Originally published in All Christian News.com
Imprisoned US pastor Saeed Abedini continues to remain in the thoughts and prayers of Christians around the world after two years in an Iranian prison.
This week more than 500 gatherings of Christians around the world will pray for the sick pastor’s release as well as other Christians who have been persecuted for their beliefs.
Abedini’s troubles started when he returned to Iran two years ago after leaving the country in 2005 for a new life of freedom of religion in the US. After his conversion to Christianity, he demonstrated his newfound faith by attempting to plant house churches in Iran, which earned him conflict with the authorities.
Although he was safe and secure in America with his wife and children, Abedini returned to Iran to build an orphanage and was promptly arrested for threatening the national security of the country. He was accused of trying to turn the young people of Iran away from the Islam and was consequently found guilty and sentenced to eight years in Elvin Prison, a notoriously harsh establishment.
After falling ill in Elvin, possibly due to the beatings he received from both guards and fellow inmates, Abedini was transported to Rajai Shahr Prison where his persecution was intensified. He even sustained injuries from beatings at a local hospital while he was obtaining treatment for the suffering he received in prison.
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of the imprisoned pastor, now fears for the safety of his life since it has been reported that both the supporters of the Islamic State and members of Al Qaeda have threatened his life.
Along with thousands of Christians nationwide, Abedini’s wife has been pleading with President Barack Obama to take a more active role in securing his release. Hundreds of them gathered in front of the White House last week to pray for him and other persecuted Christians to be remembered during a candle-lit vigil.
Evangelist Franklin Graham attended the event along with members of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), who are fighting for Abedini’s release. During the event, a letter from Abedini sent to his daughter to Rebekkah for her eighth birthday was read out by his wife.
Abedini’s letter told his daughter that he was still imprisoned because Jesus Christ is in control. He added that Jesus was allowing him to be kept there for His glory and not to worry because His plan to be glorified would be worth the price they have paid.