John R. Houk
© November 16, 2013
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) sent an email that is headlined as being about born in Iran but a naturalized U.S. Citizen Pastor Saeed Abedini who was essentially arrested for being a Christian while in Iran aiding in the construction of an orphanage. Of course that is not the official reason for his 2012 arrest was originally for proselytizing Christ the Savior the Son of God. Then the proselytizing charge was upgraded to a violation of National Security for leading an underground Church movement in Iran. Since Pastor Saeed’s arrest he has been tortured to deny Christ but has refused to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ.
There are several links to ACLJ stories and three of those stories updates of Pastor Saeed. I am focusing on the Pastor Saeed updates that are arranged by the dates 11/15, 11/11 and 11/12. The email is entitled “Critical developments for Saeed”. The word critical got my attention. For me Pastor Saeed is a critical example of how Muslims treat Christians in Muslim dominated lands. Pastor Saeed is an excellent reason for Christians en masse to march on Muslim nation Embassies, in Pastor Saeed’s case to find Iranian diplomatic missions all over the world to let Muslims be aware that the persecution of Christians for the free exercise of their faith is intolerable.
There currently is no Iranian Embassy in the USA. This is understandable since Shi’ite Islamofascists overrun the U.S. Embassy in Iran and held Americans hostage for about a year. To be more specific the government of the then new Khomeini regime did absolutely nothing as Iranians violated American sovereign land by virtue of diplomatic conventions and protocol. Here in America a good place to let Iran know that Christians are displeased with Sharia Law inspired persecution of Christians is at the Iranian Mission at the United Nations located in New York City:
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 687-2020
Fax: (212) 867-7086
And of course we Americans can travel to Canada:
Address: Iranian Embassy Canada
245 Metcalfe St.
Ottawa ON K2P 2K2
Phone: local: (613) 235.4726
Fax: local: (613) 233.5712
Admittedly I am not an activist organizer. What I am praying for is that someone reads this post that indeed has the skills to organize huge protests and deliver on one or more PEACEFUL Christ-like protests. We can show that Christians don’t yell such idiocy as death to Muslims or death to Iran, but that we can let it be known that persecution allowed and encoded by law is an unacceptable human rights violation. We are ONE in the Lord and if the right hand suffers the whole body suffers!
Below is each update link cross posted in order of date rather than the email order.
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Pastor Saeed Denied his Medication
By Jordan Sekulow
Nov. 11, 2013 4:41 PM
American Center of Justice and Law
This morning Pastor Saeed’s father tried to visit his son at Rajai Shahr prison, located in Karaj, Iran, only to be turned away by prison officials. Saeed’s father had brought with him some of Saeed’s personal belongings, blankets to keep him warm, and the medication doctors had prescribed Saeed last July to treat the injuries he had sustained while in Evin prison. Prison officials told the father Saeed could not have any personal belongs, including his medication.
As we reported just over a week ago, Iranian officials transferred Saeed from Evin prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr, where Saeed is now sharing a cell with some of Iran’s most violent criminals – murderers and rapists.
Reports state that Rajai Shahr prison was built to house 5,000 inmates, but at present the prison holds roughly 22,000 inmates. Such overcrowding has led to what many call “deadly and inhuman” conditions within the prison. Human rights groups report that prisoners in Rajai Shahr do not have access to fresh air, proper nutrition, and that louse and communicable diseases are wide spread.
Saeed’s health had been improving with his medication in Evin prison, but with horrendous conditions in Rajai Shahr and the lack of proper medication, Saeed’s health will likely deteriorate quickly.
Please join us in prayer for Saeed’s health and protection. Take action in urging our nation’s leaders to take action to directly engage diplomatically to save Pastor Saeed’s life. Sign the petition to immediately intervene to #SaveSaeed at BeHeardProject.com.
The Church at Large Has a Responsibility to Pastor Saeed
Nov. 12, 2013 3:41 PM
American Center for Law and Justice
(This article was written by Bill Haynes, Sr. Pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Somerset KY.)
It is far too easy for American Christians to hear of the imprisonment and brutal treatment of Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran and just be complacent about it. After all, we are not being imprisoned for our faith, and shouldn’t Pastor Saeed have known that Iran is a dangerous place to begin with?
Attitudes like that will betray a brand of “Christianity” that is shaped more by lifestyle than by worldview, more by culture than by God’s Word. The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us, “Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body” (13:3). Our thoughts and prayers are to be with our brothers and sisters suffering in prison for their faith as if we were right there beside them. Why? Because we are a part of the same body, the Body of Christ. And the Apostle Paul makes it clear that when one part of the body hurts it effects the entire body, even if halfway around the earth (1 Corinthians 12:26).
When Peter was imprisoned in the early days of the church, Luke tells us, “So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.” (Acts 12:5). Peter was imprisoned for the single fact that he was preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was sharing good news that would change the hearts and lives of men and women if they would believe. But that was seen as a threat to the “security” of the existing authorities, both religious and civil.
The church did not merely go into a helpless mode when Peter was kept in prison, but rather they became very active in prayer. Luke says the church “fervently prayed to God” on Peter’s behalf. The church believed that they served a God who is greater than Herod and that their God could deliver Peter if He so willed.
That is the call and challenge to the church in the United States and around the world today. We must be in “fervent” prayer on behalf of Pastor Saeed. He is a part of our body. He is our brother in Christ, and if he is hurting then the whole body is to hurt with him and hold him up to our Heavenly Father.
Pastor Saeed was working with orphans in Iran. Granted this work was because he is a follower of Jesus and seeking to obey Him, but it was also for the good of the Iranian people, not to undercut them in any way. It is somewhat ironic that the charges against him are for “attempting to undermine the national security of Iran by gathering with fellow Christians in private homes.”
There are several things that we need to be praying for in this situation.
- Pray that God will bring about the release of Pastor Saeed. Whether he does this in the miraculous way He did with Peter in Acts 12, or through the efforts of the ACLJ and diplomatic channels, is not the issue. But we have to realize that God’s ways are not our ways and His are always best and right! As Paul says, “Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways.” (Romans 11:33).
- Pray that, while imprisoned, Pastor Saeed will bring glory to God through his suffering. The Bible teaches us that we are to seek God’s glory in every place we find ourselves. In extraordinary circumstances like this but also in everyday, even mundane, things like eating and drinking (1st Corinthians 10:31)
- Pray that God will use Pastor Saeed’s circumstances to see many come to know Jesus Christ as Lord. Paul saw this happen while imprisoned in Rome. Paul tells the church at Philippi that “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else,” (Philippians 1:12-13) God uses situations that we see as negative to spread the gospel.
So perhaps God is going to use this horrible situation for the Abedini family to awaken the church in America to the real persecution and attacks that exist against Christianity in other parts of the world. Perhaps God is wanting to wake us from our slumber, our comfort, and be challenged to intercede and be involved with other parts of our “body” in very different and very dangerous parts of the world.
God was not caught off guard by Pastor Saeed’s circumstances; and God is not helpless to use these for Saeed’s good and for the good of the church, and for His own glory. May we Christians be sensitive to all that God is doing, and may we be obedient to His call to strengthen the body of Christ, the church, to face the spiritual warfare that is very real in our world. And may we stand in His grace, His truth, and wear the spiritual armor that Paul spoke about in Ephesians 6:10-20.
Let’s do battle in prayer for Pastor Saeed and the Abedini family and for God’s church around the world.
Senate Unanimously Passes Resolution for American Pastor Saeed’s Release
By Jordan Sekulow
Nov. 15, 2013 12:53 PM
American Center for Law and Justice
The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution that directly calls “on the Government of Iran to immediately release Saeed Abedini and all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs.”
This critical bipartisan Senate resolution was sponsored by Senators Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Rand Paul (R-KY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
The Senate resolution concludes:
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) recognizes that freedom of religious belief and practice is a universal human right and a fundamental freedom of every individual, regardless of race, sex, country, creed, or nationality, and should never be arbitrarily abridged by any government;
(2) recognizes that governments have a responsibility to protect the fundamental rights of their citizens; and
(3) calls on the Government of Iran to immediately release Saeed Abedini and all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs.
This is a critical step forward in increasing pressure on the Iranian government to release Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen.
A similar resolution is currently pending in the U.S. House of Representatives after clearing a key procedural hurdle yesterday. We are hopeful that this resolution will be approved quickly as well.
In light of his recent transfer to Rajai Shahr Prison – an extremely deadly prison where prisoner on prisoner violence leads to the murder of many inmates – it is more critical now that ever to voice our support for Pastor Saeed. The U.S. government must not let this U.S. citizen be forgotten.
Iranian authorities may have sent him away to disappear, but we will not be silent.
More than 228,000 Americans have signed a petition to President Obama urging him to reengage this critical issue and help bring this persecuted pastor back home to his family. Join with us in the critical time by signing the petition at BeHeardProject.com.
Iran Continues to Persecute Pastor Saeed for his Faith
John R. Houk
© November 16, 2013
3 Posts from ACLJ Email – Critical developments for Saeed
Sent: 11/16/2013 7:51 AM
Copyright © 2012, ACLJ
Founded in 1990 with the mandate to protect religious and constitutional freedoms, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) engages legal, legislative, and cultural issues by implementing an effective strategy of advocacy, education, and litigation that includes representing clients before the Supreme Court of the United States and international tribunals around the globe.
As ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow continued to build his legal and legislative team, the ACLJ experienced tremendous success in litigating cases at all levels of the judiciary – from the federal district court level to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Over the last two decades, Sekulow has appeared before the Supreme Court of the United States on numerous occasions, successfully arguing precedent-setting … READ THE REST