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The mother of Saeed Abedini, the American citizen imprisoned in Iran for his faith, has fled the Islamic republic and is making her way to the U.S. to await his return with his wife and two sons.
Friends of Abedini on Friday helped spirit the anguished mom and two of her other children out of the repressive nation, where she faced daily threats and intimidation for championing her son’s case, according to Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Saeed, who has spent more than two years in an Iranian prison after being accused of proselytizing in his homeland. She is now safe in another country and awaiting passage to the U.S., said family members, who did not want to release her name until she was on U.S. soil.
“Facing threats in Iran, Saeed’s mom is now safely out of the country,” Naghmeh Abedini told FoxNews.com. “We look forward to seeing her soon here in the United States. It has been a difficult time for all of us — including Saeed’s mom.” READ MORE
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. Hebrews13:3
To locate a prayer vigil near you please visit: savesaeed.org/vigil
WASHINGTON — The wife of an Iranian-American pastor imprisoned in Iran said Monday she was “extremely disappointed” that US President Barack Obama had remained silent on the case.
The statement by Naghmeh Abedini followed reports from Tehran that an Iranian appeals court had upheld her husband Saeed Abedini’s conviction and eight-year prison term.
“The news out of Iran is devastating to our family,” she said in a statement released by the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing the family.
Abedini, a naturalized US citizen who converted from Islam to Christianity, was sentenced to prison in January for his role in establishing underground Christian churches in Iran.
His Iran-based lawyer Nasser Sarbazi said the Tehran appeals court confirmed the verdict.
“As a consequence, the sentence of eight years in prison is definitive from now on,” Sarbazi said.
Naghmeh Abedini, who lives in Idaho with the couple’s two children, said the family would be consulting with lawyers to determine whether to appeal to Iran’s Supreme Court or Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader.
She called in the meantime for stepped up international pressure in the case, and sharply criticized Obama for not speaking out on her husband’s behalf.
“My husband is serving eight years in the notorious Evin prison and facing daily threats and abuse by radicals because he refuses to deny his Christian faith,” she said.
“And yet, my president, President Obama, has not spoken a word about him,” she said.
“I am extremely disappointed that President Obama has chosen to remain silent on this critical human and religious rights case of an American imprisoned in Iran,” she said.
Please join the prayer vigil being held in your state on September 26th. More details at savesaeed.org
Pastor Saeed was:
- Arrested and imprisoned by Iranian Revolutionary Guards;
- Repeatedly beaten in prison.
- Continues to be denied access to needed medical care treatment for internal bleeding caused by this abuse. This has been ongoing for months now.
- Denied access to his attorney until mere hours before his trial;
- Given a sham trial before a judge so notoriously biased and corrupt that he was condemned by the European Union for issuing egregious verdicts;
- Disallowed, along with his counsel, from attending the second day of his trial; and
- Sentenced to eight years in Evin Prison for exercising his Christian faith. In addition to directly abusing Pastor Saeed and violating his rights, Iranian officials directly threatened an Abedini family friend assisting the family in seeking Pastor Saeed’s release on bail. And the list goes on…
I covet your prayers. I know I am not alone, I have Jesus by my side and I have all of you behind me with your love and prayers. Thank you.
I would like to emphasize again that this is a crucial time to be a voice for Saeed and those imprisoned for their faith in Iran. As Christians or even as humans, we should care about justice and human rights. This is the time to get together one day before the Iranian election (June 13, 2013) to make our voice known to the Iranian government. Please join me and ask others to join by participating in the peaceful demonstration where you live (closest Iranian Embassy near you) and by praying for His Leading in all of this.
From the Standing together for Human Rights in Iran, Facebook page:
My Dear Friends دوستان عزیز
I need your support more than ever as I am coordinating a worldwide day of peaceful demonstration at all Iranian Embassies around the world on June 13, 2013 (one day before the Iranian Election) at noon in your …country.
من بیشتر از هر زمان دیگری به حمایت و پشتیبانی شما نیاز دارم زیرا در حال هماهنگ سازی روز جهانی اعتراض صلح آمیز در سفارتخانه های ایران در سراسر جهان در کشور خودتان، ظهر روز 13 ژوئن 2013(یک روز مانده به انتخابات ریاست جمهوری ایران) میباشم.
The Iranian government has tried to silence the Iranian people and has showed no care to respond to any international voices (US, more than 15 countries around the world, the UN and…) in regard to their continued imprisonment of Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American Citizen, and their continued violation of human rights in Iran.
دولت ایران سعی کرده که مردم ایران را ساکت کند و هیچ اهمیتـــــــی نیز به اعتراضات بین المللی (امریکا، بیش از 15 کشور در سراسر جهان، سازمان ملل و …) نشان نمی دهد. همچنین به نقض حقوق بشر و نگه داشتن کشیش سعید عابدینی (شهروند امریکایی ) در زندان ادامه میدهد.
They cannot silence millions of voices all around the world as we unite together to voice our concern for the human rights violation of Saeed Abedini and other political prisoners at Evin Prison.
و خاموش کنند؛ چنانچه همۀ ما در خصوص اعتراض به نقض حقوق انسانی سعید عابدینی و همچنین سایر زندانیان سیاسی در زندان اوین با هم متحد شویم.
As the Iranian election nears, the Iranian government has used all methods to silence media and the Iranian people. We need to be louder than ever the day before their election and to let them know we care about the tortures and human rights abuse in Iran.
با نزدیک شدن به انتخابات ریاست جمهوری، دولت ایران از هر روشی برای ساکت کردن مردم ایران و رسانه ها استفاده می کند. لازم است که در روز پیش از انتخابات بیش از هر زمان دیگری اعتراضاتمان محکمــتر باشد تا بدانند که ما به شکنجه ها و سوءاستفاده های انسانی در ایران توجه می کنیــــم.
Please join me in coordinating and spreading this great cause.
لطفاً برای هماهنگی، اطلاع رسانی و گسترش این اتفاق مهمّ به من بپیوندید.
The day of peaceful demonstrations will occur on June 13th, 2013 at noon in your country.
اعتراض صلح آمیز در ظهر روز 13 ژوئن 2013 در کشور خود شما می باشد.
In order to make this coordinated effort a reality, I have created a Facebook page to serve as a focal point for invitations and communications. If you are willing to “host” a demonstration at an Iranian embassy or mission in your country, please.
بمنظور تحقق بخشیدن و هماهنگی این روز، یک صفحۀ فیس بوک در جهت برقراری ارتباط و دعوت ساخته شده است. چنانچه می خواهید میزبان این اعتراض در سفارتخانۀ ایران در کشور خود باشید، لطفاً نکات زیر را ملاحظه فرمایید:
1. Post information on the address of the embassy, UN mission, or consulate and what time you will be there, in your own language, on the page. You can find addresses of Iranian Embassies and Consulates here: http://ir.embassyinformation.com/
1.اطلاعت مربوط به سفارتخانه، سازمان UN یا کنسولگری و همچنین ساعتی که در آنجا حضور خواهید داشت را به زبان خود بر روی صفحه پُست کنید. می توانید آدرس سفارتخانه ها و کنسولگــری های ایران را از این سایت بیابید: http://ir.embassyinformation.com/
2. Spread the word about your demonstration through e-mail, word of mouth, and social media, encouraging others to join you in peaceful demonstration.
2.دربارۀ این اعتراض صلح آمیز می توانید از طریق ایمیل، رسانه های اجتماعی و صحبت با افراد دیگر اطلاع رسانی کرده و آنها را تشویق نمایید تا در این اعتراض صلح آمیز به شما بپیوندند.
3. I would love for this Facebook page to unite us in remembrance of those we know and love whose basic rights of conscience have been violated by the Iranian Regime. To this end, I invite you to post pictures, short stories, and names on the Facebook page to explain the reason you are participating in this peaceful protest and in whose honor you demonstrate your disappointment with the government’s human rights abuses.
3. خواستۀ قلبی من این است که این صفحۀ فیس بوک ما را متحّد و یکدل کند؛ بمنظور یادآوری کسانی که می شناسیم و دوستشان داریم و حقوق ابتدایی عقیدتی آنها توسط رژیم ایران نقض شده است. بدین منظور از شما دعوت می کنم تا با گذاشتن تصویر، داستان کوتاه و اسامی بر روی این صفحه، دلیل شرکت خود در این اعتراض آرام را توضیح دهید و همچنین راجع به اشخاصی مطلب بگذارید که بخاطر آنها می خواهید ناامیدی خود را در این اعتراض نسبت به نقض حقوق بشر دولت ایران نشان دهید.
4. Please avoid violence and insults against the Iranian Regime or specific government leaders. This hostility may endanger those who are currently being held as prisoners of conscience.
4.خواهش می کنم از خشونت و توهین نسبت به رژیم ایران یا رهبران خاصّ دولتـــــــی پرهیز و اجتناب کنید. چنانچه خشونتی صورت گیرد، جان کسانی را که در حال حاضر زندانی عقیدتـــــــی هستند، به خطر می اندازد.
Please contact me with questions and ideas. I look forward to hearing of your action on June 13th.
چنانچه سؤال یا پیشنهادی دارید، با من تماس بگیرید. مشتاقانه منتظر آگاه شدن از فعالیتهای شما در روز 13 ژوئن می باشم.
VOP: Please join with our sister, Nagmeh. Let’s stand together for Saeed and all our brothers and sisters in Iran! STAND – IN SOLIDARITY!!!
Help us meet this goal before May 30th! SIGN HERE
For more information on Naghmeh’s husband, American Pastor Saeed Abedini imprisoned in Iran–Click Here
By: Raymond Ibrahim
4/30/2013 03:07 PM
In January, an American Christian was sentenced to an eight-year prison sentence on charges of “endangering national security” in Iran. A 32-year-old married father of two from Boise, Idaho, Pastor Saeed Abedini traveled to his country of origin last year to visit family and help build an orphanage, only to be arrested and sent to Tehran’s brutal Evin prison.
According to Fox News, Abedini, a Muslim convert to Christianity—also known as an apostate deserving of death under Islamic Sharia law—is “facing physical and psychological torture at the hands of captors demanding he renounce his beliefs.” In a recent letter smuggled to family members, he recounted the “horrific pressures” and “death threats” he endures: “My eyes get blurry, my body does not have the strength to walk, and my steps become very weak and shaky… They are only waiting for one thing… for me to deny Christ. But they will never get this from me.”
Indeed, the authorities’ words are “Deny your faith in Jesus Christ and return to Islam or else you will not be released from prison. We will make sure you are kept here even after your 8 year sentence is finished.”
While Pastor Abedini’s medieval-style sufferings may come as a surprise to many Americans, they are regular features of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Recall the persecution of Pastor Youssef Nadarkhani, another Muslim who converted to Christianity. He too was imprisoned, placed on death row, and tortured to renounce Christ for nearly three years. Then, likely due to the international scandal his story caused for Iran, he was released—only to be rearrested again, on Christmas Day, adding insult to injury.
And just as Tehran claims that Abedini was arrested for “threatening national security,” so was Nadarkhani formally accused of anything and everything—from being a Zionist spy to running a brothel—even as Iran’s official Supreme Court ruling made clear that Nadarkhani was convicted of turning his back on Islam [i.e., apostatizing], the greatest religion the prophesy of Mohammad at the age of 19. He has often participated in Christian worship and organized home church services, evangelizing and has been baptized and baptized others, converting Muslims to Christianity. He has been accused of breaking Islamic Law… During court trials, he denied the prophecy of Mohammad and the authority of Islam. He has stated that he is a Christian and no longer Muslim. During many sessions in court with the presence of his attorney and a judge, he has been sentenced to execution by hanging…
Nor are pastors Abedini and Nadarkhani the only ones to be so obviously persecuted for their Christian faith: countless are the Christians and Muslim converts to Christianity that Iranian authorities harass, imprison, and torture in an attempt to have them renounce Christianity. A few recent examples follow:
Mohabet News reports that four Muslim converts to Christianity were arrested in February during house-church worship and “taken to the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz several times in a pitiful condition with their hands and feet chained.” They were charged with the usual: “participating in house-church services, evangelizing and promoting Christianity … and disturbing national security.” The report elaborates on the “obvious mental and physical torture” Iran’s converts to Christianity experience in prison.
Another house church pastor, Benham Irani, remains behind bars even as his family expresses concerns that he may die from continued beatings, leading to internal bleeding and other ailments. The verdict against him contains text describing him as an apostate who “can be killed.” According to one activist, “His ‘crimes’ were being a pastor and possessing Christian materials.”
A six-year prison sentence for Pastor Farshid Fathi Malayeri—whose crime was to convert to and preach Christianity—was upheld last year following an unsuccessful appeal hearing. A woman, Leila Mohammadi, who had earlier converted to Christianity was arrested when security agents raided her house. Imprisoned for five months in Evin prison without any word on her fate, she was later sentenced to two years in prison.
A June report indicated that, five months after five Christian converts were arrested, their condition and fate was still unknown. They were accused of “attending house church services, promoting Christianity, propagating against the regime and disturbing national security.” Being imprisoned for 130 days without word “is an obvious example of physical and mental abuse of the detainees…. one of the prison guards openly told one of these Christian detainees that all these pressures and uncertainties are intended to make them flee the country after they are released.”
A young woman who had recently converted to Christianity and was an outspoken activist against the Islamic regime, was found dead, slumped over her car’s steering wheel, with a single gunshot wound to her head.
Then there are Iran’s many other faces of Christian persecution, including shutting down churches, regular crackdowns on house-church gatherings, confiscating Bibles and other Christian literature, and banning church services in Farsi.
For all that, Iran’s persecution of Christians is a minor reflection of a much bigger, rarely reported humanitarian crisis: the persecution of Christians from one end of the Islamic world to the other—which I document in my new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, by connecting-the-dots and exposing the same patterns of Christian persecution under Islam.
For example, what happens to Christians in Iran—arrested and harassed for being apostates to Christianity or for preaching Christ—happens in countries as different from Iran as Indonesia, Egypt, and Nigeria. Countries that share neither race, language, or culture—only Islam.
Patterns are not only evident in the Muslim world’s persecution of Christians, but in the Obama administration’s indifference. The U.S. State Department has excluded Abedini from its Iran Prisoners List—commensurate with the fact that it regularly whitewashes the sufferings of Christian under Islam, and even failed to cite Egypt and Pakistan as “nations of particular concern” despite the fact that Christians there are being hounded mercilessly, as documented in the book.
The persecution of Pastor Abedini, an American citizen in Iran, is the tip of the iceberg of the persecution of Christians under Islam—persecution that, try as they may, the mainstream media, the Obama administration, and all the politically correct powers that be, cannot ignore out of existence, especially now that it is exposed and documented in Crucified Again.
Raymond Ibrahim is the author of new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians. He is a fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Middle East Forum.
Please continue to pray for Saeed as he is detained in solitary confinement, most likely under going further beatings.
To all our beautiful friends and prayer warriors,
Here is an update on Saeed Abedini. Saeed had his day at the court with his lawyer. Both Saeed and the lawyer provided their defense. The accusations were that Saeed was undermining the Iranian government by starting underground churches that dated back to the year 2000 (when Saeed converted to Christianity). Saeed was able to share from the Bible to the Judge and say that he was not a political person and had no political intentions, but he was a follower of His Lord Jesus Christ. There will be no more hearings and the formal charges and sentences will most likely be announced next week according to his lawyer in Iran. There seemed to have been moments when the judge was moved by Saeed’s testimony. Please continue to pray for the Judge and Saeed’s release and his return back to our family. We should be hearing some news next week.
Current Update: Pastor Saeed’s Trial: Bail Rejected
Today Pastor Saeed Abedini appeared before Judge Pir-Abassi in Branch 26 of the Iranian Revolutionary Courts. The prosecutor charged Pastor Saeed with attempting to undermine the Iranian government by creating a network of Christian house churches. The court presented evidence that dated back to the year 2000, the year Pastor Saeed converted from Islam to Christianity. The regime alleged that Pastor Saeed intentionally sought to sway the minds of Iranian youth by turning the youth toward Christianity and against Islam, the official religion of Iran.
Pastor Saeed is represented by Dr. Naser Sarbazi, a Muslim lawyer in Iran who is dedicated to preserving human rights and upholding the right for all individuals to practice their faith freely. Less than 24 hours before the trial, Dr. Sarbazi was permitted to meet with Pastor Saeed to prepare a defense. Dr. Sarbazi presented a strong defense as to why Pastor Saeed’s Christian activities were not a threat to the national security of Iran. He presented arguments as to how Pastor Saeed’s Christian activities were motivated solely by his faith and without a political agenda. Pastor Saeed’s father was the only family member allowed in the courtroom. Read more here
Listen to short interview with Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh Abedini on Air1 Radio
Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, is currently on trial in Iran, facing a possible death sentence. He’s charged, essentially, with being a Christian. While under house arrest, Saeed has been able to listen to Air1! His wife, Naghmeh, says he gets tremendous encouragement from being able to listen, even in the midst of what can be a brutal daily life. He writes, now, that he is facing beatings in prison. His trial began today.
Hear Naghmeh’s interview with Air1’s Brant Hansen:
Petition to Free American Pastor Saeed Abedini
Iran is imprisoning and abusing an American pastor because of his faith. Iran, home of one of the world’s most radical Islamic regimes, is holding American Pastor Saeed Abedini because he is a Christian, refusing to release him, and subjecting him to unspeakable abuse.
At the ACLJ, we are launching an international campaign to free Pastor Saeed, and we need Americans to mobilize for religious liberty. Urge the President, the State Department, and every Member of Congress to take a stand for an American Christian.
To: President Obama, the Secretary of State, and the United States Congress
Iran’s radical and violent jihadist regime is persecuting an American pastor for exercising his fundamental right to religious freedom. The United States cannot tolerate such assaults on its own citizens. Take all available diplomatic and legislative action to pressure Iran to respect religious freedom and release Pastor Saeed.
Sign the Petition Here