Please check this page frequently for updates about Saeed.
21 May 2014 Update
Prayer request from Naghmeh
Naghmeh Abedini has asked for prayer after Saeed was dragged from his hospital bed, beaten, and sent back to prison.
“I have to be completely honest with you all and ask for your prayers and your help. For the first time in two years, I feel so very tired and not sure of next steps. I can not stop the tears from falling. I feel like a wounded soldier who needs time to rest. I need you all to carry me and my family in prayer and to continue to voice your concern. Today I feel there is no breath left in me. Praying and worshipping through it, but I have to admit today is so very difficult. Each minute feels like an hour. Praising Him through my tears. Need you all to hold my hands up like Moses in battle. Feeling so very weak…”
21 Apr 2014 Update
We pray you and your family will experience a blessed Easter time, as we remember the wondrous events of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, events so powerful that they continue to set people free from darkness to light more than two thousand years later. Saeed is spending this Easter in a prison hospital in Tehran, where he is receiving much-needed treatment for internal injuries received from beatings and mis-treatment at the hands of the authorities and other prisoners. We thank God for this mercy.
From his hospital bed, Saeed has penned an Easter letter of hope to his family and for believers in general. You can read it here:
Please continue to pray for Saeed and his family. God has accomplished much for His kingdom through Saeed’s arrest. Please pray the Gospel of Jesus Christ would continue to be spread as a result, both inside Iran and around the world.
4 Mar 2014 Update
Naghmeh Speaking at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy
Saeed continues to serve Jesus Christ in an Iranian prison. Please continue to pray for him!
Meanwhile, his wife Naghmeh continues to advocate for him, and more importantly, for the Lord wherever and whenever she is able. She was recently invited to share at the Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in Geneva, Switzerland.
Please watch the video of her powerful speech, which was a tremendous witness to the world about the realties of the Gospel and the real reasons why her husband is now suffering for his faith.
7 Feb 2014 Update
Encouraging Signs for Saeed
In the last few weeks there have been several encouraging developments with our friend and brother Saeed Abedini, who remains in prison in Iran because he loves the Lord Jesus Christ.
- On January 24 came news that Saeed had been moved out of the “murderers prison” where his life was under threat day and night, to a different facility for political prisoners. We are thankful for this development. His health was deteriorating rapidly in the previous facility. It is still in poor shape as he is being denied medical attention for his internal bleeding brought about by beatings and torture he has endured in prison. A doctor has said that Saeed needs surgery for the pain and vomiting he constantly suffers.
- January 28 marked one year since Saeed was sentenced to 8 years in prison. On this day when the Iran foreign minister was questioned about Saeed’s case he indicated that “clemency” was a possibility. Although this could just be another deceptive trick from Iran, it is an interesting development and the first time anything but the harshest words have been spoken by Iran about our brother.
- Yesterday (February 6), President Obama broke his long silence on Saeed to publicly call for his release from prison. Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, Obama said, “We pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini. And as we continue to work for his freedom today, again, we call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Abedini so he can return to the loving arms of his wife and children in Idaho.”
(Read a report on CBN here: https://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2014/February/Obama-Calls-for-Saeeds-Release-at-Prayer-Breakfast/)
Dear friends, we don’t know what the future holds for our brother Saeed and his family, but we do know that our Heavenly Father holds the key, and that should the Lord command Saeed’s release, all glory will belong to Jesus Christ and not to any man. Please continue to pray. For over a year now we have requested prayer and intercession for Saeed and his family. God has answered your prayers. Saeed’s wife Naghmeh has shared with us about many things that have taken place during the past year that display God’s goodness and intervention in Saeed’s life. It is an absolute miracle that he has survived this long. One day his full story will be told, and people will be amazed at God’s protection and power over his life. Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to bring Saeed and his family before the throne of God.
23 Dec 2013 Update
Friends, as Christmas approaches, we hope you and your loved ones will enjoy a restful and blessed Christmas time together. Thank you for your prayers for Saeed throughout the year. Please continue to remember him as he remains in prison in Iran, and for his family who remain in America. Your prayers have achieved much, and we encourage you not to give up praying and believing for God’s intervention, and for the Name of Jesus Christ to continue to be lifted up through all this.
Although every effort has been made and every pathway explored in a bid to secure Saeed’s freedom, Naghmeh remains fully convinced that He has the final word. Although politicians and media may exert some influence, it is God who holds the keys to Saeed’s prison cell, and it is He alone who will have the final word. For that reason, your prayers and intercession are so vital and appreciated.
Meanwhile, here is a link to an article which might help people understand some of the reasons behind the lack of effort being put forward on the political front on behalf of Saeed:
5 Nov 2013 Update
Please pray fervently for Saeed and his family. Yesterday he was unexpectedly transferred to another dangerous prison in Iran, where many inmates are murdered. His wife Naghmeh writes:
Yesterday when I heard Saeed’s news of being transferred to Rajaei Shahr prison, I fell to my knees crying uncontrollably. Feeling so weak and worn. I felt that this was the blow that I couldn’t recover from. I Didn’t have the strength to stand up or speak a word. The kids immediately came to my mind. Their innocent faces as they waited for Saeed’s return. Saeed’s face raced before my eyes. The pains and tortures he must be enduring. Defenseless in the hands of the radicals. I knew I had to get back up again and fight for his life. Relying on my faith in Jesus Christ and the prayers and support of all of you surrounding me, I am up by His Grace. Knowing that more now than ever we have to raise our voices together. We have to pray. We have to take action against this injustice.
Here is the Fox News report on this development: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/11/04/iranian-american-pastor-held-in-iran-reportedly-moved-to-more-dangerous-prison/?intcmp=latestnews
Please don’t stop praying for our brother Saeed and his family back in America. They need the Body of Christ to continue to stand with them in prayer.
25 Sept 2013 Update
Thank you for continuing to pray for Saeed and his family. Although he remains in prison and will soon mark the one-year anniversary of his incarcerration, God has been doing great things through this family.
You will be blessed by this short speech Naghmeh made to the students at Liberty University:
Because of the prayers of many believers, Naghmeh was miraculously able to hand-deliver a letter from Saeed to the new President of Iran who is visiting the United Nations in New York! Please read this account of how it happened:
The name of the Lord Jesus is bring glorified through Saeed’s imprisonment, and as explained in the above video, millions of Muslims have heard about Jesus directly as a result. Please continue to pray! Thank you.
15 Aug 2013 Update
Thank you for your continued prayer for Pastor Saeed Abedini and his family. We have been updated on Saeed’s condition, and while it’s not the positive news we hoped for, we pray it will renew in our hearts the urgency to pray for and support Saeed and other Christians being persecuted.
Saeed’s Iranian was allowed to visit him several days ago, and they reported back that Pastor Saeed’s internal injuries from brutal beatings are causing him “increased pain.”
According to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ),
Recently, Iranian authorities allowed him to be treated by a doctor at a local hospital. Since that time, he has continued to take the medication he was prescribed. However, his pain has recently increased, to the point that on one occasion he fainted from the immense anguish.
Please remain steadfast in your prayers that Saeed and others like him are treated humanely, and that his suffering continues to shed light on the issue of Christian persecution in Iran. Also, keep his family in your prayers as they cope with the difficult news of Saeed’s condition.
To read more, please visit: http://aclj.org/iran/pain-increasing-american-pastor-saeed-abedini
22 May 2013 Update
Saeed was put back in solitary confinement in the Evin Prison a few weeks ago, but is now released back into the normal prison and thankful for the many prayers going up to God’s throne of his behalf.
The following letter was received from him recently, in which he expresses his appreciation to everyone who is praying for him and his family….
Spending Pentecost in Prison and in Chains
When the Day of the Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. (Acts 2:1-2)
One special day, one heart, one place — All of these come together, to emphasize one thing, the importance of unity.
I heard that the persecution, my arrest and imprisonment has united churches from different denominations, from different cities and countries, that would never come together because of their differences. That the churches have united together in prayer to put one request (my freedom) on one day (Pentecost) before God.
You don’t know how happy I was in the Lord and rejoiced knowing that in my chains the body of Christ has chained together and is brought to action and prayer.
When someone’s life like mine is in danger, we realize how different we are in our opinions (although some of those differences might be correct), but that we are still united in one goal of praying for my freedom.
I am thankful for that. It is though your prayers and the Grace of God that the Lord is using me here in my chains. Many have been freed from the chains of Satan here and have been saved and added to the Church.
Now, how beautiful it will be if the Church would be united and fight for the salvation of the world whose life is in danger and who are bound in chains of Satan and to fight for the salvation of the world, a world that is heading to the way of destruction. With the same passion and the same way that you are praying and fighting for my freedom, we need to be praying and fighting for the salvation of the world.
When the Church is united (with one heart, in one place, on one day) that is when the joy and strength of God (Holy Spirit) wants to come in that unity and pour out and the Lord be exalted. Although this unity is the result of direct involvement of the Holy Spirit that is able to bring many different characteristics to make one.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me (Acts 1:8).
And only when the Holy Spirit comes can you get strength. Without the strength of God it is impossible to do the will of God. And when we receive strength, then we can be transformed. And when we are transformed, that is when the Church is transformed as well. And when the Church is transformed, then the world will be freed from the chains of sin and will be saved and transformed. When we are all united and chained together, united in our hearts, in one place in one day, and we pray, then we will receive the power from on High and will receive strength and the world will be changed and will be freed from the chains of bondage and will be saved. The same way that I will also be freed from my chains though prayer and strength of the Grace of God.
So dear sisters and brothers let us be united in prayer for freedom and salvation of the world. Let us be united so that the Holy Spirit might fall on us and the Glory of God would be revealed through us and through the church.
Welcome to the chains that have bound me and have bound us together. Happy Pentecost.
God Said and it was.
Chains were broken.
Our sins were forgiven
I am free
You are free
We all have freedom
With many thanks for your continued and faithful prayers.
Servant of our Lord in chains for Jesus Christ,
30 Apr 2013 Update
Thank you for continuing to pray for Saeed and his family. Naghmeh has posted the following update:
Since this is already on media, I am able to share update on Saeed. Last night Saeed was taken with 10 other prisoners to Solitary Confinement. I heard from trusted sources inside of Iran that there was a silent protest by the prisoners of ward 350 protesting the harsh treatment and threats against their families outside of prison and their own treatment and lack of medical attention inside of the prison. Saeed and 10 other prisoners were then taken to solitary. I also heard that Saeed’s health is worsening. He has internal bleeding and now issues with his kidneys because of the beatings. We believe that he is being beaten in solitary. We have no way of finding out about his health. There will be no more visitations allowed and we will have no way of knowing how Saeed is doing.
Saeed had previously told his family that when he was in solitary confinement that was the hardest time in his life. That every hour was like one year and that he was losing his memory and his health was deteriorating quickly. Please pray for his health and healing. Pray for his release. That the Lord would use this for His Glory and salvation of many.
18 Apr 2013 Update
Your prayers for Saeed and his family are having a great effect. Saeed remains in prison but he has been encouraged and strengthened to know so many Christians around the world are praying for him and for Iran.
At the same time he is suffering from internal bleeding and has been refused medical help by the prison officials.
Below are links to some of the latest articles and videos about Saeed. Let’s continue to stand in prayer for this servant of the Lord, and for the 80 million Iranians who are held captive by Islam.
Iran Demands Saeed Recants his Christian Faith
Article and Video links:
Torture of Saeed Intensifies (CBN News article and video):
26 Mar 2013 Update
Once again, thank you for praying for Saeed and his family. It is wonderful to see how the Body of Christ in so many different places has united behind Saeed in prayer and with many expressions of love.
God is using Saeed’s imprisonment in many different ways at once, all to bring glory to His Son, Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray for him and his beloved family.
After Naghmeh’s powerful testimony before the US Congress last week (see our previous update), there has been some encouraging progress on the political side of things. The new US Secretary of State, John Kerry, issued a statement demanding Saeed’s release from prison in Iran. It is the first time any official associated with the White House administration has made any proactive public statement about Saeed at all. Click here for text of Kerry’s statement.
Then over the weekend came the translation of a letter Saeed wrote to his wife weeks ago from his prison cell. It was scribbled on the margins of a sheet of newspaper and has been translated into English. Saeed’s letter tells of the pain and beatings he is enduring in prison, but also reveals his deep faith and commitment to Jesus.
Saeed’s letter to his wife Naghmeh:
Hello to my dear love and wife,
When I saw my family for the first time behind the glass walls, I could see my mom four meters away. As she approached me and saw my face, she broke down and could not get closer. She was crying. I understood what she felt because after weeks of being in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, I also got to see my face in the mirror of an elevator that was taking me to the prison hospital. I said hi to the person staring back at me because I did not recognize myself. My hair was shaven, under my eyes were swollen three times what they should have been, my face was swollen, and my beard had grown.
It was a few days ago when one of my family members, with weary eyes and after running around for 15 weeks in trying to get me out of prison, said that my dad says every single day that “this week I will get my son out of prison.” But this does not happen and he is not able to get me out of prison. In that instant I looked into the wrinkled and tired eyes of my dad. I could clearly see that he had ran around for months and he had no more strength left in him. It was very hard seeing my family in such a situation.
You, my wife, on the other side of the world, alone with the kids. Alone and worried. My family here in Iran, being interrogated, tired and under so much pressure.
With the loud voice of the prison guard, our visitation had ended and they put covers over our eyes and we returned to the dark room void of any natural sunlight.
I started praying for my family. My dear Naghmeh. You are the love of my life. I am always in love with you.
Dear Naghmeh, I have been stung so many times that I have become full of poison. This is an Iranian saying. A lot of people say that they have been stung by so many people that their whole being is full of poison like a poisonous snake. It means that we have been bitten by the snakes of this world so many times that, that all of the poison has collected in us and that we are like the poisonous snake. But if we sting anyone, we will die. This Iranian saying is full of spirit of revenge and unforgiveness and every time I would hear this in Iran, I would get very sick hearing it.
A few days ago they brought a young war veteran who was disabled in 80% of his body in my cell. He had been put in solitary confinement with his horrific condition. And this had made him very mad and he kept saying “why did they do this to me? I gave my whole life for their sake. See what they have done to me!!!” And when he would get very mad he would say “I will take my revenge!”
I spoke to this young man until 4 in the morning. I spent time with him and spoke to him to forgive. When we don’t forgive, we drink the poison ourselves and then wait for the other person to die. And we take the knife that has hurt us and we stab ourselves with it again! And this is the will of the evil one who wants to destroy us.
But when we forgive, we pour out the poison of the enemy and of the devil and we don’t let the poison stay in us and we don’t let the poison make us into poisonous snakes! So that we don’t become like the person we despised and who persecuted and tortured us.
Maybe you ask, what is the secret of being so happy in such a hard situation?
Forgiveness and a change of attitude. When we forgive, we become free and we become messengers of peace and reconciliation and goodness. And whoever stings us, we can take into our embrace and love them. And in this dark and evil time, we can live full of love and full of peace and full of joy and shine like the stars! Glory be to His Name.
I forgave the prison doctor who did not listen to me and did not give me the medication that I needed. I forgave the interrogator who beat me. Every day when I would see the interrogator and for the last time when I saw him, I forgave him. I smiled at him and with respect shook his hand and I said my goodbye. The minute I forgave them and loved them, that second I was filled with unspeakable joy. I saw in the eyes of the interrogator that he had come to respect me and as he was leaving, he could not look behind him. Love is as strong as death.
We have to get rid of the poison in our body because if we don’t, we will die. We have to get rid of both poisons; first the poison of the snake that bit us and also the poison in us that was created by that bite. We can get rid of the first poison by forgiveness and we can get rid of the second poison by humility, by dying to ourselves, and allowing the band-aid of love and goodness to replace the empty place of the wound. So that we are not a tool of darkness and revenge, but that we can be light and love and a vessel of forgiveness and we can be transformed in the process.
Surely you have someone in your family, city, work or environment that have become like poisonous snake who have bitten you and tried to make you poisonous. So, forgive them and use the antidote of love and be Victorious!
One of the chances of forgiveness came when I was blindfolded and a guard was holding my hand guiding me. He asked “what are you here for? What is your crime?” I said “I am Christian Pastor.” All of the sudden he let go of my hand and said “so you are unclean! I will tell others not to defile themselves by touching you!” He would tell others not to get close to me. It really broke my heart. The nurse would also come to take care of us and provide us with treatment, but she said in front of others “in our religion we are not suppose to touch you, you are unclean. Baha’i (religion) and Christians are unclean!” She did not treat me and that night I could not sleep from the intense pain I had. According to the doctor’s instructions, they would not give me the pain medication that they would give other prisoners because I was unclean.
I could not fall sleep one night due to the pain when all of a sudden I could hear the sound of dirty sewer rats with their loud noises and screeches. It was around 4 in the morning. It sounded like laughter in a way.
Even though many would call me unclean and filthy and would not even want to pass by me and they had abandoned me and they were disgusted to touch me because they were afraid that they would also become unclean, but I knew that in the eyes of Jesus Christ, and in the eyes of my brothers and sisters, I am like the sewer rat, beautiful and loveable – not disgusting and unclean – and like the rats I can scream with joy within those prison walls and worship my Lord in joy and strength.
The Joy of the Lord is my strength. Amen.
I am deeply concerned about the fate of U.S. citizen Saeed Abedini, who has been detained for nearly six months and was sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs. I am disturbed by reports that Mr. Abedini has suffered physical and psychological abuse in prison, and that his condition has become increasingly dire. Such mistreatment violates international norms as well as Iran’s own laws.
I am also troubled by the lack of due process in Mr. Abedini’s case and Iran’s continued refusal to allow consular access by Swiss authorities, the U.S. protecting power in Iran. I welcome reports that Mr. Abedini was examined by a physician and expect Iranian authorities to honor their commitment to allow Mr. Abedini to receive treatment for these injuries from a specialist outside the prison. The best outcome for Mr. Abedini is that he be immediately released.
18 Mar 2013 Update
Friends, thank you for continuing to pray for Saeed as he languishes in prison in Iran, and for his family who are back in the United States fighting on his behalf.
On Friday, Naghmeh testified before Congress. Below is a video and a media link about her testimony, and interviews immediately afterwards.
Please continue to uphold his dear family before the throne of Grace.
13 Mar 2013 Update
Thank you for the many prayers and words of encouragement which you have given on behalf of Saeed and his family.
Please pray for Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, who will be testifying before the U.S. congress this Friday on behalf of her husband. Pray the Name of Jesus would be glorified and God’s purposes will continue to be advanced through these hearings.
Meanwhile, we would like to share an excellent video CBN News has produced for their television show:
Ironically, for years Saeed prayed the Lord might open a door for him to be on television to reach the 80 million Muslims in Iran with the Gospel. His prayer is being answered right now, though in a way nobody expected.
We know Saeed’s main concern is not for his own health and safety, but for the salvation of his nation. Please pray our Living God will continue to use Saeed’s situation for His glory.
“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were”
25 Feb 2013 Update
Saeed recently sent a powerful letter to his wife Naghmeh, outlining what his daily life is like in the cruel prison and sharing how his faith in Jesus Christ can withstand all the trials that are coming his way.
Please click here to read Saeed’s letter.
You can also watch a youtube video of the letter:
Please continue to uphold Saeed in prayer. Your intercession is being answered by the Lord, and His will is being worked out. May the kingdom of God be glorified and expanded!
21 Feb 2013 Update
Friends, please continue to pray for Saeed Abedini as he endures great hardship for the Gospel inside Iran’s Evin Prison.
On the political front, we are also encouraged that the US government has been more active in expressing their views on Saeed. See the following link and video for more:
On the spiritual front, Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, has received a letter from Saeed which we plan to publish as our next update soon.
8 Feb 2013 Update
Please continue to pray for Saeed, who remains in prison in Iran.
Here are links to some of the latest articles and news about him…
Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, thanks you for the loving prayers on behalf of Saeed and the whole family.
“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were”
30 Jan 2013 Update
We would like to share an interview that Naghmeh Abedini (Saeed’s wife) did with Douglas Riggs just hours after she learned that her husband was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
We hope you have the time to listen to what Naghmeh has to say, and the godly and humble spirit she shares it with, despite the great pressure she and her children are under….
We would also like to share the following message that Naghmeh sent out yesterday….
Dear my beautiful friends and prayer Warriors,
I want to assure you that your prayers are powerful and being heard. In addition to all of the actions we have seen with governments in working to get Saeed out, there have been answers to prayers with Saeed’s situation that I wanted to share with you:
- Saeed’s family was able to visit him in Evin Prison. He has been getting medical treatment and was doing much better! Praise the Lord! Many of you have prayed for healing and his health…this is answer to prayer!
- Saeed had great peace and joy and was able to share that he was united with other believers and they were praying every night and have seen much fruit!
- This situation has caused great boldness in the body of Christ in Iran and even outside of Iran.
I have to share the verse that the Lord has been speaking to me the last few days that has encouraged me that I hope will encourage you and bless you as you have prayed, sent encouraging messages, and worked tirelessly to get the word out and sign petitions.
Philippians 1: 12-14
12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Amen! Thank you. Thank you . Thank you…for standing with us during such times.
I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 12:26 ..And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it…
27 Jan 2013 Update
Thank you for praying for our friend Saeed when we sent out our recent prayer request. His wife Naghmeh is thankful for everyone who has lifted Saeed up before the throne of grace.
The last few weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster for those involved. One day Iran has said they will kill Saeed, the next day they say he will be released so he can go home to his family. On Monday Saeed boldly and courageously gave his testimony in court. He brought honor to the Name of Jesus.
This morning news has broken that Saeed has been sentenced to 8 years in the notorious Evin Prison. He was convicted on charges of starting house churches throughout Iran in the early 2000s. Friends, an 8 year prison sentence in that demonic prison is basically a death sentence. Many people who go into Evin Prison only last a few days or weeks before they perish. Last week Saeed, who is a handsome young man, was taken to the prison hospital. When he stepped into the elevator he saw an older bald man with a bushy beard and swollen, bulging eyes. He went to say hello to him before he realized he was looking into a mirror. It was the first time he had seen a reflection of himself for months.
As friends of Saeed, we are proud that he has remained faithful to the Lord and has been counted worthy to suffer for the Name of Jesus (Acts 5:41).
Here are some media links with the breaking news of Saeed’s sentence:
We know that our God is the Living God, and He holds our times in His hand….
- Please pray the Lord Jesus will be glorified in Saeed’s life and through his testimony. Pray God will sustain his health and confound those who wish to harm him.
- Pray for Naghmeh and their two small children, for grace, peace and faith. Naghmeh has been a tower of strength for her husband but this is obviously a huge blow.
- Pray the leaders of Iran will be convicted of their sin by the Holy Spirit, and will repent and believe in Jesus Christ, the True and Living God.
- Pray for the salvation of the 80 million Iranian Muslims who remain in darkness, that they will soon have a chance to hear the Gospel. Ask God to miraculously use Saeed’s testimony to impact his nation.
Please remember to keep checking our website for news and further updates on Saeed.
25 Jan 2013 Update
Concerns are rising after Saeed Abedini appears to have been moved from the Iranian prison where he has been held for months.
More information can be found at the below links.
Please continue to pray Jesus Christ will be glorified in the lives of Saeed and his family, and that God will work this whole situation out in a way that expands His kingdom in Iran.
Pray Naghmeh and the children will be strong in the Lord and encouraged by the prayers of godly believers around the world.
“Saeed’s Whereabouts Unknown to Family” from the American Center for Law and Justice:
“Family Friend of Saeed Threatened by Iranian Court Official”
Watch video of Naghmeh’s interview on Fox News yesterday:
21 Jan 2013 Update
We are thankful for the many people who have been praying for Saeed and his family. Please keep watching this page on our website for updates.
Today (Monday January 21) Saeed went to court to appear before the “hanging judge” Mr. Pir Abassi.
There seems to be some confusion about the outcome, and various media has reported different things. We have been in direct contact with Naghmeh (Saeed’s wife), and this is what can be confirmed….
Saeed’s lawyer was only given a day to prepare for the trial. The charges against Saeed are serious, that his activities threaten the national security of Iran.
Saeed was allowed to speak and told the judge that he has no interest in politics or undermining the government. Rather, Jesus Christ changed His life and his activities are because of his faith.
Those present, including Saeed’s father, say that the judge seemed visibly moved by Saeed’s testimony on a few occasions.
The Iranian state-controlled media immediately reported that Saeed had been freed on bail, and he would be released and able to leave the country soon. This was reported in America by the Associated ress and then copied by other websites.
This report out of Iran is FALSE propaganda. Saeed’s family immediately applied for bail but were rejected. Naghmeh has explained the deception behind these reports to Fox News:
Iranian media’s claim American Christian pastor to be freed on bail denounced as ‘lie,’ attorney says:
- The American Center for Law and Justice have clarified that no decision has been reached by the court:
- An decision is expected to be handed down by the court, possibly next week.
Please continue to pray for Saeed Abedini and his family.
In the next day or two we hope to have a powerful new letter from Saeed which has been smuggled out and is being translated into English. We will post it on this page as soon as it is available.
15 Jan 2013 Update
Thank you for your fervent prayers for Saeed. Please continue in prayer, and let others know so they can pray too.
The big news is that his court date has been scheduled for January 21, when it is expected his sentence will be announced. Here is a link to what the ACLJ describes as a “sham trial”: http://aclj.org/iran/iran-pursues-sham-trial-against-american-pastor-saeed-faith-one-week.
Meanwhile we have received the following prayer requests from Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh…
- Please pray for Saeed’s health and that he would be continually filled with the Holy Spirit and have great joy and peace as he is in prison.
- Pray for Saeed’s trial as it starts on January 21. Ask the Lord to fill him with strength, boldness and wisdom. Pray that those present at the court would open their hearts to Jesus.
- Pray for Saeed’s lawyer (he is Muslim) that through this, he would find Jesus and Life. Pray the Lord would give him wisdom and strength and protection as he defends Saeed. Lawyers who defend human rights are usually put in prison as well. Pray he would be able to defend Saeed without being imprisoned.
- Pray For Saeed’s “hanging judge” Mr. Pir Abassi. Pray the Holy Spirit would touch him and convict him of all of the death sentences he has given and that he would come to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- Prayer for the prosecutors and those handling Saeed’s case. Pray they would realize they are fighting against God, and would repent and humble themselves and accept Jesus.
- Thank God for the ACLJ lawyers working day and night (even on the weekends!) to provide support and encouragement to us and our family.
- Finally, please pray for me and the children as we trust the Lord through this. Pray we would continually learn to wait patiently for His Work to be completed is name be Glorified in all of this.
Love you all,
PS: I have been told this is an urgent need for those of you in the United States who want to help in a practical way…We need our senators and congressmen to be contacted this week (before Saeed’s trial next Monday). In order to do this, ACLJ has created a link that you can go to in order to get the information of your senator and congressmen.
Here is the site: http://congress.aclj.org/congress/
If you go to the site and type in your zip code, depending on your state, the name of your senators and congressmen comes up…you need to use that information to call and e-mail your congressman and senators to ask them to add their names and to sign on to Representative Aderholt’s letter in the House and Senator Risch’s letter in the Senate calling for Pastor Saeed’s freedom.
11 Jan 2013: Letter from Saeed in prison
Saeed’s family have received the following letter smuggled out of the prison where he is being held:
“When I heard that empty settings were placed at the table during Christmas dinners as a reminder of my imprisonment and those imprisoned for Christ, tears of joy filled my eyes. I was able to share this with other prisoners and they were shocked by the love and support we have for each other in Jesus. I told them how in the Bible we are all considered brothers and sisters (despite race, color, or nationality) and we are to share in each other’s pains. This comes from our Lord.
The Word of God says that when we are persecuted for our faith, we are to count it all joy. When I think that all of these trials and persecutions are being recorded in heaven for me, my heart is filled with complete joy.
The Bible says that the Joy of the Lord is our strength. Without the joy of the Lord we cannot live. It is this joy in our life that gives us strength to continue in this life. Without strength, we cannot continue the work of the Lord and without joy, there is no strength.
I always wanted God to make me a godly man. I did not 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. I am experiencing this process in my life right now.
One day I am told I will be freed on bail to see my family and kids, but these are lies. The next day I am told I will hang for my faith in Jesus.
One day there are intense pains after beatings and interrogations, the next day they are nice to me and offer me candy. These hot and colds only make me a man of steel for moving forward in expanding His Kingdom.
For 120 days I have slept in a cell with one big bright light constantly shining on me. I cannot separate day or night and I am only allowed to see true sunlight for a few minutes each week. All of this has made me realize that I am becoming His Workmanship and can be a vessel in bringing His Kingdom in a dark place and share the Gospel of Peace and Life to the dying world.
And this is where I am learning to love my enemies with all of my heart.
I am looking forward to the day when I will see all of you who are supporting me with your prayers, and for the moment when I can embrace you in my arms. Thank you for the love you have showed me.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because he one who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
Saeed Abedini, in chains for our Lord Jesus Christ”
10 Jan 2013 Update
You probably know that we rarely send emails unless we have a very urgent prayer request we would like to share with you. This is such a time.
A dear personal friend of mine is in trouble for no reason except that he loves and obeys Jesus Christ. His name is Saeed Abedini. He was born in Iran, but is now a US citizen. His wife Naghmeh is also a US citizen and they live with their two children in the US state of Idaho.
Saeed, despite being just 32 years old, has been instrumental in bringing many Iranian Muslims to the Lord, and has established numerous house churches throughout Iran.
He asked me to write his biography, and I was working on it when Saeed made one last trip back to Iran to say goodbye to his family. He knew that when his book came out it would be impossible for him to travel back to the country of his birth.
I can assure you that his testimony is quite remarkable and will bring much glory to God, and I can testify that Saeed is a God-fearing brother who loves the Lord Jesus. Before he met the Lord, Saeed was so depressed he wanted to commit suicide, and for a time he was trained by Hezbollah to be a suicide bomber. After he experienced salvation through the Blood of Jesus Christ, Saeed’s whole life was so dramatically transformed that he could not help but spread the Good News to as many people as possible.
In September last year Saeed was travelling on a bus near the Iranian border when Revolutionary Guards boarded the bus and dragged him off. He has been held for months while he waited for his case to come before the courts of Iran. He is currently captive in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. He has been mercilessly tortured, but has not denied His Lord and Savior.
Despite being an American citizen, the US State Department has done nothing to help as they have no relationship with Iran. From the human level, there is little hope for Saeed. Indications have been given that he may be sentenced to 18 years in prison, or possibly even given the death penalty.
That is why I am asking you to pray. What politicians and the strength of men are unable to achieve, God can do!
Today we received news that Saeed’s case has been assigned to a notorious judge who is known as ‘the hanging judge” because of his history of sending people to the gallows. This man has such a fearsome reputation that few lawyers in Iran are willing to defend clients before him, because the judge often has the lawyer thrown into prison as well. He is due to hand down his sentence next week. The American Center for Law and Justice has released this harrowing statement, which includes a picture of Saeed and his family: http://aclj.org/iran/american-father-husband-abandoned-iran-handed-hanging-judge
Despite all these hardships, Saeed continues to stand strong for the Lord. In a recent letter to his family from prison he wrote, “Prison is a test of faith. I was always worried that the storms of this life would break the ship of my faith, but when you stand steadfast, the storms are like a nice breeze. Nothing can break my faith. These walls have created more fervor for me to love others through sharing the Gospel, but more than that, the walls have deepened my love for my Savior. I feel the prayers of all who are praying for me.”
Can you please pray that our Living God will perform a miracle for Saeed and his family?
- Whatever the outcome, please pray that the Name of Jesus will be glorified and many thousands in Iran will hear the Gospel because of Saeed’s imprisonment.
- Please ask God to soften the heart of Judge Pir-Abassi, and that the Lord’s will may completely overshadow all the proceedings. Pray Saeed will receive grace and favour from the Lord.
- Ask God to bring this situation to the attention of many intercessors around the world who will pray for Saeed and his family.
- Please pray Saeed will continue to stand firm and be a great witness to the guards and other prisoners he comes into contact with.
- Pray the Gospel will continue to spread to the 70 million captive Iranians. Many are open to knowing and following Jesus Christ, but have never heard the message of His salvation.
Please feel free to forward this message to other praying Christians. There are no security restrictions on it and there is nothing in the content which the Iranian government doesn’t already know. You may also post this message in its entirety on social media or websites, if you feel it will help mobilize more Christians to pray.
For our King,