Friday, December 11, 2009

For Maryam and Fateme

Every time we think of Mary, mother of Jesus, this holiday season, we should also remember Maryam Sabri and Fateme Faneian.

They are among the refugees from Iran who are currently living in Turkey while awaiting processing by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to be placed permanently in another country.

Today's Wall Street Journal reports on them and others: "Thousands Flee Iran As Noose Tightens."

Maryam is a 21-year-old artist who was imprisoned in Tehran in August while protesting the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan. In prison, Maryam was repeatedly raped and told that she would be killed if she did not stop working for opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Fateme and her husband also demonstrated against the handling of last June's election in Iran. During one protest, a police officer kicked her in the stomach, causing her to miscarry, she reports.

We celebrate the joy of Jesus' birth, but Fateme's arms are empty and Maryam's body and spirit were violated.

Come, come, Emmanuel, God-with-us. Bring peace on earth.

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