CHRISTIAN NEWS I
Pastor Saeed Abedini Was Held captive In a Iranian Prison and Released January 16, 2016
Pastor Saeed Abedini background was born May 7, 1980. He is an Iranian American, a Protestant Christian who converted from Shia Islam in 2000. His wife is Naghmeh and has two children, a son and a daughter. Pastor Saeed was detained in Iran in the summer of 2015 and initially incarcerated in Evin Prison. The charges were undermining National Security through private Christian religious gatherings (Fellowshipping). This crime’s punishment is the death sentence. In 2013 he was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison. Pastor Saeed has dual-citizenship with the United States and Iran.
Muslim converts to Christianity suffer discrimination at the hands of Iranian Authorities. In particular, such converts are disallowed from worshipping with other Christians in established Christian churches, which led to the establishment of house or underground churches where these converts can worship together. In the early 2000, Pastor Saeed Abedini became prominent in the house-church movement in Iran, at a time when the movement was tolerated by the Iranian government. During this period, Pastor Saeed is credited with establishing about 100 house churches in 30 Iranian cities with more than 2,000 members. With the election of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in 2005, however the house-church movement was subjected to a crackdown by Iranian Authorities and Pastor Saeed and his family moved back to the United States.
Pastor Saeed’s first venture back to Iran was in 2009 to visit his family, when the Iranian Authorities detained him. Pastor Saeed was threatened with death and during his interrogation over his conversion to Christianity. In time he was released after signing a pledge to cease all house church activities in Iran. As part of this same agreement, Pastor Saeed was permitted to return freely to work on non-sectarian humanitarian efforts.
In 2008 Pastor Saeed became an ordained Minister in the United States and in 2010, he was granted dual Iranian-American citizenship. Pastor Saeed had been living the past several years with his family in Boise, Idaho where his wife Naghmeh grew up. The couple has two young children and are members of the Calvary Chapel Church in Boise. On January 27, 2016 Reuters reported that Naghmeh Adedini filed for legal separation.
In July 2012, Pastor Saeed made his 9th trip to Iran since 2009 to visit his family and continue his work to build and orphanage in the city of Rasht. While in the country, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps confiscated his passports and placed Pastor Saeed under house arrest. He was transferred to Evin Prison in late September.
In January 2013, it was reported Pastor Saeed would be on trial January 21, 2012 and may face the death penalty. Pastor Saeed was charged with compromising National Security, through the specific allegations were not made public. His supporters said his arrest was due to his conversion and attending peaceful Christianity gatherings in Iran (Fellowshipping). On January 21, 2013 Iranian state media reported that Pastor Saeed Abedini would be released after posting $116,000 bond. His wife Naghmeh stated that the Iranian government “has no intention of freeing Pastor Saeed and that the announcement is a ploy to quiet the international media reports".
In November, Naghmeh Abedini began to shy away from the high profile speaking on Pastor Saeed’s behalf at the "Freedom Campaign", explaining to supporters via email that he was abusive to her and she can “no longer live a lie.” Christianity Today published the two emails sent to supporters about her troubled marriage, which began in 2004.
Naghmeh Abedini confirmed she had experienced “physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse through her husband’s addiction to pornography.” She wrote at this time, “the abuse began early in their marriage and has became worse during Saeed’s imprisonment", “which she confirmed on Saturday". The couple had been speaking by phone and through Skype, but she has not spoken to him since October.
On January 27, 2013 Pastor Saeed, was sentenced to eight years in prison by Judge Pir-Adassi. According to Fox News, Pastor Saeed was sentenced for having “undermined the Iranian government by creating a network of Christian house churchs and attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam. The only evidence against Pastor Saeed was based primarily on his activities in 2000. Pastor Saeed was meant to serve his time in Evin prison. The United States Department condemned the sentence: “We condemn Iran’s continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion and we call on the Iranian authorities to respect Pastor Saeed’s human rights and release him.” Early in November 2013, Pastor Saeed was transferred from Tehran to the Rajai Shahr prison in the town of Karaj, populated with dangerous criminals, and has harsher, sometimes life-threatening, conditions.
Amnesty International has repeatedly raised the issue of Pastor Saeed’s imprisonment, calling the Pastor a prisoner of conscience and calling upon Iran to release all those detained for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
In May 2015, the United States Senate unanimously passed, 90-0, a resolution calling upon the Iranian government to immediately free Pastor Saeed Abedini and two other Americans imprisoned in Iran, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian, and to cooperate with the United States Government to locate and return Robert Levinson, who is missing in Iran. The resolution was introduced by Senator James Risch of Idaho, Pastor Saeed’s home state.
In March 2015, in a message commemorating the Nowruz the Persian New Year, President Barack Obama listed Pastor Saeed Abedini, Rezaian, and Hekmati, by name and called for their release. President Barack Obama said, “Pastor Saeed has spent two and half years detained in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs. He must be returned to his wife and two young children, who needlessly continue to grow up without their father. President Obama also met with Naghmeh Abedini during a January 2015 visit to Boise.
In July 2015, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, President Obama
again listed Pastor Saeed Abedini, Rezaian, and Hekmati by name calling for their release and for cooperation to find Levinson and saying, “We are not going to relent until we bring home our Americans who are unjustly detained in Iran. “Secretary
of State john Kerry said the same month that there was “not one meeting that took place” during the nuclear talks from 2013-2015 which led to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action at which the United States did not raise the issue of the four
American prisoners held in Iran.”
Than the miracle occurred January 16, 2016, Pastor Saeed Abedini was released from prison. Iran said they were being swapped for seven Iranians held in United State prisons but there was no immediate United States confirmation. “In addition, Iranian state TV said fourteen Iranians sought by the United States would be removed from the Interpol wanted list. “Washington Post Journalist Jason Rezaian, stated Marine veteran Amir Hekmati and Nosratollah Khosrawi were also released by Iran".
In 2015 during his imprisonment, Pastor Saeed Abedini was accused by his wife Naghmeh of years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. She also stated Pastor Saeed was addicted to pornography. Pastor Saeed previously received a suspended three month sentence for domestic assault in 2003.
Now we must all join in prayer and ask Jesus to save the marriage of Pastor Saeed Abedini and Naghmeh. As Christians we must realize we are all sinners and Pastor Saeed was raised as a Muslim so he did not learn at home when he was younger the proper way to treat a woman. This is not an excuse, but we cannot judge and realize the ones who suffer the most if there is a separation or divorce is their two children. I am also concerned if Pastor Saeed is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Obviously the issues outlined by the wife were prior to the imprisonment. However, PTSD may add to the underlining problems at home.
Pastor Saeed Abedini converted 1,000 Muslims to Christianity, some within the Prison. He is credited with establishing about 100 house churches in 30 Iranian cities with more than 2,000 members. His desire is complete the Orphanage in the city of Rasht. In order to this within the Middle East you know he must be anointed. However, he and his family is under attack, not from Iranian officials any longer but Satan. And so is his family. We must keep Pastor Saeed and his family in our prayers.
Thank you Jesus, Our Lord and Savior for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini and answering all our prayers. Jesus, please place a hedge of protection over the Abedini family and help them repair and resolve their problems. Amen, Hallelujah.
In Chains For Christ
Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini Freed From Iran
Pastor Behnam Irani Was Extremely Sick, Arrested, Tortured, in a Iranian Prison. He Can Be Released If He Repents And Returns Back To Being A Muslim.
Behnam Irani is 44 years old and a Pastor from Karaj, Iran. He came to know Jesus Christ in 1992 and has been a Pastor since 2002. His wife is named Kristina who is a American Christian, they have a daughter Rebecca, 11 and a son Adriel, 5.
Pastor Behnam Irani was arrested for crimes against National Security, 1st time in December 2006 and 2nd time in April 2010. In this instance the crimes against National Security holding house church services and saving Muslims for Jesus, so they can become Christians. Pastor Irani was released on bail in January 2007. On February 23, 2008 Branch 30 of the Appellate Court in Tehran gave him a five year suspended sentence. Because it was a suspended sentence he was not required to go prison, but was free on a five year probation.
On April 14, 2010 MOIS officers came into a house church service, than assaulted him and took him into custody. A church service was going on at the time and the security officials interrogated those attending as well and confiscated Bibles, Christian literature and DVD’s. Pastor Behnam Irani was in Iranian prison for two months, than he was released on bail in June 2010. In January 2011 he was tried for and convicted of crimes against National Security.
On May 31, 2011 a warrant was issued for his arrest and began a one year sentence in the prison. Shortly before the time he was released on October 18, 2011 he was informed via mail he must serve his five year sentence from 2008.
Since the 1st year in prison Pastor Behnam Irani has been extremely ill. During his 1st year in prison he has been beaten by prisoners under the watchful eye of prison authorities. Because of this he began to lose his eyesight, and also untreated inflammatory Bowel Disease, also he was barely able to speak and had trouble walking. If God had not intervened during Pastor Behnam time in prison, sources close to the family were very concerned he may die in prison.
In July 2012 he was vomiting blood and went unconscious as a result. He was sent to the prison nurse station but never treated for the ulcer. He was quickly transferred back to his cell.
Speculation is the Iranian government is not allowing Pastor Behnam Irani to visit a hospital because the Iranian Government wants him to die in prison. On Saturday September 21, 2013 his family went to request his pardon and release from prison. They did this based upon the pardoning on eleven prisoners of conscience shortly before this time. The Judge stated that is he repents and returns back to Islam he will be pardoned and released.
Pastor Behnam Irani underwent surgery on February 22, 2015 at the Shahid Madani Hospital in Karaj, Iran. Because of severe bleeding as a result of stomach ulcers and colon complications. As a result Pastor Behnam Irani his health has improved.
Another area of concern is that in the written verdict from 2008 the appeals court recommended the prosecutor pursue an apostasy death sentence against him stating, “Considering the explicit confessions of the above mentioned individual Pastor Behnam Irani during the trial, that his father and mother were Muslims and he, himself also opted for Islam when he reached maturity. Than he left the holy region of Islam and became a Christian. And he also deceived a group of people into leaving Islam. Therefore as mentioned in Islamic religious text the above mentioned individual is definitely an innate apostate, and the sentence for innate apostasy is death.
September 5, 2014 Update, Pastor Behnam Irani who is currently serving a six year sentence for crimes against National Security, is now facing new charges for spreading corruption on the earth. This is an Islamic sharia charge that carries with it, if convicted, the death sentence. The reason for the charges against Pastor Behnam Irani is that he continues to speak out on his own behalf and encourage believers in his church by phone. Which, for Islam the preaching of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ is indeed spreading corruption on the earth.
Please Pray for Pastor Behnam Irani. Spread the word via Email, Facebook, Twitter. Print this out this page and give it to your Pastor and the parishioners at your Church.
Also write letter encouraging Pastor Behnam Irani and include scripture. The address is Ghezel Hesar Prison, Karaj, Albourz State Iran. Join the cause to sign a petition for Pastor Behnam.
I am thankful we serve an awesome God that can change situations and preserve the life of his saints. Please hold Pastor Behnam Irani and his family up in prayer.
Jesus, please place a hedge of protection over Pastor Behnam Irani.