Former Iranian prisoners lobby for other imprisoned Christians

The world media has focused on the plight of Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in one of Iran's most notorious jails because of his Christian faith and now two other Iranians are releasing a book about their own experiences there.

Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirzadeh spent 259 days in Tehran's Evin Prison in 2009 for being Christians and sharing their faith within Iran.

The women led two house churches which ministered to prostitutes and young people.

Their book "Captive in Iran" reveals  how Rostampour and Amirzadeh not only endured routine threats, interrogations and solitary confinement, but also continued to share their faith.

It was released by Tyndale Publishers on April 2.

"Evin Prison, the dreaded hellhole of Tehran, was now our church", says Rostampour, on a YouTube video promoting the book.

After worldwide publicity the women were released and cleared of all charges by Iran in 2010.

They now live in Atlanta, Georgia.

One of the purposes of  "Captive in Iran"  is to highlight the horrific situations of other Christians within the country.

Rostampour, who personally knows Abedini and his wife Naghmeh,  says that there is another pastor, Farshid Fathi,  suffering in Evin prison as well.

She told Fox News that Fathi has been in prison for three years and has three more years to serve. Like Abedini, he also has a wife and children.

"There are many Christians in Evin Prison and also in other prisons in other cities  just because of  their faith," Rostampour said. "Nobody knows them and they don't have any voice outside Iran."

 "One of our goals is to be a voice for them here," she said. Rostampour notes on the YouTube video that she and Amirzadeh promised their fellow inmates that they would help them.

The two women met at a Christian conference in Turkey in 2005.

They were both studying theology at the time. 

Amirzadeh and Rostampour decided to return to Iran and start mission work there.

In addition to starting the house churches in Tehran, they did mission work in India, South Korea and Turkey.   

 Their book comes at a time when the U.S. government has become involved in securing Abedini's freedom.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement on March 29 demanding that the pastor be released and be given the medical treatment he needs. 

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