I had lunch today with Dr. Jay Sekulow. I appreciate so much all his organization is doing to see Pastor Saeed Abedini, a dual U.S. – Iranian citizen, released from a cruel prison. Saeed has been detained in Iran since the summer of 2012 and was incarcerated in Evin Prison. A former Muslim who became a believer in Jesus Christ, in the early 2000s, Pastor Saeed became prominent in the house church movement in Iran. He is credited with establishing about 100 house churches in 30 Iranian cities. With the election of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in 2005, the house church movement was subjected to a crackdown by Iranian authorities and the Abedinis moved back to the United States.
Abedini’s first trip back to Iran was in 2009 to visit his family, when government authorities detained him. Abedini was threatened with death during his interrogation over his conversion to Christianity. In July 2012, Abedini made his ninth trip to Iran since 2009 to continue his work and to build an orphanage in the city of Rasht. While in Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard confiscated his passports which led to his incarceration.
On January 27, 2013, Judge Pir-Abassi sentenced Abedini to eight years in prison. According to Fox News, Abedini was sentenced for having “undermined the Iranian government by creating a network of Christian house churches and … attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam.” In early November 2013, Abedini was transferred from Tehran to one of the deadliest prisons in the world, Rajai Shahr, in the town of Karaj.
Pray for his wife, Naghmeh, who, accompanied by Jordan Sekulow, told lawmakers in a joint subcommittee hearing for the House Foreign Affairs Committee on December 12, 2013, that Saeed had been subjected to torture and told that if he converts back to Islam, he would be set free. Pray also for their two children, 7 and 5 years of age. Naghmeh stated, “The Iranian regime sends prisoners to Rajaï Shahr to disappear. It sends prisoners to Rajaï Shahr to deny them their human rights. It sends prisoners to Rajaï Shahr to die.” The next time you feel like complaining about life’s aches and pains – think of Pastor Saeed. Earnestly pray for the Abedini family
In addition to being my attorney and advisor, Jay is a great friend to my family and me. He has keen insight and intellect and is equally blessed with such a wonderful family with two very talented, knowledgable sons. I always appreciate our times together — and he is a great drummer!