November 12, 2009

For persecuted Christians everywhere....PRAY!

As I was doing an internet search for missions projects that we can feature on our Mission Mondays, I came across a story in the Christian Telegraph that stirred something in me! Please read!


                       Iranian Christian women refuse order to deny Christ
Two young women are still being held in Iran's notorious Evin Prison after refusing to deny Jesus Christ and return to Islam, reports Baptist Press.
Maryam Rostampour, 27, and Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, were detained by Iranian security officers in March after being arrested on grounds of being "anti-government" and "a threat to national security," according to freethemm.com, a website dedicated to winning their release. At an Aug. 9 hearing in Tehran's Revolutionary Court, the two learned the sole charge against them is apostasy -- leaving Islam. When the judge told them they would be executed if they did not recant their faith, the two reportedly told him to expedite the sentence.
The pair subsequently were returned to the prison, where friends say their health is deteriorating because of unsanitary conditions and lack of medical care, the website reported. Authorities set bail of $400,000 and their families have offered the deeds to their homes but no judge apparently is willing to review the case.
In mid-September, women dressed in white gathered outside Iran's embassy in London for a prayer vigil supported by the advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide, according to the worthynews.com website.
"Neither woman has committed a crime under Iranian or international law. We wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with Maryam and Marzieh, who are being held solely on the basis of exercising their most basic right: freedom of thought, conscience and belief," CSW's Mervyn Thomas said in a statement released after the demonstration. "Scores of illegal detentions of Christian converts in Iran" have been reported this year, Thomas added. "We strongly urge the Iranian Government to release these innocent women immediately."

Wow! I just had to find out more about this story! Who were these women of God and what has happened to them before this report that was broadcasted on October 13, 2009? If you're as intrigued as I was upon reading this, click here for their story! It's time we wake up men & women of God and realize that there is a world out there - a dying world - beyond our Starbucks and Prettiest Flower Gardens awards! These aren't people dying from poverty, starvation, disease, nor economic crises! These are humans who are suffering just for claiming they love God! Jesus said this would happen, so there's no cause for alarm; just a urgent cause to pray and give! The Voice of the Martyrs (VOMs) gives an incredible scriptural list of what our prayer needs should be. I challenge you (I challenge myself as well!) when you pray and meditate on God's Word this week, remember some of these needs. Remember people just like Maryam and Marzieh who are suffering while we are sitting comfortable and living out our faith passively. This is also a call to action! We are enveloped in God's love and have nothing nor no one to fear. Why do we walk in fear then? Why are we ashamed to even have a Christian bumper sticker or say "God bless you!" when coming and going? Mark 8:38 says it best "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." Unlike the ones around us we're compromising for, we have a hope! That hope is in Glory! It doesn't profit us to keep it to ourselves or entrust the mission to someone else! Let's get to prayer; let's get to work! Remember their chains...


If you'd like more information on Maryam and Marzieh, visit the following links:

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