PLEASE SHARE this INTERNATIONAL Campaign Mission to remember our persecuted brother, Pastor Saeed Abedini. Your participation and help is crucial for making this mission a success! We will let Saeed and Iran know that he will NOT BE FORGOTTEN!
VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED has organized an International Christmas Campaign Mission, along with his wife, Nagmeh Abedini to REMEMBER SAEED ON CHRISTMAS.
MORE DETAILS AND IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS SEE LINK BELOW.
You may also join the Campaign Event on Facebook to lift up and encourage his wife, Naghmeh showing her you care, are praying and standing firm for husband!
Sources report that an Iranian Christian was transferred to ward 350 of Evin prison to serve his three-year sentence. In the meantime, as part of a new wave of arrest of bloggers and cyber-activists, Revolutionary Guard authorities arrested two Christian bloggers.
According to Mohabat News, Human Rights sources reported that an Iranian Christian convert, Rasoul Abdollahi, was transferred to ward 350 of Evin prison to serve his three-year prison term.
In the meantime, as part of a new wave of arrest of bloggers and cyber-activists, Revolutionary Guard authorities arrested two Christian bloggers. On December 4, an Iranian senior judicial authority stated that intelligence forces in Revolutionary Guard identified 16 internet activists in Kerman who were in contact with foreign agents.
Rasoul Abdollahi is an Iranian Christian convert, accused of “collusion against the government and evangelism”, had earlier been sentenced to three years in prison. On Monday, December 2, he was transferred to ward 350 of Evin prison to serve his sentence.
Mr. Abdollahi had also been arrested during an organized raid on a Christmas celebration on December 26, 2010 in Tehran. This raid resulted in the arrest of a number of other Christians including Farshid Fathi. Farshid Fathi was kept in prison for 15 months without any official charges and then sentenced to six years in prison. He is currently serving his sentence in ward 350 of Evin prison.
According to a report by the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, Revolutionary Guard authorities arrested two internet activists/bloggers, Kiavosh Sotoudeh and Jamshid Jabbari, on December 4, in front of Kerman University and took them to an unknown location.
There are no updates available on the reason(s) for these arrests.
News sources state that these two internet activists have ties with house church and evangelistic groups.
There was news recently that indicated a new Revolutionary Guard campaign to crackdown on internet activists. Also, Fars News agency, which is supported by Revolutionary Guard, reported that Intelligence agents of the Revolutionary Guard have arrested several internet activists for propagating against Islam and having contact with foreigners.
An intelligence authority told Fars News that these internet activists are accused of cyber-crimes, desecrating Islamic holy figures, and contact with foreigners. He also claimed that they were part of a complex security-media network.
Other reports also indicated an escalation in the arrest of reporters, religious dissidents, student and political activists.
VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED has organized an International Christmas Campaign Mission, along with his wife, Nagmeh Abedini to REMEMBER SAEED ON CHRISTMAS.
American pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen has been imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith, since September 2012. Practically without representation, the Iranian government sentenced Pastor Saeed to eight years in prison after convicting him of “undermining” the government by spreading his religious beliefs.
Saeed had previously worked with house churches in Iran. In a previous detainment, the Iranian government had Pastor Saeed sign a document promising he would not proselytize. He claims he has upheld his side of the bargain. Having a heart for orphans, in 2012 he was visiting family and organizing board members for a government approved orphanage that he was starting for Iranian children regardless of their faith.
Pastor Saeed has endured psychological/physical torture, because he will not deny his Christian faith. These beatings have caused him to suffer internal bleeding, while medical care was withheld for months. The treatment he finally did receive has been very minimal.
In a new upsetting development last month, he was transferred from Evin Prison, a facility for political prisoners, to Rajai Shahr Prison, the deadliest prison in Iran. He is now held in a violent criminal ward, where hardened prisoners have unfettered access to him. His health has also been deteriorating. He is experiencing increased pain in his stomach as he is being denied necessary medication and treatment. He is malnourished, losing weight and covered in lice, due of the horrific prison conditions. He has also been threatened at knifepoint and robbed of the few basic hygiene items he had.
Though many have been devastated that Pastor Saeed’s release was not procured by the U.S. Administration during recent agreement talks with Iran. Until he is back home with his family, the American people and many others from around the world have not forgotten him and will not give up in their demands for his release!
It is hard to imagine what Saeed must be going through as he suffers in chains for Christ. It is painful to think about the grief his wife and two young children are experiencing in his absence. They too have been forced to share in the suffering of persecution.
This holiday season is the perfect time for us to flood Rajaei-Shahr Prison with messages and share this Christmas with Saeed! JOIN with us to let him & Iran know he WILL NOT be forgotten! With Christ & our prayers, he is NEVER alone.
We encourage you to write a personal letter of encouragement and Christmas greetings to Pastor Saeed. You can personalize the card or letter by sending a family photo. Younger children may participate by sending a drawing, encouraging him in this time of trial. Most likely the guards will read these cards and letters. Include in your message, the love Jesus has for us and the ultimate gift of sacrifice that Christ gave for all people. Sharing this with them may be the first and only time they will get to read about what Christ has done for them. Pray the Lord touches their hearts!
Your help is crucial in making this mission a success!
PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, PASTORS/CHURCHES, MINISTRY GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, CLUBS, COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL MEDIA SITES, SUCH AS FACEBOOK AND TWITTER.
Share often, motivate others to care, you CAN make a difference and bring joy in this world! Help us spread this mission around the world to start sending love and light to Iran. And to REMEMBER SAEED ON CHRISTMAS!
INSTRUCTIONS BELOW MUST BE FOLLOWED TO PROTECT PASTOR SAEED
When writing your cards or letters, please do not state anything negative about the Iranian government. Do not mention any foreign organization, or church that is supporting the efforts to free Christian prisoners. While it is safe for prisoners to receive encouraging letters, naming an organization or church, or criticizing the Iranian government could potentially place Pastor Saeed in more harm. Please do not do anything to make matters any worse for him.
Send your cards and letters to:
Karaj, Islamic Republic of Iran
P.O. Box: 31485–498
Join the campaign on Facebook to get updates and let his family know they are in your heart this Christmas! JOIN HERE
Remember to make your VOICE heard! Sign the petition to help free Saeed at beheardproject.com And reblog this mission! Thank you
(ACLJ) In a critical development in American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s case, Congress will hold a hearing next week on his worsening plight.
Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, and I have been asked to testify about Pastor Saeed’s dire situation as Members of Congress seek to once again elevate the plight of this U.S. citizen who been abandoned and wrongly imprisoned in Iran because of his faith.
A joint subcommittee hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has been set for next, Thursday, December 12th at 9:30am.
The hearing before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, chaired by Representative Chris Smith (NJ), and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, chaired by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), will focus on Pastor Saeed’s worsening plight.
We are grateful for this opportunity to elevate Pastor Saeed’s case, and it could not come at a more pivotal moment.
Last month Pastor Saeed was transferred from the political prisoner ward of Evin prison, a notoriously dangerous prison, to the violent criminal ward of Rajai Shahr prison, the deadliest prison in Iran. This week we learned that Pastor Saeed has been repeatedly robbed and threatened at knifepoint in this new prison.
Pastor Saeed’s health is also deteriorating. He is experiencing increased pain in his stomach as he is being denied necessary medication by Iranian authorities. He is malnourished, covered in lice, and losing weight because of horrendous prison conditions.
In light of his deadly situation and the Obama Administration’s refusal to even ask for Pastor Saeed’s release in recent direct negotiations with Iran, it is imperative that Congress speak out. The U.S. State Department and the Obama Administration must make Pastor Saeed’s freedom a true priority.
The life of a U.S. citizen – whose only “crime” is his Christian faith – is a stake.
More details and hearing location are available on the Committee’s website.
Thousands of Christian civilians sought refuge at an airport guarded by French soldiers yesterday, fleeing from the mostly Muslim ex-rebels with machetes and guns who now rule the country.
A day after the worst violence to hit the chaotic capital in nine months erupted, people sang with joy as they banged on plastic buckets and waved rags into the air in celebration of the arrival of several French helicopters.
Outside the barbed-wire fences of the airport, bodies lay decomposing along the roads in a capital too dangerous for many to collect the corpses. Thursday’s clashes left at least 280 dead, according to national radio, and have raised fears that waves of retaliatory attacks could soon follow.
“They are slaughtering us like chickens,” said Appolinaire Donoboy, a Christian whose family remained in hiding.
France had pledged to increase its presence in its former colony well before Christian militias attacked the capital at dawn Thursday. The arrival of additional French troops and equipment came as the capital teetered on the brink of total anarchy and represented the greatest hope for many Central Africans.
About 1,000 French forces were expected to be on the ground by last evening, a French defense official said on condition of anonymity.
As night fell across the capital, Christians fearing retaliatory attacks by the mostly Muslim ex-rebels crowded as close to the runway as possible, laying out their woven mats in front of a barbed-wire coiled fence.
The U.S. State Department said it was “deeply concerned” by the violence and praised France’s quick intervention.
France signaled its amped-up presence yesterday by sending out armored vehicles to patrol the streets. A French fighter jet made several flyovers, roaring through the sky over an otherwise lifeless capital as civilians cowered at home. Britain also flew in a C-17 plane loaded with equipment to help with France’s intervention.
As many as 250 French troops are carrying out permanent patrols in Bangui, and “we didn’t notice any direct clashes between armed groups today,” said French military spokesman Col. Gilles Jaron in Paris.
On Thursday, however, 10 armed attackers in a pickup truck fired on a French position at the airport, including with a rocket-propelled grenade whose charge did not detonate. French forces returned fire, killing four attackers and wounding six, Jaron said.
A planned vote on a U.N. Security Council resolution Thursday allowed France to proceed with its mission. It coincided with the worst violence to roil the capital since March, when the mostly Muslim rebels known as Seleka overthrew the president of a decade.
On Thursday, Christian militias believed to be loyal to ousted leader Francois Bozize attacked the city, and hours of gunbattles ensued. The conflict in one of Africa’s poorest countries has gathered little sustained international attention since the government overthrow in March, and the dramatic developments were overshadowed yesterday by global mourning for South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, who died at 95.
“Thanks to France and the United Nations who want to save the Central Africans; soon, the Seleka attacks on civilians will stop,” said Abel Nguerefara, who lives on the outskirts of Bangui.
Streets were empty yesterday except for military vehicles and the trucks favored by rebels, who now claim control of the government. Nine unclaimed bodies lay sprawled in front of the parliament building alone — local Red Cross workers didn’t dare retrieve them or other bodies that were left out to decay.
Despite the cheers that went up when a jet engine roared overhead, France insisted it was going only reluctantly into the country and with the limited aim of doubling its presence to 1,200 troops.
Still, it remains an open question how France can achieve even its limited goals in the six months allotted to the mission.
The growing oppression of Christians in Africa has been a long ongoing scene. Villages are destroyed, their homes and churches burned down, women and children kidnapped and taken as slaves. Rape, torture and brutal slaughter are widely reported. As the violence continues to escalate without an end in sight, Christians have grown weary of the constant attacks and now feel they must defend themselves. Armed Christian forces are fighting back. If the government cannot curtail the aggression from Muslim extremists, we fear many more will be killed in the clashes and add to the suffering.
Please keep them in your prayers. Ask God for a divine intervention to end this war against Christians in Central and North Africa.
VOP highly recommends and asks that you PLEASE WATCH the video CBN did on this story- link below
Twenty-two years of war between North and South Sudan ended when southerners gained independence in July 2011.
But fighting in disputed areas of Sudan has continued as Khartoum attempts to control and Islamize non-Arabs by waging jihad on regions like Sudan’s Nuba Mountains.
A prominent Sudanese bishop is in Washington this week asking Americans to help alleviate the suffering.
Macram Gassis, bishop of Sudan’s El-Obeid Diocese, said Christians and others in the Nubas are still suffering at the hands of the Islamist regime.
“They are on the cross in a special way because bombing is daily, the Khartoum government has sealed all the entrances into the Nuba Mountains,” Gassis explained. “So, there is no food, no medicine, no fuel, no nothing.”
Not far from the Nuba Mountains, near the border between Sudan and South Sudan, is the disputed region of Abiye. During recent referendum, the people of Abiye voted to join South Sudan, something Sudan has rejected in the past.
“Khartoum is finding it difficult to give up Abiye because Abiye is floating on oil,” Gassis said.
The people of Abiye belong to the Dinka tribe, the dominant tribe of South Sudan. Many of them are Christians.
But the people of the Nubas and Abiye aren’t the only groups under attack. Christians still residing in Khartoum and elsewhere in the north are experiencing persecution.
“Southerners are not looked at favorably,” Gassis said. “They tell them, ‘You are foreigners, you are unwanted here, why don’t you go back to your country?’ There is pressure not to get any more missionary personnel from the outside. We don’t have the possibilities of building churches now anymore in northern Sudan.”
Bishop Gassis is asking Americans to pray for the Sudanese people–especially those in the Nubas, Khartoum, and Abiye.
He also urged Christians to take action.
“Prayers without action are dead prayers,” Gassis insisted.
RECOMMENDED VIDEO HERE
VOP message: Please let us know if you would like more information on how to contact your government officials. We can not stand by silent and let the atrocities committed against them, INCLUDING THE CHILDREN continue to go on. We must not let another genocide take place. Please find it in your heart to move on this. They need our VOICES so desperately.
And remember to stay in prayer for our suffering family in Africa.
When Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin of Elane Photography turned down a request from a potential client, they had little idea that they were walking into the center of a firestorm.
Because of her sincerely held beliefs about marriage, Elaine declined to use her artistic talents to celebrate and promote a same-sex ceremony for Vanessa Willock. Although Willock easily found another photographer to do the job, she nevertheless filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, which issued an order for Elaine and Jonathan to pay $6,637 to the two women who filed the complaint.
After we appealed to the New Mexico Supreme Court on behalf of the Huguenins, the court ruled against them last August. While the ruling itself was shocking, perhaps the most shocking aspect of the case came in a written opinion from one of the justices. He wrote that compelling the Huguenins to violate their deeply held religious beliefs on the definition of marriage was simply “the price of citizenship.”
There have been many governments throughout history that demanded its citizens compromise their deeply held beliefs. The word for those governments is “tyranny.”
Just a pinch of incense
Perhaps the most famous example of this is the persecution of Christians in Ancient Rome. During periods of persecution, Christians could escape death if they would only offer a pinch of incense to the statue of Caesar and utter the words, “Caesar is lord.” Denying Christ was the price of citizenship. Or in this case the price of staying alive.
Who would have thought that in America Christians are now expected to “offer their pinch of incense to Caesar” to avoid punishment?
But we have a state Supreme Court justice saying that being compelled to violate one’s deepest held religious beliefs is simply “the price of citizenship.”
It may not seem like a penalty of $6,637 is a significant thing. (I assure you that to a small, owner-operated photography studio, it IS a significant amount of money.)
Romans, I’m sure downplayed Caesar’s edict and urged their Christian neighbors to compromise their faith. “It’s just a pinch of incense, what’s the problem? It’s just the price of Roman citizenship.”
But be assured of this: A government that claims the power to compel you to violate your religious beliefs or pay a fine is not that far away from a government that compels you to violate your religious beliefs at the pain of death.
Religious freedom is given to us by God. That freedom is protected by the Constitution in the First Amendment, which states that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion
And yet, just this year we have a state Supreme Court justice saying plainly that your freedom of religion CAN be abridged as “the price of citizenship.”
God, protect us from the arrogance of governments that put themselves in your place.
According to Mohabat News, two Christian prisoners, Farhad Sabokrouh, Pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Ahwaz, and Naser Zamen-Dezfuli, a church minister were released on December 4, 2013 after 214 days in Sepidar prison.
On December 23, 2011, Iranian security authorities raided a Christmas celebration at the Assemblies of God church of Ahwaz and arrested everyone in attendance. All those arrested were transferred to an unknown location in two buses.
All those arrested were threatened and released after being interrogated and their personal information taken. However, Pastor Sabokrouh, his wife, Shahnaz Jayzan, and two of the church ministers, Naser Zamen-Dezfuli and Davoud Alijani, were held in prison for converting from Islam to Christianity, proselytizing Muslims, and propagating against the Islamic regime through evangelism.
Later, the Revolutionary Court of Ahwaz sentenced each to one year in prison. Davoud Alijani was arrested and taken to prison to serve his sentence when he went to the court on May 1, 2013, while the three others were summoned to the court and transferred to prison on May 4.
Pastor Sabokrouh and Mr. Zamen-Dezfuli have been released while there are still two weeks remaining from their prison term. Iranian judicial authorities have refused to provide a reason for their slightly early release, thus it is not certain whether this pardon will include the pastor’s wife, and Davoud Alijani or not.
It should be mentioned that according to a directive from Iran’s Revolutionary Court and as part of the court’s policy to further pressure and persecute religious and political prisoners, Christian convicts are not to be granted leave permits while serving their sentences.
The Assemblies of God Church of Ahwaz, which is technically a house turned into a church, is registered and thus under the supervision of Iranian authorities. Despite this fact, the church has been targeted and subject to unreasonable pressure.
Arbitrary arrests and restrictions on Christian converts are not a new phenomenon. In fact all religious minorities in Iran are subject to various forms of discrimination in one way or another.
After the Islamic revolution of 1979, the situation of religious minorities in Iran has always been a major Human Rights concern. /Farsi
For as long as anyone can remember, teachers at Brooklet Elementary School have posted Christmas cards in the hallways outside their classrooms – until Monday.
When boys and girls returned from Thanksgiving break, they discovered that their teachers’ Christmas cards had been removed – under orders from the Georgia school’s administration.
Robb Kicklighter’s wife is a third grade teacher at the school. He said many teachers are disgruntled by the school’s decision to confiscate the Christmas cards.
“They took down the cards so the kids can’t see them,” he told me. “Some of the cards had the word ‘Christmas’ and some had Nativity scenes.”
Kicklighter said the cards were put behind an office door so only teachers could access them.
“It’s really sad because the students looked forward to seeing those homemade Christmas cards every year,” he said. “It’s stirred a lot conversation. This has been a tradition and the kids are wondering what happened to the cards.”
The Christmas card censorship comes as the Bulloch County Board of Education cracks down on religious expression in their schools.
Teachers have been ordered to remove any religious icons or items from their classrooms – ranging from Bibles to Christian music.
Teachers have also been instructed to avoid student-led prayers at all costs. Should they be in a room where students are praying, teachers have been ordered to turn their backs on their students.
“It’s an attack on Christianity,” Kicklighter said. “It seems like every time we turn around, someone is offended.”
Hundreds of outraged residents have joined a Facebook page to protest the crackdown – and many are vowing to attend a school board meeting on Thursday to let school officials have a piece of their mind.
The Board of Education released a statement noting that there are “established legal requirements to which we must adhere.”
by Todd Starnes- Town Hall