Save the Persecuted Christians | Mar. 6, 2020
Iranian Dissident Imprisoned Again for Protesting the Regime Should be Remembered on International Women’s Day
WASHINGTON—Mary Fatemeh Mohammadi, a courageous human rights activist and Christian convert in Iran was arrested Jan. 12, 2020, for protesting the Iranian regime following the downing of the Ukrainian passenger jet. Released on bail earlier this month, Mohammadi’s sentencing was delayed when it was announced the presiding judge had fallen ill with the coronavirus. This is the third arrest for 21-year-old Mohammadi since her conversion at 18.
“Mary’s hearing was postponed due to the judge in her case contracting the coronavirus,” said Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians. “No new court date has been released. Mary has been weak and sick these last few days due to abuse she suffered while in custody. This delay will give her time to rest and get her strength back, but she is likely facing an extended sentence. It is our hope that Americans will remember and elevate Mary’s story as we commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8.”
“Mohammadi was detained near Azadi Square in Tehran, where protests occurred after the Iranian military shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane and killed 176 people,” reports The Christian Post. “Although several people were arrested in connection with protests that took place in multiple cities, it is not clear whether Mohammadi was participating in any of the protests. Article 18, a United Kingdom-based watchdog group that promotes religious freedom and tolerance for Christians in Iran, reports that Mohammadi published a series of tweets on the day she was arrested, saying that the Iranian people faced ‘soft repression’ in Iran as the regime creates ‘false beliefs through selective coverage of the news.’”
Missing for several days, Mohammadi was severely beaten before transfer to the notorious Qarchak prison, a women’s prison whose inmates are reportedly at risk for abuse, depravation and sexual assault. Before her interrogation, Mohammadi was forced to sit in front of the toilets outside in freezing temperatures without food for 24 hours.
Save the Persecuted Christians has received news from an Iranian contact who says: “Mary says she believes that she will be sentenced and explained that it was her duty to go to prison because there are no human rights in Iran. She said Qarchak Prison was horrible and that she has been very sick and lost a lot of weight. Mary said she is very thankful for our prayers and support. She also explained that it’s only because of Jesus that she has endured this difficult trial. Mary believes that going to prison is her duty to stand up for the rights of Christians in Iran. She asks for continued prayers, because, ‘They don’t listen to me in court.’”
Randy L. Nobel, a long time associate of Mohammadi, published a blog post detailing his relationship with her through the years. He said, “If it was possible to talk face-to-face with my dear Iranian friend, this is exactly what I would say to her:
“Mary, I am so inspired and proud of your incredible courage! This government is very afraid of you! They arrested you because they are afraid of you, Mary. They are afraid of who you are and what you represent. You represent Christ and this government fears Christianity. Islam is dying inside of Iran, while Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds!
“They’re afraid of you Mary because you are a woman and a woman is leading the masses of Iranians to find their hope in Jesus instead of Mohammed. Don’t give up the fight, Mary! They will never stop or destroy you! Jesus will never leave or forsake you. He has promised that the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church and your mission is guaranteed to succeed. Your prayer for Iranians to have the freedom to worship will most certainly one day come true!”
The social media hashtag #prayformaryfatemehmohammadi is being promoted for coordinated elevation of Mary’s story.
The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians is to save lives and save souls by disseminating actionable information about the magnitude of the persecution taking place globally and by mobilizing concerned Americans for the purpose of disincentivizing further attacks on those who follow Jesus.
One way is through STPC’s “Warfare on Women” exhibit which features images, facts and quotes about the persecution of Christian women in multiple countries. The banner titled “Widowed” highlights the story of one of the widows of the 21 martyrs and reports:
“Egyptian Coptic Christian Ibitsam IIhim was widowed when her husband, Samuel, was beheaded by ISIS along with 20 others on the seashore of Libya in February 2015. In the documentary, ‘Christians in the Mirror,’ she remarks, ‘When we heard that they didn’t deny Jesus, and that they died in His name, we were all flooded with happiness and appreciation that their death didn’t go in vain. It was a relief.’
“I’m proud of every single Christian around the world who stands by and protects their faith,” continues IIhim.
Additional banners in “Warfare on Women” tell the stories of other women, like Leah Sharibu from Nigeria, whom terrorists, to demean and degrade their dignity in order to cause fear in Christian communities, have targeted.
With so much of the world’s Christian population being imprisoned and/or harassed for their beliefs, such as Mary Fatemeh Mohammadi, the need has never been greater for the sort of grassroots campaign STPC’s SaveUs Movement is working to foster. Its efforts are modeled after a miraculously successful one that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution—Soviet Jews—by penalizing those in the Kremlin responsible for such repression. Through this movement, Save the Persecuted Christians endeavors to provide American policymakers with the popular support they need to effect real change worldwide and alleviate systemically the suffering being experienced by so many of those following Christ.
To interview a Save the Persecuted Christians representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com