Why There is Still Hope for Pastor Saeed | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

Why There is Still Hope for Pastor Saeed

By Matthew Clark1377793427000

The news this week that Iran defiantly denied the appeal of American Pastor Saeed Abedini was devastating, but it is not demoralizing.  There is still hope.

The fight for this U.S. citizen’s freedom continues.  Iran’s actions are unsurprising.

We have seen it time and again from the Iranian regime: the stonewalling, the denials, the attempts to deflect attention away from their own atrocities.

The latest example is the Iranian judiciary’s violation of its own law by refusing to hand down a written order.

Iran is willfully abusing the human rights of a U.S. citizen.  The regime is blatantly violating international law and even its own constitution, both of which protect the rights of Christians in Iran to peacefully assemble and practice their faith.

Yet, at the same time, Iran is listening.  Over 618,000 people have signed the petition for Pastor Saeed’s freedom at SaveSaeed.org and world leaders including the U.S. Secretary of State have demanded his release.  People speaking out and overwhelming international media attention have led to Iran providing some medical care for Pastor Saeed’s internal bleeding – the result of beatings suffered in prison.

Now is not the time to let up.  It is time to increase the pressure.

We have seen this same scenario play out before.  Last year, another Christian Pastor, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, was facing execution in Iran for his Christian faith.  Iran’s supreme court had denied his appeal and it was feared that the execution order had been given.  He had been convicted of apostasy (converting to Christianity) and sentenced to death by hanging for his faith.

The world spoke out in one voice.  What started as a few blog posts on the ACLJ’s website grew to hundreds of thousands of voices around the world.  Like for Saeed, hundreds of thousands signed petitions, many more took to Twitter in one of the largest coordinated Twitter campaigns in history, and world leaders including the White House demanded his freedom.  Then on September 8, 2012, after nearly three excruciating years on what was essentially death row, Pastor Youcef was released.

He was free, in his own words, thanks to “those who obeyed their conscience and fought for the promotion of the justice and the rights of all human beings. Thanks to these efforts, I have now the enormous joy to be by my wonderful wife and my children.”

This is the same fight we continue for Pastor Saeed.  We are prayerful and hopeful to achieve a similar result.  But it will take a renewed commitment from those around the world who are standing up for human rights, for dignity, for freedom.

We know from Pastor Youcef’s case that the decision for his freedom lay squarely at the top, the leadership of Iran.

It is wholly unsurprising that the Iranian judiciary affirmed Pastor Saeed’s conviction and 8-year sentence.

In the next few days and weeks we will be launching a new effort for Pastor Saeed, a way for you to take direct action, to urge the leaders of Iran to release this innocent man.

Pastor Saeed’s wife Naghmeh is also working to coodinate worldwide prayer vigils Pastor Saeed on September 26th – the one-year anniversary of his illegal imprisonment in Iran.  Vigils are being held in nearly every state in American and in numerous locations worldwide.  Learn more and find a location near you at SaveSaeed.org.

Continue to pray and never give up hope.

Update: Secretary of State Kerry urges Iran to allow Pastor Saeed to "return" home to his family.

This article is crossposted on RedState.com.

Latest in
Middle East

JSL - President Trump: ISIS Leader Died Like a Dog

By Jordan Sekulow1572295435533

Yesterday, President Trump announced that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, died during a U.S. Special Forces raid over the weekend. Last night was a great night for the United States and for the world. A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, has violently been...

read more

Radio Recap: Understanding the Conflict in Turkey

By Jay Sekulow1570654077324

There’s been a lot in the news over the last few days regarding the situation with Turkey, Syria, and the Kurds. On today’s Jay Sekulow Live , we took our time to discuss the very interesting convergence of activity in Turkey. You have Turkey looking to take on Syria, specifically the Kurds in...

read more

JSL: Iran Attacks Saudi Arabia. U.S. “Locked and Loaded”

By Jordan Sekulow1568663615501

In breaking news, Iran directly attacked Saudi Arabia, and according to President Trump, the U.S. is “locked and loaded.” On today’s Jay Sekulow Live , we discussed an attack Saturday on a Saudi oil facility, drastically affecting oil output. It was initially believed to be a drone attack by the...

read more

Taliban Peace Deal was Not A Deal

By Wesley Smith1568152594036

President Trump decided over the weekend to cancel secret, direct talks with leaders of the Taliban, after yet another suicide bombing that killed another U.S. soldier. While the talks, scheduled for Camp David, were a secret—the efforts for a “peace deal” with the Taliban has been very public and...

read more