American Pastor Saeed Abedini was able to give a moving letter to his family this morning, communicating the dire situation he faces being imprisoned in one of Iran’s most notoriously abusive prisons.
In addition to expressing his utmost appreciation to all of those around the world who have spoken out on his behalf, he gave just a glimpse of the horrendous conditions he faces in Evin Prison. In his letter, he tells how he experiences “intense pains after beatings in interrogations” and how he has been told, “I will hang for my faith in Jesus.” He was even “lie[d]” to that he would be able to see his family on Christmas.
It is clear that the life of Pastor Saeed is in grave danger. When you read Pastor Saeed’s own words, you understand that Iran has absolutely no regard for human rights and religious freedom. And now facing one of Iran’s most notorious judges, known as one of Iran’s “hanging judges,” Pastor Saeed is in a real sense an American abandoned in Iran.
The U.S. State Department has done very little to help this U.S. citizen. We continue to press the Obama Administration to engage this case – to speak out forcefully on Pastor Saeed’s behalf and put pressure on Iran’s allies to free this American. Time is of the essence.
Today, marks a critical moment in Pastor Saeed’s fight for freedom, yet the question remains, will the State Department take decisive action for this American citizen or continue to allow him to suffer for his faith in an Iranian prison. Sign the petition for his freedom and demand action from the State Department.
Please read and share Pastor Saeed’s powerful letter below:
When I heard that empty Christmas settings were placed during Christmas as a reminder of my imprisonment and those imprisoned for Christ, tears of joy filled my eyes. I was able to share about this with other prisoners and they were shocked by the love and support we have for each other in Jesus. I told them how in the Bible we are all considered brothers and sisters (despite race, color, or nationality) and we are to share in each other’s pains. This comes from our Lord.
The Word of God says that when we are persecuted for our faith, we are to count it all joy. When I think that all of these trials and persecutions are being recorded in heaven for me, my heart is filled with complete joy.
The Bible says that the Joy of the Lord is our strength. Without the joy of the Lord we cannot live. It is this joy in our life that gives us strength to continue in this life. Without strength, we cannot continue the work of the Lord and without joy, there is no strength.
I always wanted God to make me a godly man. I did not realize that in order to become a godly man we need to become like steel under pressure. It is a hard process of warm and cold to make steel. This is the process in my life today: one day I am told I will be freed and allowed to see my family and kids on Christmas (which was a lie) and the next day I am told I will hang for my faith in Jesus. One day there are intense pains after beatings in interrogations, the next day they are nice to you and offer you candy. These hot and cold days only make you a man of steel for moving forward in expanding His Kingdom.
When for 120 days you sleep in a room with a giant light that is constantly lit, not allowing you to separate day from night, and when you can only see true sunlight for a few minutes a week, that’s when you are becoming His Workmanship and you can be a vessel in bringing His Kingdom in a dark place and you are able to share the Gospel of Peace and Life to the dying world. And this is where you learn you can love your enemies with all of your heart.
I am looking forward to the day I can see all of you who are behind me with your prayers and to embrace you in my arms. Thank you for the love you have showed me.
What is in us is stronger than what is in the world and it has conquered the world.
Pastor Saeed Abedini, in chains for our Lord Jesus Christ
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