the anti-state charge, but sent the women back to prison because they refused to recant their belief in Jesus Christ. Rostampour and Esmaeilabad continue to face charges of propagation of the Christian faith and apostasy.

The two women were mentioned in a Compass Direct News report on 11 Aug 09 which related that Iran was using the recent unrest as a means of tightening down on Christians.  The report also related that on 9 Aug 09, Rostampour and Esmaeilabad appeared before a judge where they were asked to recant their Christian faith and return to Islam. When the two women refused, the women were sent back to prison with the admonition “to think about it.” The report went on to relate, “When they said, ‘Think about it,’ it means you are going back to jail,” said the source [of the report]. “This is something we say in Iran. It means: ‘Since you’re not sorry, you’ll stay in jail for a long time, and maybe you’ll change your mind.”

According to a 11 Nov 09 report, the international spot light currently being placed on Iran over its nuclear ambitions is somewhat working in favor of the two women.  The report relates that, “The Islamic Republic reportedly imprisoned, harassed and intimidated people based on their religious beliefs, while government-controlled broadcast and print media intensified negative campaigns against religious minorities.”

The report quoted Carl Moeller of Open Doors who said, "This is a highly problematic case for them because if they treat these women inhumanely and the world watches, the whole world will call Iran for what it is--a horrible regime. If they let them go, or in some way are seen internally as being soft on this, they're going to face a domestic backlash. So it's really a difficult situation." 

According to the Compass Direct News report, “With a draft penal code that may include an article mandating death for apostates in accordance to sharia (Islamic law) expected to be reviewed once again this fall when the parliamentary session begins, experts on Iran fear things may get worse for the country’s converts from Islam.”

Christian Today (7 Nov 09)

Compass Direct News (11 Aug 09) (13 Nov 09)

Open Doors USA"

Posted on Sunday, November 15 @ 22:25:35 MST by admin

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