Maryam, Marzieh Say Power of Prayer Sustained Them
Maryam Rostampour, 28, and Marzieh Amirizadeh, 31, had been held in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran for months, accused of two serious charges.
Both women refused to recant their faith. The judge sent them back to their prison cells where they suffered severe illness.
Open Doors launched an advocacy campaign to put pressure on the Iranian government to release the brave women. Last November during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) millions of Christians prayed for their release.
Later in November they were released pending another court appearance. Then on May 22, 2010, Maryam and Marzieh were acquitted of all charges by Iranian judicial authorities and secretly fled the country.
Maryam and Marzieh said after their escape that “we are most eager to thank Christians who have been praying for us. We have no doubt that God heard the prayers of His people. The prayers encouraged and sustained us throughout this ordeal.”
As in the case of Maryam and Marzieh, prayer is the No. 1 request of over 100 million persecuted Christians around the globe. Christians in the West again have the opportunity to join the largest global prayer event of its kind on Sunday, Nov. 14, when IDOP 2010 is observed in churches, small groups and homes. IDOP is an international day of intercession for persecuted Christians worldwide with its primary focus on intercessory prayer, awareness and action on behalf of those suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ. It crosses all denominational lines.
“Your prayers really do make a significant difference in the lives of Christians in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, India and North Korea,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller. “I have visited hundreds of persecuted believers in my seven years with Open Doors and those dedicated believers always ask me not to forget them and to pray for them. Will you join me in intercession for them on IDOP and all year long?”
Open Doors USA is again offering a free IDOP kit (either via the Website or regular mail) to equip churches and small groups to participate in the annual event. The web kit is available to order at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org\kit or www.OpenDoorsUSA.org and includes such materials as a training video, bulletin inserts, a sample sermon and a World Watch List 2010 map. Also, there is information on an Open Doors campaign called “Free to Believe,” which encourages Christians to help defeat the Defamation of Religion Resolution at the United Nations. Passage of the resolution is akin to the United Nations condoning persecution of believers.