On these pages over the past several years, I have written about the plight of Pastor Saeed Abedini. Pastor Abedini, an American citizen, has been imprisoned under the Islamic mullahs of Iran since September 2012. He is presently serving an eight year sentence for his Christian activities in one of the most brutal hell-hole prisons in Iran. Although his case has garnered international attention and many have advocated on his behalf, he remains in prison for his Christian faith. Pastor Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, has said, “Nothing has given Saeed and our family more strength than knowing that we are not forgotten, and that many are praying for us and taking the time to write letters and encourage us.” We are admonished in Hebrews 13:3 to “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” But in addition to Pastor Abedini, there are numerous other Christians who are imprisoned in Iran for their Christian faith.
Over the past several months, the United States and a number of European nations have released billions of dollars of frozen Iranian funds to the mullahs based upon their assurances that Iran would “halt” some aspects of its nuclear program and continue to “negotiate” their nuclear program in exchange for easing of international sanctions. Although I am skeptical that the Iranian mullahs will ever want to give up their nuclear program, no efforts was made to release Pastor Abedini as a precondition to release of the frozen funds. Mr. Obama has only made one public statement regarding Pastor Abedini at a National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., last February. In his remarks, Mr. Obama said the following:
We pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini. He’s been held in Iran for more than 18 months – sentenced to eight years in prison on charges relating to his Christian beliefs. And as we continue to work for his freedom today, again, we call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Abedini so he can return to the loving arms of his wife and children in Idaho.
However, the Iranian mullahs ignored Mr. Obama’s appeal. But they sure took the billions of cash. Pastor Abedini’s young children have pleaded with Mr. Obama to help bring their dad home. You can watch the poignant video of heartbroken children here. Pastor Abedini also wrote a deeply powerful and beautiful letter to his wife, which you can hear in this video.
Please pray for this beautiful and great saint of God and for his family. Please also pray for the many other Christians imprisoned in Iran. And during this congressional recess, when your elected representatives are holding town halls in your community, please ask them what they are doing to bring back Pastor Abedini, an American citizen, held by the butchers of Teheran.