Two Iranian women risk death for apostasy from Islam
» 08/16/2011 16:08
Arrested in March, their conversion goes back at least a decade. So far, no one has been executed on such grounds in Iran, but the authorities are afraid of the expansion of Christianity. And, in a recent raid, they seized 6,500 Bibles.
Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Two Iranian women jailed in Iran’s notorious Evin prison for converting from Islam to Christianity may be executed for apostasy, Radio Farda reported. Amir Javadzadeh, a broadcaster for a London-based Christian radio station, said that the two women could be put to death even though “they were not politically active at all.” They “just wanted to serve people according to the Bible,” he said.
Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, and Maryam Rustampoor, 27, were arrested in March, although they had “converted to Christianity about 10 years ago,” Javadzadeh said. They became Christians after “spending a lot of time studying the religion and helping others,” he added.
A number of judicial revisions in Iran have excluded the death sentence for apostasy, but some local courts have recently imposed it (but not carried it out) based on religious scriptures.
Iranian authorities fear rising conversion to Christianity, especially to Evangelical groups.
As part of a crackdown, some 6,500 copies of the Bible were seized, said Majid Abhari, advisor to the Social Issues Committee of the Iranian parliament.
“With regard to the activities of these Christian missionaries to deceive people, especially youngsters, they have begun a huge campaign by spending huge sums” and engaged in “false propaganda” in order to lead the public astray, Abhari complained. The evidence of this: “These books were made with the best paper in the world” and “in pocket size”.