VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Home » Posts tagged 'international campaign'

Tag Archives: international campaign

Categories

Archives

CHRISTMAS CARDS FOR SAEED International Campaign

Christmas-Cards-for-Saeed-cov-banner
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!

Dec. 2015 UPDATE:

Share a Christmas message with Saeed here

A Wife’s Perspective: Nightmare of a Husband and Father Imprisoned in Iran

SaeedNaghmeh

by Naghmeh Abedini:

It has been 9 months since Saeed kissed the little foreheads of our children as he said his goodbyes early in the morning of June 22, 2012.  Nine months since Daddy sung to them and tucked them into bed, and 9 months since I embraced my husband as we said our goodbyes, thinking at the time we would be separated only a few weeks, as he returned to Iran to continue work on building an orphanage. Maybe if I knew what was to unfold, I would have held him a little longer, talked a little longer?

It has been 5 months, since the frantic phone call that woke me up in the middle of the night, telling me of the horrific way my husband was taken—5 revolutionary guards, raiding the house and taking him, not knowing where he was or what had happened to him—5 long months. Maybe, that is why still to this day, I suddenly wake up frantic in the middle of the night; I turnover only to find Saeed’s empty spot, only to find that the nightmare is not over yet, only to discover that this nightmare will not be over any time soon.

It has been 1 month, to the day, since Saeed was given his 8-year sentence because of his Christian faith. I know deep in my heart that unless we speak out and fight for him, Saeed might not survive the 8 years in that horrific prison, especially because he continues to face continued abuse and death threats.

This nightmare exists because Saeed refuses to deny Christ. He is standing up for what he believes.  Are we going to stand up with him? Are we going to be a voice for him when the Iranian government is doing all it can to silence him?

How many more nights am I to hold my weeping children as they ask me to tell them stories of how Daddy used to hold them when they were born; how he used to play with them, kiss them, and hold them each night before he tucked them into bed? How many more times must I hold back my tears as I sing the worship songs he used to sing to them, as they beg me to sing like Daddy did because they are trying desperately to hold on to the memories of their daddy.

Over the last month, I have pondered over and over how I will ever explain to my children that Daddy has been given 8 years in a horrific prison and we don’t even know if he will survive . . . one month; 31 days; 744 hours; 44,640 minutes; 2,678,400 seconds.

During this nightmare, I lean on the promise in Scripture that “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (II Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJV)

Ultimately, God is in control and He controls governments and situations for His Glory. There is nothing Saeed and I desire more than to die to ourselves and allow Christ to shine through to this dying world. That He would be glorified in all of this and many would come to know the saving Grace of Jesus. Our trust is in the Lord, and He is carrying us through this nightmare and drawing us closer to Him. But I also believe that the Lord is using our prayers, and the political, social media, and other efforts to bring us together as the Body of Christ. He promises to turn all this for His Glory. This nightmare and the plea for my husband’s life should cross religious and political barriers. It should grip all human beings at our heart’s core, motivating us to do what is right, to stand up for someone whose human rights are being violated. While Saeed doesn’t have a voice to sing to his children, we each have a voice for his freedom; we can make a difference

*Naghmeh Abedini is the wife of imprisoned American Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen. She resides with their two young children in Idaho.  The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which represents Naghmeh and the children, is at the forefront of a global effort to secure Pastor Saeed’s freedom. You can join hundreds of thousands of others in signing the petition to #SaveSaeed at SaveSaeed.org.

 

Pastor Saeed’s Case Heads to the U.N. – #SaveSaeed

abedini

ACLJ‘s international campaign to free Pastor Saeed is reaching a critical stage. Yesterday our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) – which is based in Strasbourg, France – filed a written statement on Saeed’s behalf before the United Nations Human Rights Council.  The ECLJ has special consultative status as a non-governmental organization (NGO) at the U.N., which enables us to engage the U.N. and its member states in an official capacity. The Human Rights Council, which represents 47 member states, identifies its own mission as being “responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.” There is no better case for the HRC to engage than that of Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen – imprisoned in a nation that not only rejects religious freedom and human rights laws but also exhibits a hostile disdain for international laws that protect the most basic rights of people around the world. The ECLJ Statement clearly states Pastor Saeed’s plight:

Pastor Saeed Abedini, a Christian with dual United States–Iranian nationality, is currently imprisoned at Evin Prison in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran, because he encouraged peaceful assemblies of Christians in private homes. Over the last six months, Pastor Saeed was: (1) arrested and imprisoned by Iranian Revolutionary Guards; (2) repeatedly beaten in prison; (3) denied access to medical care made necessary by this abuse; (4) denied access to his attorney until mere hours before his trial; (5) given a sham trial before a judge so notoriously biased and corrupt that he was condemned by the European Union for issuing egregious verdicts; (6) disallowed, along with his counsel, from attending the second day of his trial; and (7) 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 it also clearly states Iran’s legal obligations:

As a Member State of the UN, the Islamic Republic of Iran is obligated to adhere to norms set forth in the UN Charter, such as those requiring members “[t]o achieve international cooperation . . . in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and . . . fundamental freedoms . . . without distinction as to [inter alia] religion”. By trying and imprisoning Pastor Saeed because of his religion, the Islamic Republic of Iran is violating its obligations under the UN Charter and Pastor Saeed’s fundamental rights: freedom of religion and belief, freedom of peaceful assembly, and rights to be free from arbitrary detainment and from torture. Therefore, these violations concern not only the Islamic Republic of Iran and every Member State, but every agency of the UN. [footnotes omitted]

The Statement also goes on to detail Iran’s violations not just of the U.N. Charter but also of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  In short, Iran’s actions violate significant international human rights treaties and cannot be tolerated by the international community. Filing this written submission is a vital first step in our formal U.N. efforts to free Saeed.  Next, we’ll attempt to engage each of the 47 members of the Human Rights Council, in hopes that one or more of these states will raise Pastor Saeed’s case in oral comments at the Council’s next plenary session. Our #SaveSaeed campaign continues to gather momentum – as thousands upon thousands of Americans are tweeting, Facebooking, and signing our petition – so now is the time to bring additional international pressure on the Iranian government.  This pressure has worked before, to free Iranian Pastor Youcef, and we believe it can work again, but we must be relentless. Your voice has been heard here at home, as the White House and Secretary of State have called for Pastor Saeed’s release.  Now, your voice is being heard in the United Nations.  Iran must be held accountable.

Here is the petition that needs 300,000 signatures by Feb. 20, 2013. There are approximately 100,000 more signatures needed. Any person from any nation can sign this! Please click here and add yours today!

Pastor Saeed Abedini UPDATE and Radio Interview with his wife:

SaeedNaghmeh
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.
God Bless
Naghmeh Abedini

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

saeediranIran 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

.

Pastor Saeed Abedini needs our HELP!

Pastor Saeed Abedini with his wife, 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son

Pastor Saeed Abedini with his wife, 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old sonIn 2009, Pastor Saeed Abedini was held captive for running a house church movement in Iran. At that time he made an agreement withthe police that he would cease all activity as the leader of this underground church movement. Since then, Pastor Abedini said he has honored the agreement and has returned to Iran eight times. In 2012 he was visiting family and working on an orphanage when regime went back on it’s 2009 promise and decided to imprison Saeed, bringing him back up on the charges related to the 2009 detainment.

In 2009, Pastor Saeed Abedini was held captive for running a house church movement in Iran. At that time he made an agreement with the police that he would cease all activity as the leader of this underground church movement. Since then, Pastor Abedini said he has honored the agreement and has returned to Iran eight times. In 2012 he was visiting family and working on an orphanage when regime went back on it’s 2009 promise and decided to imprison Saeed, bringing him back up on the charges related to the 2009 detainment. Pastor Saeed, 32, was granted U.S. citizenship in 2010 through marriage to his American wife, Naghmeh. They have two children, a 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son. In 2008, Saeed became an ordained minister with the American Evangelistic Association. The Iranian government does not recognize his U.S. citizenship and for 3 years he travelled back and forth from Iran until this summer when he was put under house arrest. He was imprisoned in September and the Iranian government has refused to notify Pastor Saeed, his attorney, or his family about what’s included in the charges. What’s clear is that Pastor Saeed is in prison because of his Christian faith and his desire to share the Gospel with others.

Abedini is being held in what said to be a notoriously brutal Evin Prison, in Tehran. Now his case has been assigned to the 26th Branch of the Revolutionary Court. Judge Pierre Abbasi who heads that branch,” is known specifically to be notorious for his brutal sentences. He’s been nicknamed the ‘hanging judge’ by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom and as one of three Islamic Revolutionary Court judges “responsible for particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”

Evin Prison is considered every Iranians nightmare!

Evin Prison is considered every Iranians nightmare!

Tiffany Barrans, who works on Saeed’s legal team with the ACLJ says, they are worried, but they’re not done fighting. “I think we have a lot of work ahead of us. I think it could be very detrimental for Saeed. We have cause for concern. Hopefully, we get our government more involved and get governments around the world speak up against Iran’s violation of human rights.”

Iran is refusing to release him, and subjecting him to unspeakable abuse, including death threats. At the ACLJ, they are launching an international campaign to free Pastor Saeed, and need Americans to mobilize for religious liberty. There is a petition you can sign to urge the President, the State Department, and every Member of Congress to take a stand for an American Christian. To sign this petition please click here!

UPDATE!
US Department of State made a statement about Saeed at their briefing today:

“MS. NULAND(Victoria Nuland): We have serious concerns about the fate of two U.S. citizens detained in Iran, Amir Hekmati and Saeed Abedini. Let me start with Mr. Abedini…. He was arrested by Iranian officials more than three months ago on charges related to his religious beliefs. We understand that a hearing will be held soon, and we call on Iranian officials to respect Iran’s own laws and provide Mr. Abedini access to an attorney.”

Help get Idaho Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini home. Saeed has been detained by the Iranian government for his faith.

We petition the Obama Administration to help get American Pastor Saeed Abedini from Boise, Idaho home safely to his wife and children. Saeed has been imprisoned by the Iranian government because he is a Christian. President Obama, we ask you to work with the U.S. Department of State, the Iranian Government and the Swiss Embassy to help get Saeed home soon. Saeed is still in prison and his condition continues to deteriorate. Please help.

The petition that still needs 25,000 signatures by February 10, 2013. Please click the link below, sign and share to get the word out. Thank you!

BE HIS VOICE!

sign_petition_button

URGENT UPDATE ON PASTOR ABEDINI HERE

%d bloggers like this: