Maryam and Marziyeh were born in a Muslim family in Iran. As young adults they both became Christians. Converting from Islam is a crime in the Muslim world, punishable by death. Knowingly, the girls risked their lives and put bibles in the hands of 20000 people. They even started two secret house churches. In March 2009 Maryam and Marzieh were arrested in Tehran. They were held in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran where they faced execution by hanging.
In an interview with the 700 club (CBN) they reminisced the day they got arrested. Maryam in response to a question about what happened that day said, “The day we got arrested I was at home waiting for Marziyeh to come back from the security police. We were both suspicious that something bad was going to happen because of a call we had received earlier that morning. I heard the door bell rang and I could hear Marziyeh with 3 guards. I thought I should do something, maybe hide our cell phones. I wanted to call someone but I was shocked. I just opened the door and they came in ransacked everything and took us with all our belongings, our Bibles, Jesus movies etc. to the security police.
They were taken to a detention centre first and then shifted to Evin prison. Marziyeh told CBN news that, “we were terrified because their behavior was so brutal. We could not speak but all we could do was pray in tongues. God strengthened us in that time. Promoting Christianity is legal in Iran. So they pressed anti-government, and blasphemy charges against us.”
The girls recount their time in the notorious Evin prison which is famous for the execution of many innocent Christians. Like other prisoners they spent 259 days in solitary confinement. Then interrogation took place individually and when one was taken in for long hours of interrogation, the other prayed for her.
The girls were sick for 9 months and were poisoned twice in the prison. They were given wrong medicine for their ailments. Initially praying for their release, both of them soon realized that it was Gods will that they were in prison. They started praying for women in the cells they were confined in. Maryam and Marziyeh also felt the presence of God with them all the time they were imprisoned.
Due to increasing pressure on the Iranian government for their release, after 259 days Maryam and Marziyeh were set free and are living lives as faithful servants of God.