Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope and Triumph amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison

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Overview

Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh knew they were putting their lives on the line. Islamic laws in Iran forbade them from sharing their Christian beliefs, but in three years, they’d covertly put New Testaments into the hands of twenty thousand of their countrymen and started two secret house churches.

In 2009, they were finally arrested and held in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, a place where inmates are routinely tortured and executions are commonplace. In the face...

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Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope and Triumph amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison

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Overview

Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh knew they were putting their lives on the line. Islamic laws in Iran forbade them from sharing their Christian beliefs, but in three years, they’d covertly put New Testaments into the hands of twenty thousand of their countrymen and started two secret house churches.

In 2009, they were finally arrested and held in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, a place where inmates are routinely tortured and executions are commonplace. In the face of ruthless interrogations, persecution, and a death sentence, Maryam and Marziyeh chose to take the radical—and dangerous—step of sharing their faith inside the very walls of the government stronghold that was meant to silence them. In Captive in Iran, two courageous Iranian women recount how God used their 259 days in Evin Prison to shine His light into one of the world’s darkest places, giving hope to those who had lost everything and showing love to those in despair. Tyndale House Publishers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414371214
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/21/2014
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 146,129
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marziyeh Amirizadeh & Maryam Rostampour were born into Muslim families in Iran — Maryam in the city of Kermanshah, and Marziyeh in Rafsanjan. They both became Christians as young adults and met while studying theology in Turkey in 2005. Deciding to work together, they returned to Iran and began sharing their faith. In 2009, Maryam and Marziyeh were arrested in Tehran for promoting Christianity — a capital crime in Iran. The official charges against them were apostasy, anti-government activity, and blasphemy, for which they faced execution by hanging. They spent 259 days in Evin, perhaps the world’s most notorious prison, as many around the world prayed for their release. Following international pressure and after months of interrogation and abuse, they were freed in November 2009 and subsequently cleared of all charges. They now live near Atlanta, Georgia.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2013

    Part Testimony, Part Political Memoir, and Entirely Fascinating.

    Part Testimony, Part Political Memoir, and Entirely Fascinating.

    Maryam and Marziyeh are two Iranian young women who accepted Christianity "legally" (i.e., they had never professed Islam and were free from the laws in Iran punishing conversion from Islam). After being arrested under false pretenses, their home was ransacked, their possessions confiscated, and they were held illegally in a detention center, and then prison, without ever being formally charged. The informal charges quickly became clear during the first and subsequent interrogations: Christianity. Maryam and Marziyeh had answered questions about Christianity, held worship services in their homes, and given Bibles to those who asked for them. And not the rewritten, pro-Islam Bible sponsored by the state: but imported Bibles from Turkey.

    Told in alternating voices, their memoir/autobiography offers a detailed account of the life of a persecuted minority inside Iran's legal system. While the authors are straight forward with their testimony and their proselytizing efforts within the prison system, they also use their book to give a voice to the hundreds of other women in Iran's prisons who are held unjustly. Women who went out to buy bread, were imprisoned for unknowingly being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and whose families were blackmailed with the knowledge that once someone is arrested in Iran, they are guilty forever regardless of trial. Or women who were subjected to intolerable domestic and spousal abuse, defended themselves, and who were placed in prison, even executed, at their husbands' and in-laws' whims. Women who went to visit their children in camps, and were arrested for treason. Even the women prison guards and cleaning women have stories demonstrating the lack of freedom at every level. The plot may follow Maryam and Marziyeh's story, but the plot is driven by the many stories the authors share of the people they met along the way.

    For that reason, as much as this book is a religious memoir and testimony, it is also a political protest against the corrupt government in Iran and its abusive treatment of humans in general and women in particular. While the authors are conservative and their hearts burn to serve God, some of their statements and desires might resonate with the American feminists of the 1960's. They love their country and their people, and desperately hope for change. This book is another way for them to do that.

    Highly recommended.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2013

    "Captive in Iran" is a very extraordinary and incredib

    "Captive in Iran" is a very extraordinary and incredible story of faith. Two young women get arrested and imprisoned for their Christian faith and for sharing it with other people. They are sent to Evin, the notorious Tehran prison. There they meet many women imprisoned for all kinds of weird reasons. It was very interesting to learn more about Muslim women, who are hiding behind the chador. We meet pious Muslim women, athletes, drug addicts, prostitutes, lesbians and simply abused ladies, victims of the circumstance, regime and religion. It was no news to me that women have little or no rights where the Sharia law rules but the most shocking thing was to read about one hour marriages. Women simply are used like disposable silverware and get thrown into a trash can. The worst part is that they have no way to defend themselves! To the defenders of Islam I would answer with this line from the book: "Anyone who says Islam is a religion of peace and equality should spend a week with the prisoners of Evin." p.136
    So it seems like God used Maryam and Marziyeh to preach the Gospel to the poor, heal the broken hearted and preach deliverance to the captives. And they answered the call well, stood strong and bold. It was amazing how they were answering questions during interrogations! I am sure that they could put to shame even the bravest of men!
    I am happy that they were released and I am sure that God has prepared something special for these wonderful women in the future!
    I loved the book and would highly recommend it, it is a worthy read!

    P.S. I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers for review purposes.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2013

    I was hesitant to read Captive in Iran because I wasn¿t sure I w

    I was hesitant to read Captive in Iran because I wasn’t sure I wanted to know the brutalities of an Iranian prison. However, I was pleased to find that the book focused on the women they met in prison and how God worked through their whole imprisonment. They did share about the brutality of their experience, but it wasn’t the driving force of the story. It was amazing to get a glimpse of God at work.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2013

    How strong is your faith? Could it withstand torture, violence,

    How strong is your faith? Could it withstand torture, violence, abuse and still proclaim Jesus as your savior? Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh, two Christian women were imprisoned in hell on earth. In Tehran, it is illegal to hand out New Testament tracts let alone be a Christian. The women had an opportunity to witness to Christ among prostitutes, angry guards, thieves and many others who were imprisoned unfairly. This amazing book is full of courage, love and most important faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus can turn all evil into good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose!!
    Comment Comment | Permalink

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2013

    After reading this book, I have never been so grateful to be a U

    After reading this book, I have never been so grateful to be a US citizen.




    Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh were arrested and held for 259 days in one of the world's most terrible prisons - Evin Prison in Iran.  They were arrested for "advertising and promoting Christianity" as well as the more serious charge of apostasy, which can result in a sentence of death by hanging.  Because the justice system (if you can call it that) in Iran is very subjective and quite corrupt, there was much confusion and a roller coaster of emotion for the women that they suffered throughout their entire experience.  Their own experiences are difficult enough to comprehend, and they also tell story after heartbreaking story of other women inside the prison, many of whom should not have even been there in the first place.  The conditions were so deplorable that they spent essentially the entire time dealing with varying illnesses; malnourished, as the food was laced with formaldehyde and most was contaminated or inedible; not enough beds, bathrooms, showers, etc. and more.  However, because they were able to share the very thing they had been imprisoned for - Jesus - the lives of just about everyone they came into contact with during this time period are now forever changed, and Maryam and Marziyeh will tell you that it was worth it all.




    Maryam and Marziyeh's love for Jesus, and their commitment to their faith even under such adversity are certainly remarkable.  I feel sure they would tell you it was only by God's grace that they were able to be strong, never changing their commitment to the truth.  This book was extremely compelling - I am so grateful to have heard their story, and I will recommend this book to everyone I know.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2014

    Captive in Iran is the autobiography of Maryam Rostampour and Ma

    Captive in Iran is the autobiography of Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh detailing their time in the notorious Evin Prison, Iran. These two women were Christians in an Islamic country. They made no attempts to hide their beliefs when called in to the police station for questioning. No matter what the authorities did, they would not recant their faith. So began their months in Evin Prison.

    I enjoyed this book as a refreshing change from fiction. What Marziyeh and Maryam went through and saw is completely true.

    Much of the story gives an account of the women Marziyeh and Maryam met during their stay in Evin and the temporary prison. The two women shared Christ with nearly everyone they met despite the harsh, discouraging conditions. They were already in prison for their beliefs; what more could be done to them? They write about the women in prison to show that so many were in prison only because of the government’s tyranny and lack of tolerance for others’ beleifs.

    The first chapter or two were a little confusing because the story keeps jumping forward and backward in time. After that, it’s fine. I was also a little confused about whose perspective the story was written from many times. Before each change of perspective, there is a name written; however, the authors’ personalities were somewhat indistinguishable, so that there was no other way to tell who was “speaking”.

    I loved this book. It helped me grow in faith and see the harsh realities of those outside my comfy America. I hope everyone who reads this book will, if nothing else, pray for those in prison for their faith.

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  • Posted August 26, 2014

    This is an inspiring true story. It is encouraging to learn abou

    This is an inspiring true story. It is encouraging to learn about people who have willingly suffered for Christ, just like the early Christians did. In the United States, it is hard to understand what persecution is like, so we need books like these to remind us of what Christians in other countries go through.

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  • Posted August 25, 2014

    Captive in Iran takes you into one of the worst prisons in the w

    Captive in Iran takes you into one of the worst prisons in the world. Two young Christian women are arrested and put into prison for 9 months. Just because they practiced Christianity in a Muslim world. It amazes me that sort of thing could happen. The horror and brutality that these two women had to endure is unbelievable. But beauty of it all is that they never lost hope or their faith. They continued to express their in the prison walls and were an inspiration to many of the other prisoners who continually asked them to pray for them. It is a powerful story but the book could be a little slow at times.
    Recommended.
    4 stars.

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  • Posted August 7, 2014

    Horrible Conditions Resulting in a Strong Testimony. I was not a

    Horrible Conditions Resulting in a Strong Testimony. I was not aware of the depth of persecution in those countries mentioned. The abuses, prison conditions, disease, malnutrition, interrogations and beatings were shocking and difficult to read about. There were many chances to pray for people, even ones they had not seen, and the prayers were answered. The two authors were witnesses in powerful ways to many people through their ordeal, even the guards and officials. These ladies were an inspiration to many, and their hope and joy were beautiful examples of Christianity. Their courage and dedication to their faith were impressive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2014

    This was another one of those books that it is hard to say I lik

    This was another one of those books that it is hard to say I liked. Mostly for the content. I mean how exciting can a story be about two brave women who are thrown in an Iraqi jail for living out their Christian faith? While I felt that the book was true and hard to imagine bring in their situation, I got tired of hearing how "dear" different friends were to them. Being in this particular prison has to be one of the worst prisons in the world, I really cannot fathom what they went through. I have an idea based on the descriptions, which were horrifying. But unless you are in that situation, I don't think we will ever "get it". At least I certainly hope I never am. I know the women who wrote  the book really didn't want to leave out anyone that they made friends with or witnessed to in prison, but the story was a little too drawn out for my taste.  I think they could have summed it up in about 100 less pages. And now I really need to move onto a book that is less depressive! Well written and certainly gave you a slight glimpse of what others have to endure, that us Americans take for granted so easily. This book makes me even more proud to say that I am an American. Praise The Lord! 

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  • Posted July 23, 2014

    This book is so absolutely inspiring! I could not put it down. I

    This book is so absolutely inspiring! I could not put it down. It's something I believe every American Christian should read. Very thought-provoking--a story that I think will stay with me for the rest of my life. The book is written in first person by the women who experienced almost one year in Evin Prison in Iran. I immediately felt like I knew these women, they brought me into their story, and they made me ask myself the same questions they asked. Would I risk everything to live God's will for my life? Would I flourish in prison the way they did? An amazing read!

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  • Posted July 14, 2014

    This book was so inspiring, encouraging, convicting and though-p

    This book was so inspiring, encouraging, convicting and though-provoking. I am still thinking a lot about the freedoms we have in America and how far I would go for my faith. These two women could have easily avoided and ended all their physical suffering by denying their faith, and yet they consistently insisted that life without Christ was worthless to them. It was a convicting reminder to me about where my priorities, joy, strength, and assurance should be. Also how God did so many amazing things through them in prison was encouraging and inspirational. This book was well worth my time and I highly recommend it.

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  • Posted July 7, 2014

    This is a fascinating story on many levels. The amount of patien

    This is a fascinating story on many levels. The amount of patience and trust in the Lord that these two women experienced is a
    testimony that should inspire other Christians. The relationships they formed with other women in prison and how these relationships
    changed prisoners as well as the many miracles they witnessed that God provided, should make Christians step back and consider
    their own lives and how God wants to work in and through each of us. 

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  • Posted June 30, 2014

    I never expected a true story of two young Christian women capti

    I never expected a true story of two young Christian women captive in a prison in Iran to be as exciting as a fictional murder mystery, but this book certainly was that and more!!! For three years Maryam and Marziyeh had given thousands of Bibles to their countrymen and had started two house churches. When they were arrested, they admitted they believed in Jesus, they gave Bibles to those who asked for them, and they talked about God. The charge against them was Christianity which usually meant a death sentence. However, they refused to tell the court any names of people who they saw. Finally they were taken to a loathsome prison, dirty, smelling strongly of urine and vomit, crowded, cold, with backed up toilets, where they would be held until they were sentenced, possibly to death. How crazy it appears that they would actually spend over 250 days in the worst prison in Iran before being sentenced! In prison they were able to speak so freely about Christ that they felt sure this is why they were sent to prison. If Christ wanted them out of prison, He would get them out. Even the question, why are you here, gave them the opportunity to tell about Christ. Each chapter was filled with either new obstacles they faced or stories of different women they met who were in prison often for things their husbands had made them do. But the inhumane treatment of the women, such as no food for days, little or spoiled food when they got some, too many women crowded into a room, forced to stand hours in the cold outside, etc. caused their health to fail. As their story made its way to the United States and other countries, pressure was put on the government in Iran for their release. Like the women in the prison I was fascinated by their story, their attitude and what was happening to them. I found it very difficult to put the book down long enough to fix meals or eat. It truly was a real life page turner.

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  • Posted June 16, 2014

    A simple, factual, non-emotional book This is a hard book for m

    A simple, factual, non-emotional book

    This is a hard book for me to review. The tagline says it is "a remarkable true story of hope and triumph amid the horror of Tehran's brutal Evin Prison." But that doesn't seem to be the appropriate tagline. Honestly, it's not (or shouldn't be) that remarkable. I cannot say what I would do in the circumstances of these two ladies, but I hope that I would respond as they did: full of confidence and hope in Jesus without wavering in the faith. This is what ought to be the response of any Christian, which is why I feel it is not quite "remarkable". 




    While the story is largely told from alternating perspectives, it doesn't draw you in emotionally. That's fine, I don't necessarily need to spend a lot of tears and invest emotional energy into something that has already happened to someone else. So that could be a plus ... however, I felt neither hope nor horror in what I read. It was all simply fact. I really cannot decide if this book should have pulled emotional strings, or if the removed nature of it is more beneficial. 




    Also, the story is about how Jesus moved and his protection and about drawing people to him - but that's not all the book is about. It is also about the injustice of the Iranian "justice" system, and the problems of Islam. These ladies, who grew up in Muslim families, pull no punches and make sure you know that Islam is NOT a religion of peace - anyone doubting that should definitely read this book.




    My hope is that this book encourages people to draw near to God and that it builds faith. The sheer number of people they've unashamedly talked to about Jesus puts me to shame. They were intentional and prolific in an environment where it could have cost them their lives. I live in the land of free, shouldn't I share with even more people? Live for Christ, share Christ, don't deny Christ. That's the message of the book. "If we live, it is for the Lord. If we die, it is for the Lord. And so, whether we live or die we are the Lord's."

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  • Posted June 9, 2014

    As Christians in America we have it easy. This is the story of M

    As Christians in America we have it easy. This is the story of Maryam and Marziyeh, 2 Iranian women, who are thrown into jail for being Christians and sharing their faith – and it occurred in 2009! And jail in Iran is not a pretty place with overcrowding, no medicine, sometimes not even a toilet, little food and often bad food. Yet in the midst of the worst circumstances, the 2 ladies continued to tell about Christ – often having a more receptive audience then outside jail. Inside jail not only did inmates seek them out, but also guards, asking about Jesus and asking for prayer. What faithful witnesses they were to Him through the pain, fear, illnesses and danger of their 259 days of imprisonment and how amazing to see God move through their faithfulness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    Amazing! Inspiring!

    Captive In Iran is an amazing testimony! I was so captivated, I couldn't put it down! Not only did it kill any doubts I had, but it reminded me that sometimes we have to go through hard, sad, tough, nightmarish, painful, lonely times but God goes WITH us. He doesn't tell us, "meet you on the other side, when things get better." He's THERE, even when we don't feel His presence! He gives us that unfathomable peace and that unbelievable strength to endure; not just endure, to THRIVE and take the light of His hope to the darkest, ugliest places! I will try harder, to not complain about my problems when I think about Maryam and Marziyeh! I will try to always give God the glory no matter how bad things get! I will also remember to stop my busy schedule and pray for other's who don't just read about, but LIVE that kind of nightmare!

    Let's all pray for them and see what God can do!

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  • Posted December 8, 2013

    "captive in iran" is an amazing book writtion by 2 sis

    "captive in iran" is an amazing book writtion by 2 sisters who grew up in iran and converted to christianity and begain a missionery and underground church knowing full well that it was agist the law and they would face prison and death for trying to convert people to christ this is a great book these 2 women were caught and arrested with christian materials and sent to one of the most ruthless prisons in iran there story is very haard to put down. my pastor bruce toms of palma ceia united methdist church highly recamended this book in his sermon. I would also like to recamend the new billy graham book the reason for my hope salvation

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    ive stars means amazing, and this is an amazing story. This stor

    ive stars means amazing, and this is an amazing story. This story takes place just a few years ago (2009) starting with the arrest of these two Iranian Christians for the crime of proselytizing their religion in a Muslim country. The story takes us through their arrest, imprisonment, and trial, interspersed with personal stories of the other women who pass through the prison with them. Some of these women are freed and some are tried and executed. The fact that these two women where not found guilty and executed too, is a miracle. The rest of the story is also a miracle, as they go from witnessing for Jesus outside in Iran, to witnessing right inside the prison itself. Their insistence on their faith, and their conviction to stand for what they believe in, is an inspiration to everyone, not just Christians. If you are interested in Christianity, Islam, Middle-East affairs, Iran, life under a dictatorship, or just want a good story of faith, conviction, and perseverance, this is a book you will remember.

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  • Posted September 13, 2013

    Interesting book.

    The courage of two young women who, despite severe living conditions and persecution in an Iranian prison, maintained their religious faith is truly inspiring. However, I had no idea of the degree of drug use and immorality in that nation. The situation is far more desperate for the citizens then I realized.

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