Thursday, July 9, 2009

Christian women imprisoned in Iran

Two Christian women are in prison in Iran because of their faith. The following is taken from The Voice of Martyrs blog, Persecuted Church:

"Two Iranian Christian women, Maryam Rustampoor (27) and Marzieh Amirizadeh (30), continue to be held in Evin prison in Iran because of their Christian faith, unfairly labelled as ‘anti-government activists’, because of the hostility of the government towards practising Christians.

"Arrested on March 5 , 2009, the two young women have now been in prison for four months. After being in solitary confinement for three weeks in May and early June, they were then put [in] one small cell together for about two weeks. Then, following the arrests of thousands of protestors after the disputed presidential elections, Marzieh and Maryam were moved to a larger cell to make room for new prisoners. About 600 women were brought [to] Evin prison during the days of the protests. There is still no clarity regarding their case. In one court session in June a judge told them that he would make sure they were both executed as ‘apostates’. Maryam and Marzieh have responded with courage, however, telling the judge to “expedite his sentence.”

“Maryam and Marzieh have demonstrated great courage and trust in God. They believe the promise of Jesus that they will be given the words to speak when they are taken before judges,” says Sam Yeghnazar, founder of Elam Ministries."
It seems quite clear that this is the fate of Christians and Jews under Sharia law. They are persecuted as second-class citizens and denied the free practice and expression of their faith. We shouldn't be greatly surprised when the Quran commands Muslims to force "The people of the Book" [Jews and Christians] to pay the Jizya tax in order to be subdued and humiliated as dhimmi.

Quran 9:29 - "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued (humiliated)."

Ibn Kathir's Tafsir ('commentary') of At-Taubah 9:29 can be read [here]. Read his explanation of Jizya being a "sign of kufr and disgrace" (9:30) [here]. This last link also details some of the penalties and apartheid measures placed against Christians in the Pact of Umar ibn al-Khattab. I highly recommend this as reading for a starting place of understanding what happens to Christians and Jews in an Islamic state.