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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Captive in Iran: A Book Review

When I was in parochial school, the principal continually reminded us that if we memorized the Bible, no one could ever take it away from us. It would be readily accessible in our hearts and minds, he explained.  Paper could be confiscated, but memorized words could not. His sentiment was, of course, offered as justification for the inordinate amount of memory work that was required of us. (Which by the way, I highly recommend, particularly for children.) At any rate, it was more than that; it was a sincere expression of his deeply held conviction that his assertion was true and important.

At the time, though, and for many years later, although I had tucked his suggestion away in my mind, I didn't seem likely that we would ever see the kind of persecution in our lifetimes that would require us to make use of the fruits of having put it into practice. As American society grows increasingly hostile to Christians, I am terrified by the fact that the prospect of persecution seems even fractionally less remote.

Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh, though, were not Americans. They were living in Iran at the time the story told in Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope and Triumph amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison unfolded. Christians, the women were held for 259 days in Evin, Tehran's notorious prison where prisoners are routinely tortured, abused, and violated. In spite of deplorable living conditions and tremendous risk, the women managed to fill the prison and many of it's residents with hope, joy, and the love of Christ. As I read this remarkable story, I was convicted of the fact that in the midst of American abundance, safety, and freedom, I have achieved so desperately little in that regard, while these women achieved so much.

The story is riveting. The women are inspiring, and the underlying message of the importance of religious freedom is critical. The outcome is an inspiring tale of individual human fortitude and the power of community in the service of Christ. Highly recommended.


This book was a Review Copy sent by the publisher — common practice in the industry. No payment was accepted in exchange for a review or mention, and the reviewer was in no way obligated to review the book favorably.

1 comment:

  1. You might like Prisoner of Tehran. Also about a Christian woman enslaved - her story is very, VERY interesting as well. She was even able to gain a Muslim woman as a lover of Our Lady. In fact, it was the Blessed Mother who directly intervened to save her, I believe.

    Anyway, great story, and on the heels of this review, I think one well worth the read for you (and anyone, realy).


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