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U.S. calls on China to release jailed Early Rain church founder Wang Yi

 

Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church—Facebook

The South China Morning Post reported that the U.S. State department was alarmed at the pastor’s secret trial which ended with a 9-year sentence for inciting subversion.

‘Another example of Beijing’s intensification of repression of Chinese Christians and members of other religious groups.’

The United States called for the immediate release of Pastor Wang Yi, whom the article describes as from one of China’s best-known unregistered churches.

Yi is the lead pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church with 500 members. However, the report claims the church attracts more than 800 people each week at more than a dozen meeting points around Chengdu. Read full report

Andrew Brunson’s daughter testifies at the first U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom

Jacqueline (Brunson) Furnari addresses Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom about her father’s imprisonment by the Turkish government

See video: Jacqueline Furnari, daughter of Andrew Brunson, testifies to the U.S. State Department’s inaugural Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C., on July 24, 2018. Brunson has been imprisoned in Turkey since October 7, 2016, and is being tried on charges of terrorism, espionage, and attempting to convert Turks to Christianity.

No Longer Hiding Behind Silence, State Department Finally Acknowledges Genocide Against Christians

Raise Your Voices and Wake Up the World!

Prayer Warriors: Amidst Confusion Urgent Prayer Requested For Sudanese Christian Woman, Meriam Ibrahim

sudan-ibrahim

Confusion swirls around case of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy. Charges annulled leading to her release on Monday, rearrested (detained) today while trying to leave the country (see report), claimed to be re-released by security forces and (UPDATE) possible new charges filed against her for fraud.

It is hard to imagine the psychological torture this family must be dealing with. We are requesting all Prayer Warriors commit to intense prayer for this family. We will keep you updated on any developments. May Heaven hear our prayers.

Upon hearing the news of her release from prison, the man who says he is Ibrahim’s brother, Al-Samani Al-Hadi, slammed the appellate court’s decision and hinted at retribution.
“The family is unconvinced by the court’s decision. We were not informed by the court that she was to be released; this came as a surprise to us,” al-Hadi said Tuesday. “The law has failed to uphold our rights. This is now an issue of honor. The Christians have tarnished our honor, and we will know how to avenge it.”
Al-Hadi did not comment on Ibrahim’s detention at the airport on Tuesday. In court proceedings earlier this year, Ibrahim denied being related to al-Hadi.

Read the BBC reports  the U.S. State Department said Sudan’s government has assured the U.S. that Mrs Ibrahim and her family are safe. The article also analyzes the actions of the NISS, this morning. See US works for Meriam Ibrahim exit

You can also read the transcript, a portion of today’s State Department Daily Press Briefing on this case HERE

 

REMINDER: SAVE SAEED Yellow Envelope Campaign – JUNE 2013

Reminding everyone to send their Yellow Envelopes today, or on Monday, June 3rd.

Naghmeh is in Geneva and will be speaking out for freedom of religion and on behalf of her husband, Saeed Abedini– an American pastor wrongfully imprisoned in Iran for his faith. As she prepares to address the UN on Monday, June 3, 2013, we can flood the State Department with our Yellow Envelopes! Be Saeed’s ‘Voice’ and ask our government to do more to obtain his release!
This campaign will continue each month until he is back on American soil and reunited with his wife and young children!
Naghmeh meets with American Ambassador to the UN, Eileen Donahoe to discuss importance of speaking out for freedom of religion and Saeed's imprisonment in Iran

Naghmeh meets with American Ambassador to the UN, Eileen Donahoe to discuss importance of speaking out for freedom of religion and Saeed’s imprisonment in Iran

Praying continues around the world– around the clock! Pray for God to give Naghmeh wisdom and peace while she is in Geneva, pray God will speak through her that every ear will hear and every heart molded to His will.
Continue to pray for Saeed’s freedom and his health! He is being denied medical treatment for internal bleeding caused by the abuse he has received in the notorious Evin prison!
Thank you for joining with us and giving a VOICE to those who have been SILENCED.
May God bless our path!

Click the link below for more details!

Save Saeed- Yellow Envelopes to Secretary of State John Kerry CAMPAIGN Begins!.

REMINDER: SAVE SAEED Yellow Envelope Campaign – MAY 1st

Reminding everyone to send their Yellow Envelopes on Wednesday, May 1st!
Click the link below for more details!

Save Saeed- Yellow Envelopes to Secretary of State John Kerry CAMPAIGN Begins!.

VIDEO: Saeed Abedini’s Wife Cries Out to the Nation- Iran makes new promises

For those who may have missed this interview, I highly recommend it to you. Naghmeh has shown God-given grace as she tirelessly continues to fight for the release of her husband and father of her children. May the Lord continue to give her strength and peace, as this family goes through trials many of us can hardly comprehend!

 

 

It is completely disappointing and totally unacceptable the way our highest elected officials have remained silent, as we beg them to stand up for Saeed! They speak of freedom and human rights of those in the world, yet turn a blind eye for one of our own. Heartbreakingly, their silence speaks volumes. I’m very concerned for where the U.S. is headed!

Please pray with us for this family, our nation and for those who have been given power to lead it. In our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen

Saeed Abedini Abandoned by State Department- U.N. Demands Release- Case goes to Congress

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.

whitehouseAt 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

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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.

Lantos_Commission_logoToday’s testimony before this bipartisan commission of Congress presented the best opportunity yet to elevate Pastor Saeed’s case within our own government.

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!

FULL ARTICLE HERE

You can read their entire testimony at the links below.

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