The Christian Way to deal with Sin in the Camp


John R. Houk

© November 13, 2015

The Old Covenant is the blessings and curses of the Law of Moses. The penalty for the curse for breaking God’s directive was a justice that Christians and Westerners would be horrified to see executed in this day and age.

Classic Sin in the Camp Solution

4 So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai. 5 And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water.

6 Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.

10 So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face?11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you.

20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the LordGod of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.”

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver under it. 23 And they took them from the midst of the tent, brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. 24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.” So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. (Joshua 7: 4-6; 10-12; 20-25 NKJVAll of Joshua 7)

The difficulty of sin seems to have caught up with falsely imprisoned Pastor Saeed Abedini who currently is incarcerated in an Iranian jail subject to abuse and persecution for being a Christian. The sin is not given in specifics but in generalities described as marital problems with Saeed’s wife Naghmeh. Mrs. Abedini has let the cat of the bag that Pastor Saeed has been dealing with porn addiction which has caused unspecified emotional and abuse issues in the marriage.

Since the cat is out of the bag Naghmeh has announced she is suspending her public efforts in trying to get her husband Saeed Abedini released from an Iranian jail. I suspect she doesn’t want to deal with humiliating media questions that journalists will now be more interested in personal info on the Abedini marriage more than on freeing Saeed.

The secular media is quite unforgiving when they smell a Christian public figure has personal issues that Christianity views as immoral. Such media trolls have a tendency write anything that places Christianity in a bad light. Why? When Christianity is denigrated publicly the theme is pushed that Christian morality is antiquated and time to be placed in the history books as not essential in a lifestyle of living.

If Christianity is outdated than the concept of a Creator God is then erroneous. Thus moral stands against baby-killing in womb is outdated. The practice of homosexuality labeled as an abomination by God Almighty is okay the Almighty does not exist. Ungodly sexual practices (e.g. adultery, pornography, bestiality, polygamy, prostitution, pre-marital sex, man-boy sex and on and on) can be equated with the norm as long as a greater quantity of people begins to view the practices as not socially denigrating to societal norms.

When a devoted Christian slips into errors that non-practicing Christians and non-Christians are easily susceptible to, then those that condemn Christian/Biblical morality partake into a feeling of self-justification in their own choices.

New Covenant Good News to the curse of the Law

5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1: 5-10 NKJV)

Here’s some Good News for Christians. Don’t listen to people more interested in self-justification rather than in a Redeemer that justifies those who breaks God’s holiness with His own Blood because that which is unredeemed no not what they do. So what about those who have embraced Redemption and should know better?

More Good News: Redemption makes the old twisted nature into a new creation with the stamp of Jesus Christ certifying the newness of life. But, there is more Redemption yet to come. A Redemption accepting humanity has not yet received full Redemption. Neither our human biological flesh nor our human soul in which sensory knowledge still reigns supreme are Redeemed. The union of the new creation spirit-man with the Holy Spirit of God in Christ is the down payment promise that the whole man (and woman) will be Redeemed.

From Suffering to Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. (Romans 8: 18-25 NKJV)

Assurance of the Resurrection

5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5: 1-5, 14-19 NKJV)

Ephesians 1:13-14

13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[a] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 4:22-24

22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 1: 13-14; 4: 22-24 NKJV)

When is that Promise to be realized? At the Second Coming of Christ when He returns as King of kings and Lord of lords to restore the whole of humanity and the whole earth to unfettered communion with God Almighty. Knowledge of God’s Will become as instinctive as human thought is in the present.

So what does that mean for Pastor Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini? It means nothing for the nosy particularly for nosy judgmental Christians who need to be just as concerned about the beam in their own eye rather than the speck of wood not clearly seen by the human eye in another. It means everything for the Abedini family of which repentance and restoration is always available to Believers in the Redemptive Blood of Jesus the Son of God and Savior. The process is between the Abedinis and God with the guidance of the man (or woman) of God in which has the spiritual responsibility of oversight by the Anointing of the Holy Spirit.

I am not a part of that process and those reading this probably not a part that process either.

I still pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini’s protection from Christian-hating Muslim Iranians and deliverance back home to the USA – the land of the free and home of the brave.

JRH 11/13/15

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Pastor Abedini’s Wife Cites Stress in Suspending Public Efforts for Husband’s Freedom

By CBNNews.com

November 13, 2015

CBN News

CBN Video

http://cbn.com/tv/embedplayernews.aspx?bcid=4610997651001

 

Naghmeh Abedini is pulling back her public fight to see her husband Pastor Saeed Abedini freed from an Iranian prison.

Christianity Today reports the emotional stress of the effort, along with “abuse” issues in her marriage before and since Saeed’s imprisonment, have taken a toll. CBN News contacted the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents the Abedini family, for a response.

“In recent days, Naghmeh — Pastor Saeed’s wife — has revealed that she is dealing with some very serious personal issues inside her family. She has asked for privacy and prayer. We are respecting her request. The ACLJ will not have any comment on the personal issues that she is addressing,” the ACLJ told CBN News.

The CT article is based mostly on two emails Abedini sent to supporters revealing the problems. In those emails she listed marital problems, including “physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse [through Saeed’s addiction to pornography].”

The ACLJ gave CBN News the following statement from Naghmeh Abedini:

“I regret having sent the emails. I was under great psychological and emotional distress. I am now taking time off to heal and to rest and to spend much needed time with my kids. I would appreciate for those who care about Saeed and our family to give us time for rest and healing and to respect our privacy.”

Meanwhile, The ACLJ told CBN News it remains committed to seeing Saeed’s freedom.

“What we are focused on is this: bringing home an American pastor who has been wrongly imprisoned in Iran because of his faith. We know that Pastor Saeed remains in grave danger in prison where he continues to be beaten and psychologically abused by Iranian guards and remains in need of medical care,” the ACLJ said.

“We continue to pray for Naghmeh, Pastor Saeed, and their family. We will continue our work — in this country and abroad — to secure the freedom of this U.S. citizen,” the ACLJ statement concluded.

Naghmeh also asked for prayer to continue for Saeed and their family. CT reported she pointed out that Saeed still shares his faith in Jesus while imprisoned — and that she calls her husband a “treasure.”

“But that does not mean he has not been battling with his own demons which I am believing that he can be freed of,” CT quoted from Naghmeh’s writings.

“I will continue to pray for my husband’s release and advocate for him as he suffers in an Iranian prison for his Christian faith. I would also ask others to join me in continuing to pray for his release,” Naghmeh said in her statement to CBN News.

Saeed Abedini has spent more than three years in an Iranian prison simply for his Christian faith. He is still being mistreated, beaten and denied medical care.

Despite Naghmeh’s revelations, several groups that have stood with the family said they will continue to speak out on her husband’s behalf.

“Regardless of any struggles that Pastor Saeed may be experiencing it doesn’t change the fact that the faith community needs to be a powerful and passionate voice calling for his immediate release and standing with our persecuted brothers and sisters,” said Rev. Patrick Mahoney, who leads the Christian Defense Coalition.

Mahoney has led several prayer vigils across the country and met with political leaders to try and secure Pastor Abedini’s release.

Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council, has also been actively involved in Pastor’s Abedini’s case.

“It’s hard to imagine the pressures that souls like Nagmeh and Saeed Abedini endure,” Schenck said in a statement released by his office. He reminded people who’ve prayed for the Abedini family that “they are not super heroes, just regular people facing the same problems we all do, only under extreme circumstances.”

Mahoney and Schenck will hold a press conference later on Friday to show their continued support for Pastor Abedini.

“God calls us to stand on principle and justice not personalities,” Mahoney said.

Meanwhile, reaction to Naghmeh Abedini’s personal family trauma on social media has been mixed.

Robin G., writing on CBN News’ Facebook page, said, “Something about his just doesn’t feel right in my spirit.”

Jan H. wrote, “I’m sad that she didn’t keep this private. What is the point in exposing this to the whole world?”

Jenny J. said, “This is absolutely heart breaking. I am shocked.”

Nadege S. added, “It is easy to accuse a man who is locked up thousands of miles away in a dungeon.”

Meanwhile, another poster, Teresa C., warned people not to judge the Abedini’s writing: “We don’t know the whole story and it is not for us to know.”

The emotional and psychological trauma of enduring a hostage or kidnapping situation can be extremely difficult for families and loved ones involved.

“There’s a lot of studies that have shown that families incur post-traumatic stress at the same rate that hostages do,” Chris Voss, founder and CEO of The Black Swan Group, a company that solves business negotiations with hostage negotiation strategies said. “The reality is that this is the family’s darkest hour.”

Voss is a 24-year veteran of the FBI’s negotiation team and was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the agency.

Voss spoke with CBN News’ George Thomas about the pressures that prolonged, illegal imprisonment can put on families. Click below to watch the interview.

CBN Video: Fmr. Hostage Negotiator Discusses Abedini Imprisonment

http://cbn.com/tv/embedplayernews.aspx?bcid=4611421810001

 

“When someone is a hostage, the fear and trauma is overwhelming and unending they don’t know when it is going to end and it is a really horrifying experience for families,” Voss told CBN News from his office in California. “Families are held hostage as much as the hostages are.”

In a Washington Post, editorial Naghmeh Abedini wrote about the emotional toll the ordeal was taking on her family.

“The continued imprisonment of Saeed has taken a very emotional and tragic toll on our family,” Naghmeh said. “My kids have had to grow up without a father. Saeed has missed so many birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions.”

Abedini said since the US and Western countries signed a nuclear deal with Iran, her husband’s physical condition has gotten worse.

“Saeed was being beaten and interrogated by Iranian guards in prison,” Abedini wrote in the Washington Post. “During that encounter, guards interrogated Saeed and used a stun gun on him. Although there was no detailed information provided, Saeed was told he would face additional new charges, possibly extending his eight-year prison sentence.”

Voss says in such cases where a hostage victim endures great physical and psychological torture at the hands of their captors, families back home also feel the pain.

“What we have a tendency to do as human beings is that we imagine it in a very horrific fashion so the people that love him [Pastor Abedini] and the people that care about him are really putting themselves through hell trying to get him out, thinking about what he must be going through. It is truly the families [sic] darkest hour,” Voss said.

CBN News will continue to update

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The Christian Way to deal with Sin in the Camp

John R. Houk

© November 13, 2015

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Pastor Abedini’s Wife Cites Stress in Suspending Public Efforts for Husband’s Freedom

 

© Copyright 2015. The Christian Broadcasting Network.

Obama Deserting Pastor Abedini to Iran Prison


Pastor Saeed Abedini & Kids

John R. Houk

© May 2, 2015

 

How does a President go all out to release someone imprisoned by America’s enemies? Hmm … Well President Barack Hussein Obama looks for a military deserter who treasonously collaborated with Taliban Muslim terrorists to attack U.S. military soldiers, then secures the deserter’s release in exchange for five Muslim terrorist war criminals incarcerated at Gitmo. If that wasn’t bad enough, America’s good President announces the imminent trade glorifies Bowe Bergdahl as an American hero with Bowe’s parents in tow.

 

AND YET when it comes to American citizens imprisoned in Iran for being Christians, President Obama goes for a nuke deal whatever it costs while abandoning American citizens to the Twelver-Muslim haters of Iran: Former Marine Amir Hekmati, journalist Jason Rezaian and Pastor Saeed Abedini. In the case of Hekmati and Rezaian the charges are trumped up because they are American citizens of Iranian origin. In Pastor Abedini’s case his arrest and imprisonment is because of his Christian faith.

 

The ACLJ has been working Pastor Abedini’s release for the half-decade he’s been incarcerated. Christian American citizens apparently mean nothing to Obama. There is all the appearance from Obama that Israel-hating Iran is going to be allowed to arm with nuke WMD while Iran tortures Americans.

 

JRH 5/2/15

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Obama Administration Threatens to Veto Measure Requiring Pastor Saeed’s Freedom

 

By ACLJ Staff

April 30, 2015

American Center for Law and Justice

 

The Obama Administration appears to be preparing to leave American Pastor Saeed Abedini and the other U.S. citizens wrongfully imprisoned in Iran on the sidelines of the Iran nuclear negotiations – even promising a veto to congressional legislation if an amendment is added to include the imprisoned Americans..

 

In a stunning comment, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters that interjecting the captive Americans into the discussions is unacceptable and that it “certainly would interfere with the ongoing negotiations between the international community and Iran on their nuclear program.”

 

That is simply unbelievable. Refusing to discuss the Americans being held hostage by Iran at the bargaining table and rejecting any congressional attempt to make any deal with Iran contingent on the release of the Americans is unacceptable.  It’s quite frankly appalling.

 

The disturbing comments came in today’s press briefing when White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest declared, “The President would certainly veto any amendment or any bill with an amendment that undermined the unanimous compromise that was reached in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or that interfered with the ongoing negotiations. Certainly a provision, an amendment, that made this nuclear deal contingent on Iran’s release of those three American citizens would fall, I think frankly, into both categories.”

 

Full transcript of the questions from ABC News’ Jonathan Karl and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s answers:

 

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS:  The Senate of course is debating the Corker Bill. Corker announces he has a veto proof majority. He doesn’t really need it, because you’ve endorsed the compromise bill. But there are a whole series of amendments that are going to be voted on. You know, for instance, there’s an amendment that says before any sanctions are lifted, Iran would have to release those three Americans known to be in Iranian prisons. What is the administration’s view on these amendments? Are you saying it is this deal or no deal? Would we go back to a veto threat situation if, in the specific instance I just mentioned, an amendment passes that says first Iran needs to release those Americans? Would you veto that bill?

 

JOSH EARNEST: The President would certainly veto any amendment or any bill with an amendment that undermined the unanimous compromise that was reached in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or that interfered with the ongoing negotiations. Certainly a provision, an amendment, that made this nuclear deal contingent on Iran’s release of those three American citizens would fall, I think frankly, into both categories. It would directly undermine the unanimous compromise that was reached in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and it certainly would interfere with the ongoing negotiations between the international community and Iran on their nuclear program.

 

KARL: So the President would veto that?

 

EARNEST:  So, those kinds of amendments that are added to the bill, that undermine the unanimous compromise or would interfere with the talks would earn a presidential veto. And I think that, given, again, the unanimous vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am confident there would be strong support—or I guess strong opposition—to those kinds of amendments. And that opposition, I would expect it to be bipartisan. But this is a process that will have to play out.

 

Listen Now.

 

This is despicable. This is outrageous. And it is an insult to the captive Americans and their families.

 

The President is promising to veto a bill requiring the release of Pastor Saeed and the other Americans imprisoned in Iran.

 

Time is running out. We must put more pressure on the White House and Congress.

 

The fact of the matter is simple.  There can be no deal unless Pastor Saeed and his fellow American hostages in Iran are free.

 

The Senate is debating key amendments that prioritize the release of American Pastor Saeed Abedini to reunite him with his family here in the U.S., along with the release of the three other American hostages, Jason Rezaian, Amir Hekmati, and Robert Levinson.  We are fighting on Capitol Hill and working directly with members of the U.S. Senate.

 

Over 185,000 of you have already signed our latest petition to urge the U.S. Senate to do the right thing.

 

Stand with us as we urge Congress to legally require Pastor Saeed’s freedom before any deal with Iran is finalized.

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Walking a Day Imprisoned with Pastor Saeed

 

By ACLJ Staff

April 29, 2015

American Center for Law Justice

 

* The following is an expository narrative crafted from the information imprisoned American Pastor Saeed has shared with his family and descriptions publicized from released prisoners of Rajaei Shahr Prison.  As Pastor Saeed’s wife Naghmeh says, “This is a day in the life of Saeed as he would tell it.

 

8:00 AM         I awake after another sleepless night, not knowing what the day will hold.  Will another of my fellow inmates be dragged to the gallows today?  Will another inmate steal my belongs? Will a guard threaten me to recant my faith and return to Islam?  I start to try and prepare my mind for what strength I will need for another day, but my thoughts are interrupted as the guards come to count me. To them I am not a man but just another number. I debate whether to lay my head back down and skip the meager breakfast of bread and cheese, realizing that if I do, I will only have one other meager portion of food to sustain me for the entire day.  Reality hits abruptly every morning, awakening me from my dreams of family and freedom. Sleep is incredibly alluring as it is in my sleep that I temporarily escape the reality of prison life.  Sleep also helps me pass the time and to avoid tension among other prisoners. There are days where I don’t have the strength to get out of bed, but luckily today is not that day.  Today, as I begin my day, I stop and pray to steady my mind and remind myself of the promises of God.

 

10:00 AM       Today I get to take a shower.  It sounds like such a simply luxury, but here with limited facilities and severe overcrowding, I count it a blessing despite the filth I stand in to clean myself.  You see, there are only 3 showers for the roughly 80 prisoners in my section of the prison.  Practically, this means I get to shower roughly once a week. The water is cold, but I am grateful.

 

11:00 AM       After my shower I contemplate whether to return to my little corner in my cell  or try to mingle with other prisoners.  There are roughly 80 of us in my little room built for 20, but my corner is where I can pray and avoid conflict with other prisoners.  For a while I was able to make paper crosses to hang by my bed, a sort of little sanctuary, but the guards have since forbidden such displays. While the day always passes faster when I have fellowship with others, doing so has gotten increasingly more difficult. There are some prisoners here who see my very presence as a threat, for I am not only a convert to Christianity but I am also an American.  This tension has only grown as the United States and Iran continue to negotiate.  For today, I decide to sit in my little space, alone with my thoughts.

  

12:00 PM        The guards round us up to take us to the  courtyard.  The courtyard is not much more than an open air concrete cell, but it is my only opportunity to feel the sun on my face.  Going outdoors is a luxury offered daily; but over the past year, there were many days when I had to avoid the courtyard.  It was in the courtyard that some prisoners associated with Islamic terrorists groups threatened to take my life.  The tensions are high with fellow prisoners who oppose my faith and conversion from Islam, but with recent geopolitical events, my U.S. citizenship has also become a source of tension.  The internal pull for sunlight entices me, but I know that stepping outside places me at greater risk.  So today, I avoid the conflict and decide sunlight is not worth the risk.

 

2:00 PM          As prisoners, we are responsible for maintaining the ward and are each assigned chores and tasks.  But even with these tasks the sheer number of us and lack of overall care for the facilities has created inhumane and unsanitary conditions.  Our bathroom, which I am tasked with cleaning today, is no more than a hole in the ground.  Every attempt to clean the bathroom is futile as the ceiling above leaks feces and urine from the bathroom directly above.  As I clean I try to maintain perspective by humming worship songs.  In this filth, I am reminded of the depth of my own filth that Jesus took for me by dying on the cross.

  

5:00 PM          My stomach is starting to feel the pains of severe hunger. The meager portion of bread and cheese has not sustained me throughout the day.  With these hunger pains I am also desperate for some relief from the pains in my abdomen – injuries I sustained from numerous prison beatings endured over the years.  The level of pain has varied in the last two and half years, but today it is strong.   Unfortunately, the mild pain killers that curbed the sharpness of my pain have long run out. The prison doctors have told me they will provide no additional medicine for my internal injuries.  So today, I go to the one source I know to help my pain – I go to God.

 

6:00 PM          For the second time today I must line up to be counted by the guards.

  

7:00 PM          When a prisoner arrives here, he has only what clothing and little money he had in his pocket when detained.  After going through the mandatory quarantine, the prisoner enters the general population and must purchase any necessities from the prison store.   We must purchase our own dishes and utensils for eating, our blankets for keeping warm in the cold winter, our undergarments, and our toiletries. So for some prisoners who are estranged from their family they have very little and eat their food from plastic containers cut from used milk jugs and cleaning agents.  Today, I feel blessed my family has provided me enough money on my store account to have my own bowl and spoon.   For dinner, I am given either a single potato or a bowl of rice with some sauce. Tonight’s dinner is rice with what tastes like soy sauce.  Of the two and half years I have been in the prison, the prison has only made available protein, which I had to purchase from the prison store, for 2 months.  The last time I ate protein was over 7 months ago. Clean drinking water has also been a scarcity.  For months now, I have had to drink water from the tap—water that I must let sit so the sediments can settle before skimming the water from the top.  I can tell that the lack of nutritious food has taken a toll on my strength and health.

 

9:00PM           The sun has set and the day is winding down.  I return to my cell and try to find something to occupy my mind.  The room is extremely crowded and dark. There is a small window near my bed, without glass and steel bars. The broken window was brutal during the winter months, so I am grateful that the weather has warmed.  Before settling into bed, I must regularly check the beds as the prison is infested with roaches and mice.  A few weeks ago I had reached into my Kleenex box for a tissue only to find that a mouse had made his home inside.

 

12:30 AM       Lights out at 12:30.  While I seek sleep, it evades me tonight.  Over the past several weeks the number of executions in the prison has greatly increased.  I try to close my eyes and avoid the sounds and images of death. I try to coax my mind into recognizing that if I can just stop my thoughts about my reality I can return to my dreams where I can be reunited with my wife and two beautiful children.  I try to recount which day of the week it is and cling to the hope that I will get to have a visitation with my Iranian family on Wednesday – it is in these visitations that I get to see pictures of my growing children.  It is during these visitations I get the words of encouragement from all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have committed to praying for my freedom.

 

The ACLJ continues to work in this country and abroad to secure the freedom of Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen – who has been imprisoned in Iran for more than two-and-a-half years because of his Christian faith. The ACLJ represents Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children who live in Idaho.

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Obama Deserting Pastor Abedini to Iran Prison

John R. Houk

© May 2, 2015

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Obama Administration Threatens to Veto Measure Requiring Pastor Saeed’s Freedom

 

Walking a Day Imprisoned with Pastor Saeed

 

American Center for Law and Justice | Washington D.C. | Copyright © 2015, ACLJ

 

The ACLJ is an organization dedicated to the defense of constitutional liberties secured by law.

 

American Center for Law and Justice is a d/b/a for Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, Inc., a tax-exempt, not-for-profit, religious corporation as defined under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, specifically dedicated to the ideal that religious freedom and freedom of speech are inalienable, God-given rights. The Center’s purpose is to engage legal, legislative and cultural issues by implementing an effective strategy of advocacy, education and litigation to ensure that those rights are protected under the law. The organization has participated in numerous cases before the Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeals, Federal District Courts, and various state courts regarding freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Your gift is very much appreciated and fully deductible as a charitable contribution. A copy of our latest financial report may be obtained by writing to us at P.O. Box 90555, Washington, DC 20090-0555

VERY IMPORTANT ACLJ Pastor Saeed Updates


Saeed Abedini - Share Story

Posted December 7, 2013

 

Here are a couple of emails from ACLJ updating Pastor Saeed Abedini incarceration in a deplorable Iranian prison for simply being a Christian. Following the two emails I am posting an ACLJ update pertaining Congressional Hearings about Pastor Saeed’s unjust imprisonment.

 

JRH 12/7/13

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Saeed robbed, life threatened

 

Sent by Jordan Sekulow

Sent: Dec 4, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Sent by ACLJ

 

Deadly threats to American Pastor Saeed are increasing.

 

We have just learned that he has been repeatedly robbed and threatened at knifepoint by fellow prisoners in the deadly Iranian prison to which he has been transferred.

 

His health is quickly deteriorating. Iranian authorities refuse to give him medication and deplorable prison conditions have led to lice, malnourishment, and weight loss.

 

Iran has sent him to disappear. The U.S. government has abandoned this U.S. citizen. Pastor Saeed has been left for dead.

 

We must be his voice.

 

I, along with ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, am in Europe meeting with key world leaders urging pressure on Iran for Saeed’s release.

 

Join us in these meetings by signing our petition, and let the world know Pastor Saeed is not forgotten.

 

Sign the Petition to Stand with Pastor Saeed at BeHeardProject.com.

 

Jordan Sekulow
ACLJ Executive Director

 

P.S. As we mobilize our global resources for the persecuted Church, generous donors have agreed to double every tax-deductible gift through our year-end Matching Challenge.

 

Donate to Be Heard Project for Pastor Saeed

_________________________

Pastor Saeed malnourished

 

Sent: Dec 5, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Sent by:  Jordan Sekulow

Sent from: ACLJ

 

Awoken at knifepoint, robbed of basic necessities, and denied critical medication. This is what American Pastor Saeed faces on a daily basis – imprisoned in a deadly Iranian prison because of his faith.

 

What we learned this week is truly horrific.

 

Pastor Saeed is malnourished, losing weight, covered in lice, surrounded by murderers, and suffering under increasing pain.

 

He is being left for dead.

 

We must never let this happen.

 

I am with a team from the ACLJ in Europe, meeting with key world leaders to Save Saeed. We are telling them that this U.S. citizen has not been forgotten by hundreds of thousands – that you are standing with him. Be his voice. Be Heard.

 

Sign the Petition to Stand with Pastor Saeed at BeHeardProject.com Today.

 

Jordan Sekulow
ACLJ Executive Director

 

P.S. As we mobilize our global resources for the persecuted Church, generous donors have agreed to double every tax-deductible gift through our year-end Matching Challenge.

 

Donate to Be Heard Project for Pastor Saeed

 

 _______________________________

American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Wife and ACLJ to Testify Before Congress Next Week on His Worsening Plight

 

By Jordan Sekulow

Dec. 6, 2013 12:05 PM

ACLJ

 

In a critical development in American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s case, Congress will hold a hearing next week on his worsening plight.

 

Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, and I have been asked to testify about Pastor Saeed’s dire situation as Members of Congress seek to once again elevate the plight of this U.S. citizen who been abandoned and wrongly imprisoned in Iran because of his faith.

 

A joint subcommittee hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has been set for next, Thursday, December 12th at 9:30am.

 

The hearing before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, chaired by Representative Chris Smith (NJ), and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, chaired by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), will focus on Pastor Saeed’s worsening plight.

 

We are grateful for this opportunity to elevate Pastor Saeed’s case, and it could not come at a more pivotal moment.

 

Last month Pastor Saeed was transferred from the political prisoner ward of Evin prison, a notoriously dangerous prison, to the violent criminal ward of Rajai Shahr prison, the deadliest prison in Iran.  This week we learned that Pastor Saeed has been repeatedly robbed and threatened at knifepoint in this new prison.

 

Pastor Saeed’s health is also deteriorating.  He is experiencing increased pain in his stomach as he is being denied necessary medication by Iranian authorities.  He is malnourished, covered in lice, and losing weight because of horrendous prison conditions.

 

In light of his deadly situation and the Obama Administration’s refusal to even ask for Pastor Saeed’s release in recent direct negotiations with Iran, it is imperative that Congress speak out.  The U.S. State Department and the Obama Administration must make Pastor Saeed’s freedom a true priority.

 

The life of a U.S. citizen – whose only “crime” is his Christian faith – is a stake.

 

More details and hearing location are available on the Committee’s website.

 

Stand with Pastor Saeed as we stand before Congress by singing the petition at BeHeardProject.com.

_________________________________________

American Center for Law and Justice | Washington D.C. | Copyright © 2012, ACLJ

 

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The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and its globally affiliated organizations are committed to ensuring the ongoing viability of freedom and liberty in the United States and around the world.

 

By focusing on U.S. constitutional law, European Union law and human rights law, the ACLJ and its affiliated organizations are dedicated to the concept that freedom and liberty are universal, God-given and inalienable rights that must be protected.

 

The ACLJ and its worldwide affiliates engage in litigation, provide legal services, render advice to individuals and governmental agencies, as well as counsel clients on global freedom and liberty issues. They also support training law students from around the world in order to protect religious liberty and safeguard human rights and dignity.

 

As a non-profit organization, the ACLJ does not charge for its services and is dependent upon God and the resources He provides through the time, talent, and gifts of people who share our concerns and desire to protect our religious and  constitutional freedoms.

 

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Pastor Saeed Writes of “Psychological Warfare,” “Physical Violence,” and “Death Threats” in Iranian Prison


Saeed Abedini

American Pastor Saeed Abedini was arrested in Iran for being a Christian and with the false accusation of proselytizing threatening Iran’s national security when he agreed not to do so. Pastor Saeed was during work in a Christian orphanage when the Iranian government decided to arrest him.

 

Everyone that knows about Islam and Iran knew that Pastor Saeed was being tortured. A letter he managed to smuggle out of the notorious Evin Prison reveals that the Pastor is indeed being tortured to force him to recant his faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God and Savior.

 

In true Christian martyr fashion Pastor Saeed has refused to recant and rejoin Islam.

 

I have to be honest I don’t know if I would be that strong in the face of torture. My mindset would be God have mercy for being forced to recant under tortuous mutilation at the hand of Muslim trying to force a conversion out of me. I believe I can die for my faith, I just don’t know if I can withstand torture.

 

So I pray for Pastor Saeed’s protection, strength and deliverance from the oppression of Iran’s Islamic Sharia Law the religion of compulsion – no matter what any Muslim apologist might tell you!

 

Below is an article from the American Center from Law and Justice (ACLJ) that includes Pastor Saeed Abedini’s smuggled letter.

 

JRH 2/25/13

Please Support NCCR

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Pastor Saeed Writes of “Psychological Warfare,” “Physical Violence,” and “Death Threats” in Iranian Prison

 

By Jay Sekulow

Feb. 22, 2013 8:38 AM

ACLJ

 

VIDEO: #SAVESAEED

 

Earlier this week, American Pastor Saeed Abedini was able to write a letter to his wife and supporters detailing the horrific conditions he suffers in Iran’s brutal Evin Prison.

 

Pastor Saeed has now been imprisoned in Iran nearly five months.  He describes how the “the psychological warfare, a year of not seeing my family, physical violence, actions committed to humiliate me, insults, being mocked,” extremists and other bullying groups in Evin “create another prison within the prison walls.”

 

In his last public letter, before his conviction, Pastor Saeed wrote that he was told he “will hang” for his faith.  Today, he says that he still faces “death threats” in prison.

 

For the first time, Pastor Saeed acknowledges that the beatings and torture are designed to get him to recant his Christian faith – something he says he will never do.  “They are only waiting for one thing…for me to deny Christ,” he wrote. “But they will never get this from me.”

 

In one instance, a fellow cellmate “attacked” him because he was singing praise songs.

 

As Pastor Saeed writes, “It is during these harsh conditions, that I deeply need God’s Saving Grace so that I can be the fragrant scent of Christ in the dark house of Evin prison.”

 

These are the conditions he will face every day for the next eight years of his prison sentence.  Pastor Saeed, a U.S. citizen, is being forced to undergo some of the most horrific conditions imaginable.

 

Upon receiving this heartbreaking letter, Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, told us:

 

It is heart wrenching to hear of Saeed’s continued abuse and torture in the Iranian prison. We have known for some time that he is facing physical and psychological abuse. Now our worst fears have been confirmed. He continues to face life-threatening abuse at the hands of the Iranian officials simply because of his faith in Jesus. These are the dreadful conditions he will continue to face as he serves his lengthy prison sentence in Iran. Saeed is an American citizen who is being pressured and falsely promised freedom if only he will deny his faith in Jesus. We have seen this tactic used in the past. Saeed will never recant his faith in Jesus – even if it means continued torture and abuse. Our primary concern is for his health and well-being with each passing day. We know that while he is very weak physically, Saeed is strong in his faith. His situation is dire and with the continued abuse and death threats, we are not sure how long Saeed will survive these horrendous conditions in prison. The most important thing we can do is pray, continue to raise awareness of his case and continue to work for his freedom.

 

It is incumbent upon each of us to stand up for this 32-year-old U.S. citizen, loving father of two, devoted husband, and committed pastor.

 

It is rare that he is able to get a letter like this to the public.  He has no voice.  Each of us must be his voice.  Sign the petition for his freedom at SaveSaeed.org.  After you have signed the petition, please consider who of your family and friends can also sign this petition to save Pastor Saeed.

 

Watch and share the video above as his letter is narrated.  Below is the complete letter from Pastor Saeed, translated into English – a powerful testimony of perseverance in the face of unspeakable persecution:

 

Writing from my heart.

 

My Dear Friends,

 

The conditions here get so very difficult that my eyes get blurry, my body does not have the strength to walk, and my steps become very weak and shaky.

 

Various (bullying) groups, the psychological warfare, a year of not seeing my family, physical violence, actions committed to humiliate me, insults, being mocked, being confronted with extremists in the prison who create another prison within the prison walls, and the death threats…

 

It is interesting that because I am a Christian pastor, I am carefully watched. I am expected to smile at them despite what is being done and to understand why they are doing all of these things. But, of course, I can clearly see what is going on and because I want to serve God, I see all of these difficulties as golden opportunities and great doors to serve. There are empty containers who are thirsty for a taste of the Living Water and we can quench their thirst by giving them Jesus Christ. Maybe you are also in such a situation, so pray and seek God that He would use you and direct you in the pressures and difficulties of your lives.

 

There are those who are enemies of the Living Bible and do not want to hear. They are trying to put me under such horrific pressures (that are sometimes unbearable) so that they can show me that my faith is empty and not real. And after all of these pressures, after all of the nails they have pressed against my hands and feet, they are only waiting for one thing…for me to deny Christ. But they will never get this from me. This is why the Bible is Truth and they are in the way of destruction.

 

There is another group who does not know the Gospel of Truth. Instead of truly listening and meditating on God’s Word, they are just waiting to see how I react to all of their pressures and persecution. What will come out of me during these intense times? But again, this is another golden opportunity for me to shine the light of Christ in this dark world and to let God to use me.

 

Yesterday when I was singing worship songs, the head of my cell room attacked me in order to stop me from praising but in response I hugged him and showed him love. He was shocked.

 

It is during these harsh conditions, that I deeply need God’s Saving Grace so that I can be the fragrant scent of Christ in the dark house of Evin prison. I have often seen the Shining Morning Star in the darkness of this prison and I have seen His amazing and supernatural works. Oh, how beautiful is seeing the light of the Shining Morning Star of Christ in such evil darkness.

 

So:

 

§  See your golden opportunities in pressures and difficulties.

 

§  See the Shining Morning Star in the dark times of your life.

 

I Love Him! He is Gracious, Merciful, and Righteous to me. I now know that I have not been forgotten and that we are together in this path. God gives me Grace.

This is my message for the Church: Stay Strong for His Glory. He will come back soon! Be with God and give your best efforts for His kingdom.

 

Pastor Saeed, servant of Jesus Christ in chains for endurance of Gospel. I love you all.

 

Share his letter.  Pray.  Join over a quarter of a million others, and sign the petition at SaveSaeed.org.

________________________________

Jordan Sekulow is Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice.

 

American Center for Law and Justice | Washington D.C. | Copyright © 2012, ACLJ

 

The ACLJ is an organization dedicated to the defense of constitutional liberties secured by law.