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Secretary Kerry Makes Impassioned Plea For American Pastor Saeed’s Release


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued an impassioned plea for the release of several Americans imprisoned in Iran including American Pastor Saeed Abedini.

His statement focused on the immense hardship faced by Pastor Saeed’s family in his absence.

Secretary Kerry stated:

The Unites States respectfully calls on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini, and Jason Rezaian to their families and work cooperatively with us to find Robert Levinson and bring him home. . . .

On September 26, Mr. Abedini will have been detained for two years in Iran, on charges related to his religious beliefs.  Mrs. Abedini has spoken eloquently about the difficulties her family has faced during this challenging time. . . .

he United States remains committed to returning all of them to their families, friends, and loved ones.  We ask the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately release . . . Saeed Abedini . . . .

The statement’s tone is a marked difference and a welcomed acknowledgement of the severe difficulty faced by Pastor Saeed’s family.  Pastor Saeed – a 34-year-old U.S. citizen – has done nothing wrong; he is imprisoned merely because of his religious beliefs.  His wife, Naghmeh, and two young children, Jacob and Rebekka, desperately miss and deserve Saeed back home.

The reality of what Pastor Saeed’s family faces on a daily basis without their loving husband and father was best expressed by Pastor Saeed’s children in a recent video.  In the video they pled for President Obama to do more for their father’s freedom and implore Iran’s leaders to let their father come home to them.

We are thankful for the Obama Administration’s renewed focus on Pastor Saeed’s plight.  We continue urging the Administration to do all within its power to bring him safely home to his family.

As Secretary Kerry correctly notes, September 26th marks the two-year anniversary of Pastor Saeed’s wrongful imprisonment in Iran for his Christian faith.

On that day, thousands of people around the world will join together is hundreds of cities worldwide in a global day of prayer for Pastor Saeed and the persecuted Church.

As Pastor Saeed has said, knowing “that in my chains the body of Christ has chained together” in prayer greatly encourages him during his ordeal.

Learn more about a prayer vigil in your city or register to host an event atSaeedVigil.com.

Join over 287,000 people in signing the petition for his freedom atBeHeardProject.com.

As we continue fighting across the globe for Pastor Saeed’s release, please continue to pray and share his story.



Though other parades and protests have been permittted the City of Toronto is saying a parade celebrating Jesus can’t proceed because of construction. Will media coverage change their mind?


TORONTO – Praise Jesus, it looks like the parade is back on.

Sources tell the Toronto Sun that an arrangement has been worked out between organizers of the cancelled Jesus in the City parade and City of Toronto staff.

The group tried to persuade the city to offer another route but, up until Thursday, they were told this was not possible.

Enter Mayor Rob Ford, who told the Sun he wanted the parade back on and called a meeting of all involved. READ MORE

“He was animated” and vocal, McVety said of the mayor. “He made it clear to city staff he wanted to find a solution.”

Before noon Thursday, that solution was worked out.

Somali Christian in Kenya Beaten, Thrown Off Fourth-Floor Balcony


Kenya (Morning Star News) – A secret Christian of Somali ancestry is still in pain as he recovers from a Muslim extremist attack here that left him in a coma for five days.

Five Somali immigrant Muslims on Aug. 15 threw Mohammed Ali, a 30-year-old convert from Islam, from a fourth-story apartment building in Nairobi’s Eastleigh area, according to a friend.  Ali, who lives in another area and is receiving treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital, was helping the friend to move.

“Mohammed left Eastleigh six years ago after escaping an attack,” said his wife, whose name is undisclosed for security reasons. “I had been telling him to be careful of the Muslims at Eastleigh, as they are not happy with his conversion to Christianity.”

Ali and his wife have two daughters, 5 and 3.

Ali and the friend were waiting at the friend’s place in Eastleigh, which has a large population of Somali immigrants, for a vehicle to transport household items in the move. Told to wait until 5 p.m., at that hour they called the driver, who said he was held up in a traffic jam. They continued to wait.

At 9 p.m., they heard a knock on the door. Ali’s friend, whose name is undisclosed for security reasons, went to open it thinking the driver of the transport vehicle had arrived. As he opened the door, one of five men told him, “We are looking for Mohammed,” the friend said.

Ali’s friend told them that it was late and that they should come back to see him early in the morning, but they pushed their way in, pulled Ali out of the room and threw him over a balcony from the fourth-floor apartment building.

His speech and memory impaired, Ali was able to speak with Morning Star News for no more than one minute.

“I just found myself in the hospital bed,” he said. “How I got into the hospital, I do not know.”

A doctor at the hospital said Ali’s bladder was injured. A deep wound to his stomach appeared to indicate he had been slashed with a knife.

Ali said someone may have set him up to be attacked. His wife and others said they believe he was deliberately made to wait at his friend’s place in order to provide a more isolated moment for the assailants to try to kill him.

“My husband left the house and did not come back, and that very day I received a telephone call from the police informing me that Mohammed had been attacked,” his wife said.

The hospital bill has surpassed 100,000 Kenyan shillings (US$1,110), she added.

“I am appealing to well-wishers to help us settle the hospital bill as well as support us at this trying moment,” she said.

Ali, born to Somalis in northern Kenya, has served as a Bible teacher and discipleship mentor for the Somali church in an undisclosed area of Nairobi. He said he became a Christian 15 years ago.

Members of the underground Christian community in Nairobi – most Somalis even in Kenya cannot worship openly before their immigrant countrymen, as leaving Islam is a crime punishable by death in Somalia – said that Ali’s survival was a miracle.

Kenya is 83 percent Christian while only 8 percent are Muslim, according to Operation World.

Morning Star News

Praying for Pastor Saeed – Inspired by faith of the Abedini’s

Left Pray

Bryan McCanless – SC/USA

My dear brother in Jesus,
Please know that I am praying for you that the Lord will heal, help, and deliver you!


Thank you for praying for our brother, Saeed. God bless you, Bryan. We will also keep you in our prayers.

While in prison, Paul asked believers to pray for his ability to proclaim the message of Christ clearly. As we pray for the well-being and immediate release of Pastor Saeed, we must also commit to praying for his witness and and for his persecutors. The purpose of persecution is to extinguish the Light, break us down and remove the Word of God from our hearts. We must pray divine strength to be given to those being persecuted for Christ. To trust and rely on God to remain strong in faith and endure.

Though many times we find it hard to pray for our enemies (persecutors), Christ commanded that we pray for them.

Matthew 5:43-48 (Love for Enemies)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


VOP Project Team




Kandhamal Day recalls persecuted Christians in India

India map

(Vatican Radio) As awareness and concern about the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq grows, persecuted Christians in India are raising awareness of their own plight.

Monday marks the sixth anniversary of the horrific violence that erupted against Christians in the Kandhamal District in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, formerly known as Orissa. It is reportedly the worst outbreak of anti-Christian violence in post-independence India.

Some 5,000 of these Christians continue to live in slum-like conditions, after losing their homes and belongings six years ago, when fleeing the brutal violence, meted out by mobs, inspired by extremist Hindu nationalists.

By the time the violence had subsided, more than 100 people were killed and 54,000 people were displaced. Hundreds of homes were razed to the ground and 295 churches were destroyed.

On Monday, Christian communities and human rights organisations worldwide observed Kandhamal Day– the anniversary of the August 2008 violence—in an effort to encourage the Indian government to take measures to ensure the attackers are brought to justice and to assure that such violence does not re-occur. READ MORE

Revisiting “The Silent Extermination of Iraq’s ‘Christian Dogs’”


Nearly three-and-a-half years ago, before the “Arab Spring” and the plight of Christians became much of a topic, I wrote a FrontPage article titled “The Silent Extermination of Iraq’s ‘Christian Dogs.’”  Revisiting it is useful, as it highlights some important points.  The article follows below in italics, with new observations interspersed in regular font:

Last week [April, 2011] an Iraqi Muslim scholar issued a fatwa that, among other barbarities, asserts that “it is permissible to spill the blood of Iraqi Christians.”  Inciting as the fatwa is, it is also redundant.  While last October’s Baghdad church attack which killed some sixty Christians is widely known—actually receiving some MSM coverage—the fact is, Christian life in Iraq has been a living hell ever since U.S. forces ousted the late Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The important point here is that the plight of Iraq’s Christians did not just begin under the Islamic State, as many seem to believe, but rather from the very first day the (secular) autocrat was removed.

Among other atrocities, beheading and crucifying Christians are not irregular occurrences; messages saying “you Christian dogs, leave or die,” are typical.  Islamists see the church as an “obscene nest of pagans” and threaten to “exterminate Iraqi Christians.”  John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International, summarized the situation well in a recent letter to President Obama:

“The threat of extermination is not empty. Since the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, more than half the country’s Christian population has been forced by targeted violence to seek refuge abroad or to live away from their homes as internally displaced people. According to the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, over 700 Christians, including bishops and priests, have been killed and 61 churches have been bombed. Seven years after the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Catholic Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk reports: ‘He who is not a Muslim in Iraq is a second-class citizen. Often it is necessary to convert or emigrate, otherwise one risks being killed.’ This anti-Christian violence is sustained by a widespread culture of Muslim supremacism that extends far beyond those who pull the triggers and detonate the bombs.”

Again, more confirmation that the savage persecution of Christians in Iraq—including recent acts of genocide and expulsions—is not a product of the Islamic State, but rather something more homegrown, more—how shall we say?—integral to Muslims unloosed from the grips of secularized dictators?

The grand irony, of course, is that Christian persecution has increased exponentially under U.S. occupation.  As one top Vatican official put it, Christians, “paradoxically, were more protected under the dictatorship” of Saddam Hussein.

What does one make of this—that under Saddam, who was notorious for human rights abuses, Christians were better off than they are under a democratic government sponsored by humanitarian, some would say “Christian,” America?

Although I first suggested over three years ago that Christian minorities are the first to suffer whenever the U.S. intervenes in Islamic nations—evincing the types of people the U.S. ends up empowering—this notion is now an ironclad fact, with other examples to add to Iraq, including Libya, Syria, and Egypt under Obama allies, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Like a Baghdad caliph, Saddam appears to have made use of the better educated Christians, who posed no risk to his rule, such as his close confidant Tariq Aziz.  Moreover, by keeping a tight lid on the Islamists of his nation—who hated him as a secular apostate no less than the Christians—the latter benefited indirectly.

Conversely, by empowering “the people,” the U.S. has unwittingly undone Iraq’s Christian minority.  Naively projecting Western values on Muslims, U.S. leadership continues to think that “people-power” will naturally culminate into a liberal, egalitarian society—despite all the evidence otherwise.  The fact is, in the Arab/Muslim world, “majority rule” traditionally means domination by the largest tribe or sect; increasingly, it means Islamist domination.

Either which way, the minorities—notably the indigenous Christians—are the first to suffer once the genie of “people-power” is uncorked.  Indeed, evidence indicates that the U.S. backed “democratic” government of Iraq enables and incites the persecution of its Christians.  (All of this raises the pivotal question: Do heavy-handed tyrants—Saddam, Mubarak, Qaddafi, et al—create brutal societies, or do naturally brutal societies create the need for heavy-handed tyrants to keep order?)

Again, a reminder that it is not just the Islamic State that persecutes Christians, but even the U.S. installed government of Iraq.  Moreover, a few months after the above was written, the government of “liberated” Afghanistan destroyed the last Christian church—entirely under U.S. auspices.

Another indicator that empowering Muslim masses equates Christian suffering is the fact that, though Iraqi Christians amount to a mere 5% of the population, they make up nearly 40% of the refugees fleeing Iraq.  It is now the same in Egypt: “A growing number of Egypt’s 8-10 million Coptic Christians are looking for a way to get out as Islamists increasingly take advantage of the nationalist revolution that toppled long-standing dictator Hosni Mubarak in February.”

At least Egypt’s problems are homegrown, whereas the persecution of Iraq’s Christians is a direct byproduct of U.S. intervention.  More ironic has been Obama’s approach: Justifying U.S. intervention in Libya largely in humanitarian terms, the president recently declared that, while “it is true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs… that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right.”

Indeed, and we have since seen what Obama’s “humanitarian” actions in Libya have led to—the empowerment of Islamists and jihadis, evinced from things like the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the dramatic rise of Christian persecution.  Since Obama “liberated” Libya, Christians—including Americans—have been tortured and killed (including for refusing to convert) and churches bombed. And it’s “open season” on Copts, as jihadis issue a reward to Muslims who find and kill Christians. This was hardly the case under Gaddafi.

True, indeed.  Yet, as Obama “acts on behalf of what’s right” by providing military protection to the al-Qaeda connected Libyan opposition, Iraq’s indigenous Christians continue to be exterminated—right under the U.S. military’s nose in Iraq. You see, in its ongoing bid to win the much coveted but forever elusive “Muslim-hearts-and-minds™”—which Obama has even tasked NASA with—U.S. leadership has opted to ignore the inhumane treatment of Islam’s “Christian dogs,” the mere mention of which tends to upset Muslims.

And now the job is largely done, as Christians and other religious minorities are being cleansed from large parts of Iraq, not to mention much of the Islamic world.

Raymond Ibrahim

Convert Encouraged To Face Persecution – Inspired By Faith of Abedini’s

I can do all things

Yasmin – South Africa

Hi my name is Yasmin, an ex-moslem that came to JESUS just in time. I am always thinking of Saeed. what a blessed man saved by the blood of JESUS.

I am so honoured to read what he goes through and to know after all this, our GOD will be there to save him, he is already free. And to know that when you put your weak hand into HIS strong hand, no matter what the circumstances might look at the moment.

We here in South African are not locked up for our faith, but we have a daily persecution of our own family, brothers and sisters, and the battle is hard. But we know the battle has already been won.

This brother in CHRIST JESUS is a real inspiration for me. To go through this, he will come forth as gold. The one thing that stays with me is that he has a wife who sits by the feet of JESUS. This is really a blessing as GOD sees this, and the prayer of the righteous will prevail.


Amen and Amen! Yasmin, thank you for sharing how the Abedini’s have inspired your faith. We are also encouraged by your words. We praise GOD and rejoice that you have been brought into our family, the Body of CHRIST! We at Voice of the Persecuted invite you to stay in touch to encourage, lift up and pray for one another. If you are needing urgent prayer, our Prayer Warriors are here to intercede for you. Please watch for an email from us. GOD bless you, dear sister!

VOP Project and Advocate Team

Tell Pastor Saeed that we understand, and we will pick up the cross and follow Christ as he has.

Join in this project to let the Abedini’s know how they have inspired or renewed your faith. Each testimony will be a source of encouragement to them and the Body of Christ. When the family is reunited, we will gather the stories to be published in a book and presented to them as an appreciation for their steadfast faith. Together, we will be able to provide a little insight into how God has worked through them to be a blessing to more than they realize.  Add your testimony below. If your church has been active in praying for this persecuted family, inform them of this special mission so they too can share their thoughts and be an encouragement.

Be encouraged, view submitted testimonies HERE 

 inspired by faith


Counted Worthy To Suffer For Christ – Inspired By Faith of Pastor Saeed



Patricia Zahler – Illinois, USA

Please tell Pastor Saeed that I pray everyday for him.  I often ask God for his release, but if it is not time for that, I ask Him to let his light so shine that guards and prisoners alike will see Christ, not him.

Pastor Saeed has “been counted worthy to suffer for Christ,” I think this can only be the highest honor bestowed on a Christian.  We are here “to fill up what is behind of Christ’s sufferings,” as if He didn’t suffer enough, but such is the evil in this world.

I pray that God will strengthen him daily, give him the words for those he is privileged to speak to.  He is truly a Romans 12 Christian, a living sacrifice.  And just think, if he is successful in leading one person to Christ, and that person leads one person, anon, just think what a “change agent” he will be.

I so admire this man and his family, their patience, their love, their willingness to do God’s work in a perverse generation.  Tell him to look up, for Christ is coming soon.  I send my love, which God gave me to send to him and his beautiful family.  “No greater love hath any man than that he would lay down his life for his friends.”  May God preserve and strengthen Pastor Saeed and direct every move of his life… am asking God to bless him and his family, and show them favor.


Where some see a hopeless situation, we see a warrior standing firm on the front lines of battle. An overcomer on the winning side in the service of Christ, King of all kings who has the victory. Hallelujah!

Thank you, Patricia for your words of encouragement. We join you in prayer and will also be praying for you. God bless you, sister.

VOP Project Team

Tell Pastor Saeed that we understand, and we will pick up the cross and follow Christ as he has.

Join in this project to let the Abedini’s know how they have inspired or renewed your faith. Each testimony will be a source of encouragement to them and the Body of Christ. When the family is reunited, we will gather the stories to be published in a book and presented to them as an appreciation for their steadfast faith. Together, we will be able to provide a little insight into how God has worked through them to be a blessing to more than they realize.  Add your testimony below. If your church has been active in praying for this persecuted family, inform them of this special mission so they too can share their thoughts and be an encouragement.

Be encouraged, view submitted testimonies HERE 

 inspired by faith


God’s and Humanity’s Heroes – Inspired By Faith Of The Abedini’s


Richard Blake (Colorado/USA)

Pastor Saeed and Nagmeh,

At this time when the world’s attention is riveted on the horrible events taking place in Iraq and Syria, I wanted to make sure to tell you that I continue to pray, to be active and inspired by your steadfast faith.

You are both heroes of the Lord and of suffering humanity.  In lands such as Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, etc., the suffering is very real and physical.  For us in those fortunate lands where that suffering, so far, no so real and physical, a lot of us find ourselves in a spiritual malaise, that, in the end may prove more deadly to our souls than the physical suffering in your native lands— that many of us are trying to avoid thinking about.

May God Bless you and your family.


Richard is an advocate concerned for the persecuted and the equal rights of Christians in all nations. He also works with those forced to seek asylum. We are praying for him as he continues the work. Thank you, Brother Richard.

VOP Advocate Team

Tell Pastor Saeed that we understand, and we will pick up the cross and follow Christ as he has.

Join in this project to let the Abedini’s know how they have inspired or renewed your faith. Each testimony will be a source of encouragement to them and the Body of Christ. When the family is reunited, we will gather the stories to be published in a book and presented to them as an appreciation for their steadfast faith. Together, we will be able to provide a little insight into how God has worked through them to be a blessing to more than they realize.  Add your testimony below. If your church has been active in praying for this persecuted family, inform them of this special mission so they too can share their thoughts and be an encouragement.

Be encouraged, view submitted testimonies HERE 

 inspired by faith


NIGERIA: Eyewitness Accounts of Slaughter in Gwoza Attack


VOP Nigerian Foreign Correspondent

(Voice of the Persecuted) The Islamic Ideology of converting the Christian community with violence has come to stay in Northern Nigeria. The capture of Gwoza local wolfgovernment by Islamic Militants on 6th August 2014 was reported all over the media. They mounted their black flag with sword logo in the middle of the town, destroyed several houses, burnt down churches, captured military personnel and brutally massacred the people. Muslim owned media houses quickly went on air and told world cable channels that Muslims were the ones that suffered in the attacks. They didn’t report that Christians were slaughtered like animals on account of their faith, some burned alive after being thrown into fire. And that Christian remains were left unburied decomposing on the ground .

Prominent Christians who suffered in the attack stated that many Christian youths were forcefully recruited to join the insurgents in working for Allah. One eyewitness named those he knew that were massacred in Church of Brethren (EYN) as Markus Kulka (50 years) Ishaku Zhadava (55 Years) and Student Pastor Gambo Zakariya (35 Years) who had his throat slit for refusing to convert to Islam.

Another witness who narrowly escaped the insurgents recalled that there were many Christians who gave up and the insurgents took them away. He told Voice of the Persecuted’s correspondent, “I’m not sure whether they have killed them or not.” “There were also brave Christians who died because they refused to compromise. Adamu Vime (55 years) and Godiya Markus (20 years) were killed in my presence” he said. Sharing his own experience he observed the Boko haram seemed to hate the sign of the cross most. “All the Christians wearing a cross were said to be slaughtered. Any church building that had a cross on it was brought down.”

Since from the time the insurgents took over Gwoza and mounted their flag, hundreds of Christians have been killed and their property were looted. Those who were able to escape went to Michika (a Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria) as displaced people, some stopped in Madagali, Gulak, Mubi and other villages in the borders of Borno and Adamawa States helpless without shelter, food or water to drink. “I have not eaten for 6 days,” said one of the survivors.

Our correspondent gathered that thousands of Christians who ran to the hills were still trapped there by the Boko haram. “They have been there for a week without food or water”, a witness said. Many who escaped to the hills, but bled to death from bullet wounds. One of the pastors spoke directly with the Boko Haram telling them, “What you’re doing is not a work of Allah, repent or else you will enter hell.” They then killed the pastor. One of the Christians told our correspondent, “I saw it with my eyes. His corpse laid decomposing on the ground until some elderly women went and buried it.”

Voice of the Persecuted

©Voice of the Persecuted. (VOP)  Article may be reprinted with credit to Voice of the Persecuted.

To support the mission to bring aid to persecuted Nigerian Christians visit click on the donate button for VOP-btn_donatecc_lgsecured credit/debit card payment method, or mail your check or money order to:

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P.O. Box 122
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Thank you for being a part of this mission by your continued support to aid our persecuted brothers and sisters. We couldn’t do it with out you!



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