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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"No one hears our voices!"

"No one hears our voices. We scream about our deprived rights.
 We scream so that someone hears our voices."
   ...Shabnam Madadzadeh... (Evin Prison 2011)

Imagine yourself in a crowded, dirty prison cell, where you can't use the toilet until the guards decide to respond to you call. Imagine being subjected to long hours of psychological interrogations, beatings, and threats of execution if you won't recant your faith.
Imagine being sick without proper medical attention for several days. You are doubled-over with stomach cramps from rotten food. Infections, sickness and disease has invaded your prison cell and months pass by before you can even have legal representation.
Can you and I possible imagine this hideous suffering?
Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh didn't imagine this. They lived through it!
My dear friends are busy on their, "Captive in Iran" book tour sharing their powerful testimonies about their sufferings in Evin Prison and how God used their captivity for 259 days to reach out to the hurting and broken with the Gospel.
On the Sean Hannity Radio program, Maryam passionately explained that their main purpose behind the many media speaking engagements is to "be a voice for the voiceless of those still suffering in Evin Prison that don't have the luxury of being seen or heard."
Recently, the media has focused on the plight and suffering of Saeed Abidini, a Calvary church pastor, who is serving an eight-year sentence in Evin Prison for his Christian faith. He is being beaten and tortured daily to recant his faith and return to Islam. There is nationwide effort through the Aclj to put pressure on Iran to release him. 
Unfortunately there are many, maybe thousands, who don't have the luxury of media attention so that their voices can be heard. They sit alone in the darkness, broken and desperate, crying out for hope and freedom.
In some cases, a desperate prisoner does manage to have their voice be heard. One such person was Shririn Alam Hooli,
a dear friend of Maryam and Marzieh and a cell mate with them in Evin Prison. Just six days before her execution on May 9, 2010, Shirin graphically described in a translated letter, the brutal treatment that she had been subjected to as a prisoner. 
Shirin described being tied to a bed and being beaten with electrical batons,cables and then kicked in the stomach until she fell unconscious from internal bleeding.
On one occasion, her interrogators left her alone to think about the questions they were asking her and stopped for prayer time. When they returned from prayer, the beatings continued!
"No one hears our voices," Shabnam Madadzadeh cries out in desperation. "We scream so that someone hears our voices."
However someone is hearing their cries in their seemingly hopeless situation. God hears them. God has rewarded the suffering of my dear friends, Maryam and Marziyeh, with an incredible opportunity to be a "voice for the voiceless," to make known the desperate situation of those still in chains.
We too have an opportunity to be their voice through speaking out and praying. We have a responsibility to confront the Iranian government with the serious human rights violations and call for an end to their suffering.
But let us not forget in our all of our speaking out and praying, God is not deaf. He hears their cries and will soon deliver them. God promises to answer the cries of the afflicted:

The Lord replies," I have seen violence done to the helpless and I have heard
the groans of the poor.
Now I will rise up to rescue them as they have longed for me to do."
                                     (Psalm 12:5)