Two Iranian women have been jailed for practicing Christianity in the Islamic Republic, a Washington, D.C. watchdog group that monitors persecution of Christians reports.
The women were arrested by state security officials March 5, the International Christian Concern reported in a news release. Marzieh Amairizadeh Esmaeilabad and Maryam Rustampoor are accused of being 'anti-government activists,' and are being held on $400,000 bond, the ICC release said. They are being held in Tehran's infamous Evin prison. The release said both women need "urgent medical attention."
In the statement, ICC African Regional Manager Jonathan Racho said:
"Iran's persecution of Christian minorities violates the fundamental freedom of its citizens to worship freely. The international community has obligations to speak up for the rights of the persecuted Iranian Christians. We call upon Iranian officials to stop mistreating Marzieh and Maryam and release them from prison."
Persecution of Christians in Iran has increased since dozens of conversions. Some who have been arrested were tortured, the ICC said. For more information on the ICC, visit their website here.