Sunday, October 12, 2014

Review: Captive in Iran

I thought I would share Captive in Iran, which I read and reviewed this summer as a part of the Tyndale House Publisher's summer reading program. Though I usually don't read non-fiction, I enjoyed this autobiography and hope you will too.


Captive in Iran
Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh

Embark on a chilling journey inside one of the world’s darkest and most dangerous places: Evin, the notorious Tehran prison. Here, prisoners are routinely tortured, abused, and violated. Executions are frequent and sudden. But for two women imprisoned for their Christian faith—Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh—this hell on earth was a place of unlikely grace as they reflected God’s love and compassion to their fellow prisoners and guards. Against all odds, Evin would become the only church many of them had ever known.
In Captive in Iran, Maryam and Marziyeh recount their 259 days in Evin. It’s an amazing story of unyielding faith—when denying God would have meant freedom. Of incredible support from strangers around the world who fought for the women’s release. And of bringing God’s light into one of the world’s darkest places—giving hope to those who had lost everything, and showing love to those in despair.
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My Review

I enjoyed this book as a refreshing change from fiction. Much of the story gives an account of the women that 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? I appreciated the fact that Marziyeh and Maryam did not spend the book self-focused or complaining about the horrible prison conditions (although they certainly mentioned the conditions), but focus much of their story on the people they learned to love while in prison. This in itself is a testimony to their faith. Part of that focus is to show the world that something needs to be done about the fact that many of the women were in prison under false charges or because of their opposition to the government or Iran's Islamic beliefs. 
The first chapter or two were a little confusing because the story keeps jumping forward and backward in time. After that, there is no problem. 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 living outside my comfy America. Would I truly stand up for my faith if faced with prison or torture? I hope everyone who reads this book will, if nothing else, pray for those in prison for their faith.

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