Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Set a Place for Imprisoned Pastor Saeed Abedini at your Table

Pastor Saeed continues to languish in an Iranian prison. His crime? Being a CHRISTIAN and wanting to help build an Orphanage... He was cleared for entry into Iran on his ninth visit to accomplish this.

Pastor Saeed Abedini is a former Muslim who converted to Christianity in 2000. While Christianity is recognized as a minority religion under the Iranian constitution, Muslim converts to Christianity suffer discrimination at the hands of Iranian authorities. In particular, such converts are disallowed from worshipping with other Christians in established Christian churches, which has led to the establishment of so-called "house" or "underground" churches where these converts can worship together.
In July 2012, Abedini made his ninth trip to Iran since 2009 to visit his family and continue his work to build an orphanage in the city of Rasht. While in the country, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps confiscated his passports and placed him under house arrest. He was later transferred to Evin Prison, where he has been incarcerated since late September.

In mid-January 2013, it was reported that Abedini would go on trial on January 21, and could face the death penalty.He was charged with compromising national security, though the specific allegations were not made public. His supporters said his arrest was due to his conversion and efforts to spread Christianity in Iran. On January 21, 2013, Iranian state media reported that Abedini would be released after posting a $116,000 bond. His wife, however, stated that the government "has no intention of freeing him and that the announcement is 'a game to silence' international media reports."[1]
On January 27, 2013, Judge Pir-Abassi sentenced Abedini to eight years in prison. According to Fox News, Abedini was sentenced for having "undermined the Iranian government by creating a network of Christian house churches and ... attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam." The evidence against Abedini was based primarily on his activities in the early 2000s. Abedini was meant to serve his time in Evin Prison. The U.S. State Department condemned the sentence: "We condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion and we call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini's human rights and release him."
Early November 2013, Abedini was transferred from Tehran to the Rajai Shahr prison in the townn of Karaj, which is populated with heavy criminals, and has harsher, sometimes life-threatening, conditions.


Pastor Saeed Abedini's Family 'Devastated' Over US Deal With Iran: 'Christmas Without Him Will Be Unbearable'

November 25, 2013|4:58 pm
Naghmeh Abedini, Pastor Saeed Abedini and their two young children in this undated family photo.
Saeed with his wife Naghmeh and children
The family of Pastor Saeed Abedini said in a recent interview that they are "devastated" that the Obama administration failed to secure Abedini's release during recent negotiation talks with Iran, in which the Middle Eastern country agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for lighter economic sanctions. Abedini is an American pastor who has been imprisoned in Iran over the past year for his Christian faith.
"As a wife and a mom, it's devastating," Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor's wife, told Fox News Radio. Naghmeh and her family saw these recent peace talks between Iran and the U.S. as a possible opportunity for Abedini to be released from his eight-year prison sentence. The pastor was sentenced in January 2013 under the charges of "planting house churches that are intended to undermine national security."
Naghmeh added to Fox News Radio that she now believes the U.S. has no leveraging power since making the nuclear program deal. "Iran has no incentive for them to release him. I don't think we have any more leverage. We now have to consider other avenues and having other countries speak out because our country when we could have used our leverage chose to stay silent."
"It's unbearable," she said, "to think of another Christmas without him and see my kids not have him home for Christmas."
Over the weekend, the U.S. reached an interim agreement with Iran during peace talks in Geneva that freezes the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program for six months while a more long-term agreement can be reached. In exchange, the U.S. will relieve the country of $7 billion from economic sanctions during the six-month period.
The American Center for Law and Justice said that the White House's failure to secure Abedini's release as a part of the weekend negotiations was "a betrayal" against the American pastor. "President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry turned their backs on a U.S. citizen by refusing to secure his freedom before reaching an agreement with Iran," Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ,said in a statement. "It is outrageous and a betrayal of American Pastor Saeed Abedini who has spent more than a year in an Iranian prison simply because of his Christian faith."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said in a statement that the agreement did "not [make] the world a safer place," adding to reporters, "Like the agreement with North Korea in 2005, this agreement has made the world a much more dangerous place."
The Obama administration has stood by its decision over the nuclear program, with Secretary of State John Kerry telling CNN's "State of the Union" that the U.S. "[believes] very strongly that because the Iranian nuclear program is actually set backwards and is actually locked into place in critical places, that that is better for Israel than if you were just continuing to go down the road and they rush towards a nuclear weapon."

VIDEOS THAT MAY INTEREST YOU (listen to Naghmeh in the first one)

Wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini Heartbroken, but Trusting God

Listen to The Cross in the Desert with Host, Randy L. Noble on Blog Talk Radio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/randy-noble

Follow Randy's Blog: http://thecrossinthedesert.blogspot.ca

~~~~~~~~~~~Listen to Radio Jihad Network, and it's discussion on Pastor Saeed:


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