dinsdag 19 februari 2013

Pastor in Iran Faces Possible Hanging

Pastor in Iran Faces Possible Hanging 

Back to Jerusalem is focusing more on Iran than any time in the past. The Chinese underground house church feels a special connection with their brothers and sisters in Iran.  They share the bonds of persecution.

When BTJ heard about Pastor Saeed Abedini’s imprisonment in Iran, they were able to immediately relate to him.
Pastor Saeed Abedini is a U.S. citizen imprisoned for this Christian faith in his native country of Iran.  Pastor Saeed is currently at the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, which is known for being one of the most brutal prisons in Iran.  He has been told that he will be sentenced to death by hanging if he is found guilty of leaving Islam to follow Christ.
Pastor Saeed, 32, grew up in Iran, before converting to Christianity at the age of 20.  In 2002, he married an American woman who helped him gain US citizenship.  Pastor Saeed frequently traveled between the US and Iran to help create and nurture an underground church in Iran.
During one trip, Abedini was detained by Iranian officials and interrogated for his conversion.  He was released with a strong warning to never again participate in any church activities in Iran.
In July 2012, he was arrested while working on an orphanage project.

On January 10, 2013, Pastor Saeed wrote a letter to his wife and told her about his time in prison.  In the letter he wrote, “This is the process in my life today:  one day I am told that I will be freed and allowed to see my kids on Christmas (which was a lie) and the next day I am told that I will hang for my faith in Jesus.”
He goes on to write, “One day there are intense pains after beatings in interrogations, the next day they are nice to you and offer you candy.”

In all of this time in prison, Saeed also writes to his wife, “I always wanted God to make me a godly man.  I didn’t realize that in order to become a godly man we need to become like steel under pressure.  It is a hard process of warm and cold to make steel.  These hot and colds only make you a man of steel for moving forward in expanding His Kingdom.”
The entire letter from pastor Saeed can be found on the website of Assemblies of God USA.
The American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing Abedini’s family in the U.S., has also said the pastor’s life is “in grave danger,” as he is facing one of Iran’s notorious “hanging judges” Pir-Abassi, who is known for issuing death sentences in such cases.
Judge Pir-Abassi is known within the EU as a habitual violator of human rights throughout Iran.
BTJ stands with this pastor and pray for his safety and for the safety of his family.
BTJ missionaries from China are preparing to head to Iran to continue the work of sharing the love of Jesus Christ.