Pastor Saeed’s Story
July 28, 2012 – Saeed Abedini, age 33, a naturalized U.S. Citizen, husband, father of two and Pastor of a church in Idaho, was arrested for his expression of Christian faith. He was given an 8-year sentence for his ‘crimes.’ He entered Iran legally as he did on all prior trips since becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. The purpose of his last trip was to put finishing touches on a greatly needed orphanage, which was already approved by Iranian government agencies.
On a prior trip, he was cautioned by authorities not to participate in house church activities. He was informed that instead he could be involved in humanitarian projects. The last trip, which was well planned and its purpose clearly spelled out on the visa application, was 100% fully Iran approved. In fact the required Iranian approvals were received well in advance of his trip and the orphanage’s planned opening!
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard first detained Saeed claiming that he must face criminal charges for his Christian faith. After intense interrogations, Saeed was placed under house arrest and told to wait for a court summons.
September 26, 2012 – Instead of receiving a summons telling him where to appear, five members of the Revolutionary Guard raided Saeed’s parents’ home in Tehran, confiscated many of Saeed’s belongings, and took him to an unknown location. After four days the Revolutionary Guard informed the family that Saeed was in solitary confinement in the notorious Evin Prison. Later Saeed was denied medical treatment for infections that resulted from his beatings. The ward doctor and nurse refused to treat him because, as a Christian, he was considered “unclean” and an infidel. Saeed’s family in Tehran may usually visit Saeed on Mondays, but he is not permitted to make phone calls, thus cutting him off from his wife and two young children in the U.S.
January, 2013 – An Iranian court sentenced Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen, which Iran does not recognize – he was tried him as an Iranian, to eight years in prison for “undermining national security.” How? By “working to establish home-based Christian churches in Iran in the early 2000’s.” Again, he was in Iran legally in 2012 when he was arrested, and was working with the Iranian government to build an orphanage!
September 23, 2013 – Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of Saeed Abedini, is a mother of two young children and lives full-time in the U.S. She travelled to New York to deliver, if at all possible, a letter to the newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He is the new ‘smiling’ one that many people hope signals a change in Iran. In the letter she respectfully pleaded for her husband’s release from prison. It was a “chance” encounter in a large New York hotel lobby where they were both staying. He was in NY for the annual speeches at the United Nations. Mrs. Abedini was praying for a chance encounter and when she saw him passing by she boldly approached the President’s handlers with the letter, not knowing what would happen to her. Normally the public would never have such close access to him. This event and date are significant because of what happened on September 27 in America and on November 1 in Iran (see those entries below)!
Also occurring on Sept. 23, 2013 – Internationally known Evangelist, Billy Graham, now 95 years old, sent a personal letter to President Rouhani. and even purchased a full-page ad in the NY Times to publicize his appeal for Saeed’s release on humanitarian grounds.
Link to article and photocopy of Billy Graham’s letter: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/billy-graham-letter-iran-president-rouhani_n_3990854.html
September 27, 2013 – President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the first conversation between the leadersof the U.S. and Iran in 34 years. Obama says he raised the issue of the three Americans held in Iran. (This phone call was in lieu of a face-to-face encounter during the UN meetings in NY that Obama wished- would have been a great photo! But it was Rouhani who declined due to fears over reactions back home with the Supreme Leader; in fact it was reported that at least one shoe was thrown at him as a sign of disdain for his [too friendly] conduct.
November 1, 2013 – Saeed Abedini was transferred from the notorious Evin prison to a worse situation. Without notice to his wife, local family members or anyone else, Saeed was transferred to Rajaï Shahr, considered one of, if not the worse prison in Iran and it is further away from Tehran and Saeed’s family members! This prison is known as the place where as one said: ‘people are sent to drop out of sight – not to be seen again. However, Saeed was finally located by the family, which was not easy, he has been allowed some visits from family members. They report his ‘cell’ is nothing more than a sheet that separates him from the other ‘cells’ and prisoners, many of them murderers. Because they know Saeed is a Christian, they watch his every move closely. Prisoners come into his ‘cell’ at night stand over him, taunt him with knives, threaten to suffocate him with a pillow, and have stolen what few possessions, such as toiletries, that he has. He has lice from head to foot, has lost even more weight and barely sleeps. No medical attention is given to him even though he needs medications.
There have been no visits by the Red Crescent, Red Cross or diplomats during this entire time. In past similar situations, when the U.S. President spoke out making his assertions and desires very clear, and referred to hostages by name instead of generalities, this would: a) improve hostage conditions and b) obtain their eventual release sooner. Can you imagine for a moment what would happen to the nuclear agreement talks with Iran if any one of the three American hostages died in Iran’s custody? Iran should be very concerned. Are they? Not if the USA shows that it does not place a high priority on their immediate release!
There’s universal agreement with the following:
November 24, 2013 – An “Historic” Nuclear Agreement with Iran is signed in the middle of the night in Geneva under a cloak of secrecy as to the specifics. Many in the U.S. several days later are still trying to learn what the United States achieved from the deal. We can only hope that it is more than is publicly known!
January 1, 2014 – This marks the 523rd day of Pastor Saeed Abedini’s wrongful imprisonment. That’s 1 year, 5 months and 5 days!
January 1 to July 4, 2014 – There are 184 days (6 months and 4 days) between these two dates. And Iran has been given 6 months (180 days) to show good faith regarding their nuclear programs. America must insist that no more billions of US dollars, gold or other resources will be unfrozen and transferred to Iran as a result of further sanctions loosening. Neither should oil exports flow freely to other nations, including Russia that has negotiated a side deal worth $1.5 bln/month known as ‘oil for goods.’ In this barter system Russia would continue building Iran’s nuclear facilities in exchange for oil that may be used or sold on the open market. Finally, the main intention of the current nuclear talks, the cessation of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, must be proved and continually verified.
NO MORE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OR GOLD TO IRAN UNTIL THEY FREE ALL THREE!
“When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?
The King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth:
whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored,
that was Me – you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:39-40 (Msg. para.)
To hear more from Pastor Saeed Abedini and his conversion from Islam to Christianity in his own words go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=tUOoBxE4GbI
Represented by ACLJ Attorneys Jay and Jordan Sekulow http://aclj.org/
Ways people can get involved, sign petitions, specific prayer needs at: www.beheardproject.org
- Naghmeh Abedini: Don’t forget my Husband! (freeallthree.com)
- Wife of Saeed Abedini says Family is ‘Devastated’ After World Powers Sign Deal with Iran Without Trying to Ensure Husband’s Release (blackchristiannews.com)
- Obama Abandons Imprisoned American Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran for Nuke Deal (freedomoutpost.com)
- Demand President Obama Help Pastor Saeed Abedini! (freeallthree.com)
- Naghmeh Abedini pleads for husband imprisoned in Iran (upi.com)
- Donald Trump Pushes for Release of Saeed Abedini, Meets With Imprisoned Pastor’s Wife (blackchristiannews.com)