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Customer Reviews for Tyndale Momentum Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook

Tyndale Momentum Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook

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Customer Reviews for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Review 1 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Eye-opening, Thought-provoking Read

Date:July 22, 2014
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HomeSchool Mom of 4
Location:The Hot Dry Desert
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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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Review 2 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

This is a fascinating story on many levels

Date:July 7, 2014
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Bookwoman
Location:Plano, IL
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
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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Review 3 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Not sure

Date:July 7, 2014
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Bookworm
Age:25-34
This book made me feel a myriad of things--drawn-in (by the first person narration) intrigued (by a land I know little about) grateful (for living in a free country) compassion (for others who weren't), and then, sadly, I ultimately became...disinterested, so I didn't finish it.
I wanted to like this story, and I'm not saying I disliked it completely, but it didn't keep my interest as I'd hoped it would.
The beginning sucked me in, but the middle left me wanting. Maybe being tired from a lengthy trip contributed to me not finishing the book, but the main issues (for me) were repetition, and sometimes having to `go back' in the story to figure out who was who etc.
Perhaps I'll give it another try, and be able to leave a more favorable review, but until then I rate this as `okay.'
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Review 4 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

a gripping true story

Date:July 6, 2014
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Pauline
Location:Muscatine, IA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh tell what it was like spending nearly nine months in prison for being Christians and sharing their faith. In Iran the constitution supposedly provides for freedom of religion, but it also requires that Iranian law be consistent with Islamic law, which forbids converting from Islam to another religion.
Under threat of death for their supposed apostasy (though neither woman considered herself to have ever been a Muslim, despite growing up in Muslim families), they find in prison both horrible living conditions and incredible opportunities to share God's love with other prisoners. Before being arrested, they had to be very circumspect in their evangelistic activities. But within the prison, they are free to talk with the other women and tell about Jesus and why they love Him enough to suffer for Him there.
They tell not only their own stories but also the stories of their fellow prisoners, many of whom have been imprisoned unjustly. These are not isolated incidents, but what Maryam and Rostampour see as part of a pattern of life in Islamic Iran. Women have no hope, no choices in life. They are property of their husbands no matter how abusive they are. Their lack of choices often drives them to prostitution and drug addiction. Then when they are arrested they get no legal representation.
One shortcoming of the book in my view is that it is difficult to tell the accounts of Maryam and Marziyeh apart. Each section tells who is speaking, but they seem to speak with such similar voices that I often lost track of which one it was. They were close friends; no doubt they had a great deal in common besides their faith in Christ. But I can't help wondering if the sameness of their accounts may not be in part the result of trying to tell their story in a foreign language (English) and the influence of John Perry, their collaborator in writing the book.
Nevertheless, it is a book well worth reading. It is a reminder of what freedoms we have in the United States. Our justice system is far from perfect but it is far, far better than what these women describe. It is an account of the goodness of God in the midst of suffering. It is a message of hope and of God's love. And it is a challenge to stand fast in faith in Christ, no matter what the cost.
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Review 5 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Two Young Women Endure for Their Faith

Date:June 25, 2014
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Anonymous
Location:Beaverton, OR
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Unbelievably challenging for us who live in free America, this memoir recounts the nine months that Maryam and Marziyeh spent in captivity on the charge of being Christians in Muslim Iran. I would suggest before you start their story that you read "How This Book Came to Be" by John Perry at the end. Also, in the hardbound copy there is a picture of the two young women on the back flyleaf. With this picture and information in mind, put yourself in their place as you read of their abuse, suffering and deprivation during their captivity. I wonder how many of us could endure without compromising our faith? The beauty of their story is the wonderful way they were able to share Jesus with their inmate friends and improve conditions even just a little. Interestingly, I remember praying for them because of the great publicity generated as their situation was leaked to the world media. This is a story you will remember for many years to come.
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Review 6 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Oh, that I would demonstrate such faith!

Date:June 24, 2014
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Karen
Location:Norfolk, VA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Captive in Iran is the true story of the authors’ experiences as Christians in Iran. Arrested for being Christians, or was it for converting from Islam, or was it promoting Christianity….constantly the charges seemed to change….they remained steadfast in their faith. Offered freedom for a “simple” recanting of their faith, they refused, and used the prison as a new mission field, converting some and influencing many others in the way they handled their captivity and remained true to their God. They stated, “What a miracle it was that we’d been able to meet and encourage so many women. What man meant for evil, God used for His good and His glory.” They rejoiced in parts of their captivity, “…How easy it was to witness behind bars compared to the work we had done on the outside. Maryam and I didn’t have to look for prospects or sneak New Testaments into their mailboxes. We could talk to them openly.”
I was amazed and inspired by these ladies’ steadfast faith and courage. In a culture where men are used to intimidating and ruling women, the prison officials couldn’t understand such confidence and faith in God. I would only hope that if I ever faced such a situation, I could remain as faithful and true. What an inspiration this book was!
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Review 7 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A simple, factual, non-emotional book

Date:June 16, 2014
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5
4 out of 5
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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Review 8 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

courage for faith

Date:December 8, 2013
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storms
Location:tampa florida
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
two sisters grew up in iran and converted to christianity and performed missionery work and begain converting people to christ and christianity which is agaist the law and inspite of facing persecution these 2 ladies contiued to pass out Bibles and tracks and witness to people in iran untell they were arressed and were sent to one of the most horrible prisons their faith sustained them while in this horrible jail and they gave hope and courage to the many inmates there and they were released through there faith my pastor used this book for his sermon and highly recamended it to the congregation. also recamended:billy grahams new book: the reason for my hope salvation
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Review 9 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wonderful true story

Date:September 23, 2013
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Lees
Location:orange co, ca
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Purchased as a gift for a friend who grew up in Iran and
she enjoyed it so much she is giving it to several other
to read. It is a very inspirational read.
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Review 10 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 27, 2013
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ajreader
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
From the first pages, I found myself stunned by their attitude and outlook. These women have faith like I cannot even comprehend. Their devotion to sharing Christ in spite of real dangers puts me - and most American Christians - to shame. They continually expressed their honor to be suffering for Christ. What an incredible thought.
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Review 11 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Amazing

Date:August 7, 2013
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reli
Location:WI
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
An amazing story!!! Looking at the story of Maryam and Marziyeh from a purely human perspective, there is no way they would get out of prison alive; but God was not finished with them yet. He performed a miracle and they were released from prison and allowed to leave the country. This book shows the horrors of prison life in Iran; but it also shows the community that rallied around these two ladies. They had a free and clear avenue to witness about Jesus and witness they did. I was challenged by their commitment to Jesus Christ in the face of possible death; I want to be that strong in my own faith in God.
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Review 12 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

fasinating

Date:July 30, 2013
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Leeann
Location:CdA, ID
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
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.
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Review 13 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Testimony:Refusing to Deny Christ

Date:July 27, 2013
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bookworm
Location:Pennsylvania
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Captive in Iran is a chilling story about the experiences of two women who were imprisoned in Iranian Evin prison simply because they were Christians. The book takes turns telling their story from the perspective of each woman and once I started reading, I could not put it down. The authors tell of the horrible mistreatment that not only they faced, but also that of their fellow prisoners-most of them women who were persecuted by a heartless government that views women as inferior, worthless objects that are only alive to serve men and their fleshly pleasures. The authors paint an account of the horrifying conditions of the prison: filthy, dark, unsanitary conditions, rampage illness, lack of medical care/compassion from doctors and guards, and food laced with poisonous chemicals like formaldehyde that tasted rancid/spoiled. The prison was also so overcrowded that the rooms could barely hold the amount of people in them and many women were lucky to find a place to sit. Violence, terror, and ungodly relationships among the women and guards were also common at Evin. Worse, the authors tell of an entire ward that consisted of women and their innocent children. These poor children were forced to grow up in the prison along with their mothers with the same conditions of those that were convicted of crimes despite being guiltless of committing a crime. Despite the shameful conditions and corruption that the authors experienced from their government, they found a new church: the women that also called Evin prison their “home”. The authors explained in detail how they were able to reach out in Jesus’s love to give these poor women the hope, love, and forgiveness that they so desperately needed and were denied by their own government and families. Despite their sufferings, they refused to deny Christ and they continued to stand strong in their faith. Though their experiences were awful, God used them to reach many women for Christ and I think it is amazing because though the Iranian government was trying to stop Christianity from spreading, the government’s very actions caused Christianity to expand in this prison. It just goes to show that you cannot stop God from reaching out to people and calling them to Himself. When God moves, everyone better get out of His way because you cannot fight God and that is exactly what the Iranian government was doing in this situation and look what happened: God’s will was done and many women were given new hope. Though this book was an eye-opener and heart-breaking, I found it to be a book very much worth reading. I think that Christians should read books like this because I think they serve a purpose: to get Christians out of the pews and on the streets doing what Jesus told us too: Go into the world and tell everyone about the salvation that He offers.
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Review 14 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Incredible story of faith

Date:July 22, 2013
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Kris
Location:Fairfax, VA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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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Review 15 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Part Testimony, Part Memoir, Entirely Fascinating

Date:July 18, 2013
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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.
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Review 16 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Very good

Date:July 17, 2013
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Virginia
Location:upstate NY
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is the true story of Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh, who were imprisoned in Iran for sharing the Gospel. The story is told by both women, who take turns telling what happened during their time in the Evin prison. I thought this was an interesting book and how brave the women were to share their faith knowing they could be caught and punished.
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Review 17 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Extraordinary Faith

Date:July 17, 2013
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luvs to cook
Location:Virginia Beach, VA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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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Review 18 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:July 6, 2013
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Nancy P
Location:Los Angeles
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A true story of suffering for religious beliefs. This book is not "preachy", and does not spell out the gospel message, instead it focuses on the joy that can be had when one's trust is fully placed in Christ. Having hope and contentment in one's circumstances can be challenging on a day to day basis. Add to that a stay in a notorious prison, interrogations and the fear of execution, and the challenge becomes extreme. This was a beautiful account of two women, imprisoned for their beliefs, yet chose to believe that God was still in control. I also appreciated their view regarding the way in which the government holds captive the general population, simply by the way it rules the country.
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Review 19 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Inspiring story

Date:May 30, 2013
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Dorothy
Location:Calgary AB Canada
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a true story about 2 Iranian women who become Christians and who are thrown into prison in Iran for their faith. It sounds like it would be a very “downer” of a book but it is not. Certainly their conditions in prison were awful but their attitudes and reactions are extraordinary. I was blown away by the boldness with which they spoke up about their faith....in prison, in court and in every situation they met.
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Review 20 for Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope Amid the Horror of Tehran's Brutal Evin Prison - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Where Light is Most Fruitful

Date:April 8, 2013
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DanielOfAZ
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
In 2009, two young single Christian Iranian women were caught evangelizing Muslims and imprisoned in Tehran's notorious Evin prison. Their "crime" could easily have gotten them executed, but instead, God gave them an incredible ministry to Muslim women inside the jail, and such international publicity that the Iranian government eventually released them to save face.
Captive in Iran is their story.
Maryam and Marziyeh's boldness touched me when I first read of them in VOM's 2009 newsletters. My mother had special seasons of prayer for them. I shared about them in my 2009 IDOP message, and then was delighted to tell my church a few weeks later of their release. So it was a great joy to finally read the all the details of their 259 days of incarceration.
It turned out to be a different book than I expected.
At first I thought it might be like Dan Baumann's Imprisoned in Iran. He, too, spent time in Evin for evangelism. But he experienced far worse physical and emotional abuse than these women did (they had regular access to a telephone and were not beaten or kept in solitary confinement like he was) and consequently his emotions dipped much lower than theirs, to the point where he attempted suicide. Maryam and Marziyeh, on the other hand, remained relatively strong even in their darkest hours.
It isn't like Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place either. No warm, lengthy story of their upbringing; no truly three dimensional characters whom you feel like you know afterwards; no struggle to forgive; no contrast of personalities (Corrie and Betsie were clearly different; Maryam and Marziyeh seem like spiritual twins). I doubt you'll see a movie made of this book.
Nor does it match Richard Wurmbrand's Tortured for Christ for brilliant passion or In God's Underground for depth of suffering. Their suffering (although terrible) was just a fraction of Wurmbrand's, and their writing is not as spiritually profound as his.
Although they distributed 20,000 New Testaments in Tehran before their arrest, there is a surprising scarcity of reference to specific Scriptures in the book. I wanted more mention of particular passages that encouraged them during their suffering, or that were helpful to share with the needy Muslim women around them in prison.
Perhaps most worrisome, the gospel is not altogether clear in the book. In some of their conversations with Muslim women, Maryam and Marziyeh encouraged them to pray to Jesus about their family or legal problems. Did they think people can "test drive" Jesus to see how "effective" He is, before turning from their sin and trusting Him alone? The only prayer God hears from a non-Christian is a prayer of repentance and surrender to Jesus. They seem to hope that their Muslim friend Shirin (who was tortured and executed) made it to heaven. ("Now, by the grace of God, at least she was at peace." "[S]he loved Jesus in her heart, though she would never say so".)
So with all these lacks, why did I still find this book well worth reading?
First, in a world sorely lacking in positive role models for singles, these women model well what it means to have "undistracted devotion to the Lord" (1 Corinthians 7:34-35). Their passionate love for Jesus oozes out in everything they do and say. They led an exemplary lifestyle of simplicity and devotion to evangelizing Iranian women. Their book contains many stories of sexual perversion, but they are careful to avoid sensual details.
Secondly, sufferers do not always see the fruit of their suffering immediately, or even in this life. God's trees ripen at different speeds. But in the case of Maryam and Marziyeh, He seems to have chosen to vindicate His name more promptly. In many cases their enemies became their friends, their convictions became widely respected, and their prayers were frequently sought. God gave them courage to publicly and clearly confess their allegiance to Jesus, despite repeated threats of death and opportunities to compromise. They had more freedom to evangelize in the prison than they did before their arrest or after their release. It is rightly encouraging to read a modern story of God moving for His children in such dramatic and obvious ways, something like Daniel in the lion's den.
The book also is very helpful in showing how to support and pray for the Christians who are in Iranian prisons now. We must not forget them. There are at least four (three of them in Evin):Farshid Fathi, Behnam Irani, Alireza Seyyedian, Saeed Abedini.
Most importantly, the book shows how hungry the people of Iran are for the gospel. The law (even the flawed Sharia law of the Quran) awakens the sinfulness of the human heart. By strictly enforcing Sharia law, the Iranian government has created a generation of people enslaved to sin, desperately wanting a Savior. It has made its people sick of Islam. Praise God!
This book stirred my heart with compassion for the people of Iran. In some ways, it seems that was the goal of Maryam and Marziyeh in writing the book; they focus more on the stories of the women they ministered to in prison than they do on their own feelings and sufferings.
These two women made Jesus look good. They represented His character nobly both among the dregs of society (predatory lesbians, drug addicts, murderers) and the elite of society (judges and other government officials). Perhaps Maryam and Marziyeh could have shared the gospel more accurately. But even so, their evangelism has borne remarkable fruit, a reminder that even weak lights make a great difference where the night is very dark. May the Lord use Captive in Iran to bring many more evangelists to the streets of Tehran.
I received this book for free from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for writing a review. My review was not required to be positive.
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