If you haven’t heard of Pastor Saeed Abedini, let me tell you a bit about his story and why he is heavy on my heart these days. In July 2012, Pastor Saeed was detained in Iran and told he must stand trial for his Christian faith. The trial never happened. Instead Pastor Saeed was taken out from under house arrest and transported to Evin Prison in Iran. No trial.
In Evin Prison he was subject to solitary confinement for many weeks and torture. Though he was tortured, he was denied medical treatment for his injuries because he is Christian.
President Obama, Billy Graham and countless others have petitioned the Iranian President to release Pastor Saeed. Instead of forward progress, Pastor Saeed was moved from Evin Prison to Rajai Shahr Prison. Not only is he in this terrible prison, but he is being housed in the ‘violent criminal’ ward. Where a 3 meter by 3 meter cell is shared by murderers and rapists. In this prison, in this ward, prisoner on prisoner violence (including murder) is common place. We’ve just been informed today that he has been robbed numerous times, denied his medication and left in deplorable conditions so that lice has taken over his body and his health is quickly deteriorating. Iran has send him to disappear and he has been left for dead.
This is where he spends his days and his nights. I can’t imagine how hard it must be. Away from everything he’s known and his family. For 435 days so far.
Through this, thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands have been praying for Pastor Saeed. We’ve seen movement in very positive ways but we’ve also seen President Obama leave Pastor Saeed out of talks with Iran. I am well aware that there may be details and motivations that we don’t know about and that being the President is not always cut and dry. However, I cannot see why the plight of Pastor Saeed has been largely ignored and why there isn’t a much larger public outcry being heard. This man’s only crime is being a Christian, yet he is being housed in a ward with some of the most violent criminals in Iran.
“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” Matthew 10:22
It’s hard to know how to pray for Pastor Saeed and his family. God’s will will be done. Of that I am sure and I will continue to pray. I want to pray for freedom for him (and I do), yet I know that he is making an impact where he is. One that may shake the very core of that prison.
Naghmeh (Pastor Saeed’s wife) wrote this on Facebook last month about Pastor Saeed’s time in Evin Prison.
Wow, what an amazing impact he has already made for the Lord in a situation so desperate. My prayer is that the Lord will surround Pastor Saeed and his family with an abundance of peace and the sure knowledge that He is in control and loves them so much.
Prayer is fantastic and so easy. The Lord loves it when we come to Him. That is, after all, why He created us.
There are other things we can do though, to help Pastor Saeed and increase the pressure on the Iranian government to release him. Tomorrow (DECEMBER 4th, 2013), every Christian who has access to a social media platform, great or small, is asked to feature Pastor Saeed and request that the government use it’s God given power for good to secure his release! Here’s the request from Naghmeh:
This is something so many of us can do. It’s quick and easy and could make a huge difference in the life of Pastor Saeed and those who love him. I hope that you will join me in spreading the story of Pastor Saeed all over the world. Together we can be a huge beacon of light on a huge injustice.
More than that though, let us come together and pray that the Lord will continue to use Pastor Saeed’s imprisonment for His glory! That many will be brought to the only One who saves. The only One who loves completely. The One true God. Also, pray for others who are also facing persecution!
I heard this song for the first time today and I can see evidence that, through all this horror, Pastor Saeed (and his family) are living this. So many ARE seeing the Lord in them.