326 || Pastor Saeed Abedini Released From Persecution In Iranian Prison
Finally, American Pastor Saeed Abedini has been freed from imprisonment in Iran. After more than three years of persecution for his faith, Pastor Saeed’s release has been confirmed by The American Center for Law and Justice, CNN, and Naghmeh Abedini, Saeed’s wife.
Pastor Saeed Abedini was released along with four other Americans, as reported by the ACLJ, late last night, January 15, 2016.
“This is a major victory,” says the ACLJ. “We are incredibly grateful to the more than 1.1 million people who have joined us in fighting across the globe for Pastor Saeed’s freedom.”
Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Story
We’ve been following Pastor Saeed Abedini’s story throughout his persecution which began in 2012. Though an American citizen living in Idaho, Pastor Saeed was arrested while visiting his parents’ home in Tehran, Iran in 2012. He was put under house arrest and later jailed in Rajai Shahr Prison. September 26, 2015 marked three years of Pastor Saeed’s persecution.
In Pastor Saeed’s letters home, he described harsh conditions and mistreatment throughout his imprisonment. Though Saeed was denied medical attention and he suffered many serious injuries, Saeed’s spirit was not broken completely. Pastor Saeed encouraged Christians to not lose sight of the Gospel and to continue praying for him and for America in his letters at Christmas and on his birthday.
Naghmeh Abedini has been a voice of public advocacy for Saeed’s release, only stepping away from the public eye last November, due to emotional stress on the Abedini family.
A petition from The Be Heard Project to bring Pastor Saeed Abedini home had more than one million signatures on it. Pastor Saeed’s high profile persecution case has been the impetus for prayer meetings and vigils around the world.
Global Persecution, Global Grace
Christianity Today reports Iran as being “one of the hardest countries in which to be a Christian but also one with excellent evangelists and a record number of baptisms.” Sometimes God is at work in ways we cannot see, like Ibrahim’s story from the Syrian Refugee Crisis.