Iran – Pastor Saeed Abedini
Pastor Saeed Abedini was arrested in Iran in July 2012 during his work on an orphanage project. He was tried and sentenced to eight years in prison for “threatening the national security [of Iran]”. Recently, at the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting, U.S. and German representatives were drawn to his case and called for his release. The governments’ concern of Iran’s suppression of free expression and civil society led to their involvement in taking larger actions for his release. Throughout his imprisonment, his wife, Naghmeh has ardently spoken for his release as well as her Christian faith.
In an interview last year, his wife Naghmeh stated, “You know, my ultimate hope is in God. I can’t think of the eight years – it just paralyzes me. God has given me continued hope to take it a day at a time.”
Pastor Abedini was formerly a Muslim and converted to Christianity in 2000. He began establishing house churches throughout Iran. Due to Iranian government pressure to stop church work, Abedini transitioned his focus on building orphanage homes.
Of the 76.4 million Iranian citizens, 99% of the population practices Islam (89% of the population practices Shi’iah Islam, Iran’s national religion; 10% of the population practices Sunni Islam). According to the U.S. Department of State, though Iran does officially recognize religious minorities like Christianity, government actions have created a “threatening atmosphere for some religious minorities” through “imprisonment, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination”.
1) Please pray that the Iranian leaders will make rational and sound decisions.
2) Please pray for Pastor Abedini and his family’s physical and spiritual strength during his imprisonment.
3) Please pray for the nations invested in his release; that they can effectively aid in the release of Pastor Abedini.
4) Please pray that God will continually encourage Iranian Christians as well as stir the hearts of the Iranian people.
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