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Naghmeh Abedini and her children suffer greatly in persecution as her husband serves an 8 year prison sentence in Iran for his faith in Jesus Christ. Nobody enjoys suffering, but Naghmeh says suffering has brought her closer to Jesus.
“Any bad news or any suffering, or anything that seems to be negative, actually I’ve found it as a way for God to redirect my heart back to Him.”
Today, Nancy Leigh DeMoss on Revive Our Hearts interviewed Naghmeh as she tells her amazing story of coming to faith in Jesus in a Muslim household. The interview also includes a sound bite, recorded a few years ago, from Pastor Saeed giving his own testimony of coming out of radical Islam to the feet of Christ.
I have personally heard Naghmeh share her incredible testimony. I highly recommend this interview—be encouraged!
Rep. Labrador Opening Statement in House Foreign Affairs Committee: June 2, 2015
Naghmeh Abedini’s Testimony
Reblogged from ‘I Am NOT Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!
Christians in Syria are reporting increasing attacks from opposition forces and worsening humanitarian conditions, with many displaced Syrians struggling to find food and shelter. But VOM sources also report that they are seeing God’s hand unmistakably at work in the midst of Syria’s bloody civil war.
A VOM contact reports that members of the opposition Free Syria Army (FSA) have killed a priest and two others in the northern part of the country. The FSA has warned that Christians who stay in Syria will be killed.
Another VOM contact, “Touma,” reports that rebels have attacked his Christian village and kidnapped his cousin and the cousin’s son. The family is still waiting to hear the kidnappers’ demands.
Touma says that in the past his family has hosted the rebels’ families when they needed shelter and has provided food and shared the gospel with them. Touma’s family has even supplied some of the rebels with Bibles, which they gratefully received.
However, in the last month the rebels have begun to attack the village, steal the crops and are now kidnapping the villagers for ransom. Touma says many Christian children in the village are terrified of the rebels, who have tried to break into their homes. Many families have left the village, fearing for their safety.
But, in the midst of the increased attacks, God is visibly at work in Syria. A source has told VOM that two Christian soldiers fighting on the government side found their lives spared recently.
“Boutros,” a Christian draftee, was captured by FSA troops after a shootout at a checkpoint. Most of his comrades died in the shootout, but he survived. As the FSA fighter pointed his gun at Boutros’s head and pulled the trigger, the gun jammed. So the FSA fighter pulled the trigger again, and again it jammed.
Boutros cried out, “Fire and kill me, since I’ll be with my Lord Jesus in heaven. I am not afraid.”
The FSA fighter replied, “It seems that even your Lord does not want you to be with him there in heaven. Who am I to do anything against his will? Get up and don’t show me your face. Run for your life.”
BOUTROS CRIED OUT, “FIRE AND KILL ME, SINCE I’LL BE WITH MY LORD JESUS IN HEAVEN. I AM NOT AFRAID.”
The second Christian soldier is a volunteer with a government unit based in northern Syria. During a street battle, “Yousef” was taken prisoner by a rebel brigade and brought before a local judge and the leader of the brigade.
Between them, they sentenced Yousef to hang. But as the sentence was being carried out, the rope broke. The brigade leader was very angry, but then said, “If the Share’at al Sama (the law of heaven) is not allowing you to be killed, who am I to press on with our Shariah (law) and kill you?” He ordered Yousef’s release.
Another VOM source says that during a recent three-day period, dozens of mortars fell around the building where he lives, but his building was not hit. His church is still meeting regularly three times a week, is running a medical clinic and, despite skyrocketing prices, is still providing food and hygienic items to dozens of Syrians displaced by the conflict.
“Every day more people are begging, more people are searching in rubbish, more people (are) searching for a place to stay, but they haven’t any money,” the source said. VOM supports this church’s ministry.
Continue to pray for the Christians in Syria. Pray that even Christians fighting on the front lines will continue to be witnesses for him. Pray for the families of Christians who have been killed. Pray that this church will be able to continue its ministry. Pray for those who have been kidnapped, that they will have the grace and strength to continue loving their enemies.
Sources: VOM Contacts and Sources
Iran is experiencing an amazing RIVIVAL. Please pray many Iranians hearts will open to Christ! Also pray for those who will minister to them!
STATE DEPARTMENT ABANDONS SAEED
On Monday, March 11, at a crucial moment, the State Department turned its back on an American pastor imprisoned in Iran.
In September of last year, Saeed Abedini – a U.S. citizen from Idaho – was arrested by Iran’s jihadist Revolutionary Guard when he was in Tehran helping build an orphanage. He was tortured, tried, convicted, and sentenced to eight years in Iran’s most brutal prison simply because of his Christian faith. In other words, he’s an American hostage.
At the American Center for Law & Justice, we represent Pastor Saeed’s wife and two young children, and we’ve launched a national and international effort to pressure the Iranian regime to release Pastor Saeed. More than 100 members of Congress have issued strongly bipartisan calls for his release, spokespersons from the White House and State Department have called for his release. By refusing to petition for Pastor Saeed’s release before the UN Human Rights Council, our State Department acted like a lawyer who advocates for his client on the courthouse steps but won’t say anything at all to the judge.READ MORE
U.N. Demands Release of BEHNAM IRANI, SAEED ABEDINI, FARSHID FATHI
Despite the silence of the U.S. State Department, your voice was heard at the United Nations (U.N.) on behalf of imprisoned American Pastor Saeed Abedini. At the request of over 435,000 individuals around the world who signed our petition, the European Union (EU) demanded Iran release American Pastor Saeed at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. Our petition to the U.N., EU and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights is making a tremendous impact, and Pastor Saeed’s case is being heard internationally. READ MORE
Taking Saeed’s case to Congress
Earlier today, I, along with ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow and Pastor Saeed’s wife Naghmeh, presented testimony before a standing-room only crowd at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress about American Pastor Saeed Abedini and the worsening plight of Christians in Iran.
I told the Commission that we all appreciate the strong bipartisan efforts of Congress on Pastor Saeed’s behalf. More than 100 Members of Congress, including 20 members of the Commission, have personally condemned Iran’s unlawful detention of Pastor Saeed for his religious beliefs.
In my prepared remarks I told the Commission:
I’m hopeful that today’s hearing will highlight the commitment to this case that so many of you have shown, and that the world will hear the U.S. government speaking with one voice in strong defense of our fellow citizen, Pastor Saeed Abedini.
Pastor Saeed was convicted by the Islamic Republic of Iran for his religious beliefs after what can only be described as a sham trial. He has been beaten, tortured, and told he will hang for his Christian faith. He was sentenced to eight years in one of Iran’s most notoriously brutal and deadly prisons. He is currently suffering innumerable human rights abuses as Iran violates its own constitution and numerous international treaties to which it has willingly bound itself, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
While Congress’s support has been tremendous, I expressed our extreme disappointment with the lack up public support from the State Department.
We remain deeply concerned that this case does not appear to have received the prioritization of similar cases where an American has been wrongfully detained. Many will recall the story of the American hikers who mistakenly wandered into Iran, or the current story of the retired FBI agent who is missing in Iran. In both of these cases, those involved received presidential level support and engagement – and rightfully so, I might add. It is discouraging, however, that Pastor Saeed’s case is not being addressed at that level.
In my written testimony, I explained:
In addition to the horrific abuse and torture Pastor Saeed has faced at the hands of his brutal Iranian captors, Pastor Saeed has, at times, been nearly abandoned by his own U.S. government. While Pastor Saeed has been unlawfully detained by the Iranian government since late July 2012 and U.S. authorities were almost immediately notified of his situation, it has been only recently that anyone from the State Department or the White House has publicly called for his release. It was not until mid-January of this year, 2013, that the State Department even publicly mentioned Pastor Saeed’s case and only to say that his detention raised “serious concerns.”
I conclude my testimony noting:
Behind the scenes, we remained concerned that the diplomatic efforts to free Pastor Saeed are significantly underwhelming. While the U.S. does not have direct diplomatic relations with Iran, we have been frustrated by a lack of desire from our State Department to aggressively engage with intermediary nations, those that do have relations with Iran. We believe that some of this engagement is occurring, but have no reason to believe these are more than token efforts. We have been specifically frustrated that the State Department has not even been willing to share with Naghmeh specifics about the efforts they are taking behind the scenes. The question remains: What is the State Department really doing to free Pastor Saeed?
This point could not have been made more clear than by the fact that the State Department, which was also asked by the Commission to testify, refused to appear and answer any questions about their efforts for Pastor Saeed. The State Department’s unwillingness to fully engage this case is abysmal.
Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, also expressed her disappointment with our government’s lack of prioritizing Pastor Saeed’s case. She told Congress:
I must tell you that I am disappointed with my government. I am disappointed that our President and our State Department have not fully engaged this case – disappointed that this great country is not doing more to free my husband, a U.S. citizen. Yes, we are both proud to be American citizens. And I expect more from our government.
She recalled how proud Saeed was to become a U.S. citizen:
Saeed became a US citizen in the year 2010. I remember Saeed saying it was one of the best days of his life and he was so proud to be an American. He was so excited, he announced it on his social media and soon after, a flag was sent to him from Senator Carl Levin’s office for the occasion of Saeed becoming a citizen. He was so proud!
You can read their entire testimony at the links below.