For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Colossians 1:9 NIV84
Please be in prayer for all believers. Please feel free to share any prayer requests or praise requests in the comment section of the post. I would ask that if you read this blog on a Wednesday that you take time not just to pray for those who are persecuted, but also for each other. We may not know each other, but we can take joy in praying for each other and the power that God has when we prayglobally. Blessings to you all.
IRAN (Update): Pastor Saeed Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison
Sources: Mohabat News, Fox News, Asia News, Reuters, The Associated Press
After being convicted on charges of threatening Iran’s national security through his leadership in the establishment of Christian house churches, Pastor Saeed Abedini was sentenced to eight years in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. The anticipated trial, followed by the shocking sentence, took place in Tehran on January 21, 2013.
Upon hearing the formal charges, the 32-year-old Iranian-American pastor told the judge he had no involvement in politics or in undermining the government. He explained that after moving to the United States in 2005, he periodically returned to his country of origin to visit his family, as well as oversee the development of an orphanage he had begun years earlier. Prior to this, about a decade ago, Saeed was the founder of a growing house church movement which consisted of more than 2,000 members. However, at that time, house churches were not considered a threat in Iran.
“This trial apparently is focussed on 13 years ago, when Pastor Saeed converted from Islam to Christianity,” said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the American Centre for Law and Justice, who is representing Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, and their children. Although the U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, the State Department condemned the sentencing and called for Saeed’s release. According to reports in Mohabat News, although the Iranian constitution recognizes religious minorities’ rights, the regime prosecutes Christian converts from an Islamic background.
In the midst of her personal suffering, Naghmeh Abedini asks for continued prayer. She courageously reminds us that even though Saeed (who always had a heart for the imprisoned) has himself been bound through this persecution, the Word of God is being released.
May our Almighty God abundantly bless Pastor Saeed for his steadfast faith throughout the ordeal. In the name of Jesus, we ask for God’s divine protection on our Christian brother during this unjust incarceration.
Pray that (in the words of Saeed) he continues to be a vessel in bringing God’s Kingdom to a dark place by sharing the Gospel of peace and eternal life to the dying world.
We also pray that justice will ultimately be served and that, through the Lord’s mighty intervention, Saeed will be safely returned to his wife and two young children.