Skip to comments.Naghmeh Abedini Tells LU Students That Husband Evangelized 30 Iranian Inmates While in Prison
Posted on 09/18/2013 10:04:19 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The wife of an imprisoned Iranian-American pastor has stated that her husband has been bringing fellow inmates to Christ and that his time in an Iranian prison is "not in vain."
Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, told those gathered at Liberty University on Monday that though imprisoned in the infamous Evin Prison, her husband continues to evangelize. "He's been asked and tortured to deny his Christian faith and return to Islam and he has not," said Abedini, who said around 30 inmates have converted to Christianity due to Abedini's witness. "For me to know that so many of them now know Christ, it makes it worth it. I know his imprisonment is not in vain."
Abedini also told the students gathered that Saeed's torturers have often told him that he could go free should he return to Islam, but that he refuses to do so. "The kids and I desperately want him back but we're proud that over us he's chosen Christ, even over coming back to us, he's chosen to stand up for his faith," said Abedini.
Abedini's remarks were made at Liberty University's convocation event on Monday morning, a regular gathering where thousands of students attend to hear spiritual and moral messages.
Held at the Vines Center every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, past convocation events have featured prominent Christian speakers from various spheres of life. Scheduled speakers for Fall semester include Willie Robertson, CEO of Duck Commander and star of the reality TV series "Duck Dynasty" and Ron Luce, president and founder of Teen Mania Ministries.
In addition to Abedini, Monday's convocation featured a message from John Piper, founder of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary.
In keeping with the theme of "Global Focus Week" and suffering to advance the Gospel, Piper preached about the satisfaction that comes from sharing the Gospel even when suffering for one's faith.
"Confidence in fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore in the presence of Jesus on the other side of this so-called dying is the root of love that is willing to lay down its life for the sake of the nations," said Piper.
"This confidence that you cannot die but only have increased pleasures produces martyrs who die in love, not martyrs who kill from hate."
Pastor Saeed Abedini was arrested in the summer 2012 while working on an orphanage in the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was later sentenced to eight years in prison, under the charge of "endangering national security,"
Despite the official story, many people believe the chief reason for Abedini's imprisonment was his Christian faith.
An Amnesty International Press release from June reported that Abedini's imprisonment appears to be part of a larger crackdown on dissidents by authorities.
"Members of ethnic and religious minorities have also been targeted with prison sentences, including members of Iran-based Azerbaijani advocacy group, Yeni Gamoh, and Iranian-American Christian pastor, Saeed Abedini," reads the release.
"Amnesty International has expressed growing concern that repressive measures are being used by the Iranian authorities to stamp out dissent under the guise of protecting the nation."
Recently, Pastor Abedini sent a letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pleading that the newly elected leader act upon his call of political moderation and allow Abedini to return to his family, who presently reside in the United States.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has also recently launched a letter writing campaign directed at President Rouhani for the same purpose.
May God bless Saeed and his beautiful, loving wife and may God use Saeed to continue as His witness.
I hope this revelation doesn’t get the poor man executed.
The good Lord is still the king here.
It might or might not end in a martyrdom — we are not privileged to read these cards — but if Saeed keeps on in genuine faith it will end well in glory for him.
We don’t know what’s going on in other people’s minds either. It’s a biblical precedent that imprisoned Christians often got their captors very curious about their faith, what kind of belief would move these prisoners so as to take such a risk. If they get wind (pun?) of what the Holy Spirit can do, this could stretch out quite a while as more and more curious people are sold on the gospel. Let’s have some patience (and of course prayer) while the Lord does His good work. Saeed is going to get a rich reward, and suffering isn’t always a passive thing. In Christian faith, suffering is positive, the flak one gets when fighting for the progress of God’s kingdom, always with strange weapons of love and grace.
I think, as Christians, we need to start preparing ourselves for similar events in our own country. God bless this man for his faithful witness and example to the rest of us. May God see fit to free this man back to his family, but if not, that his witness will not be forgotten and stir the hearts of other Iranians to faith in Christ.
And ultimately... this is how God brings redemption to seemingly impossible situations. Everything negative that Satan did, once gospel power gets a firm grip, gets flipped by God into an advantage of some kind. This could be the seed of a faith revolution and no, it’s not wrong to talk about it openly. The gospel isn’t chained, it isn’t labeled “keep me under a bushel basket.” It sells itself well even when every gnatty detail of a life yielded to it is revealed, or at least as much as some level of respectful propriety would allow. What would you expect out of truth? It’s lies that need soft pedaling.
The good Lord has myriads of ways to work. It’s too soon, I think, to say it MUST end in a martyrdom. However if it did, the Christians that gained that faith due to his witness will almost certainly be set afire in their own faith.
I see our current situation reducing to something similar to the 1st century. The third century church meant well, I am sure, but went beyond bounds of the founding faith “that was delivered once for all to the saints” (and documented well in the bible as we have it) when it accepted the mission of manning a government. Making unbelievers nice wasn’t a chief function in the original blueprint for the church — that was supposed to be a side effect, salt and light, as the church pursued glorification of God — but even that is a kind of witness. Still the gospel power was dumbed down from something that sold itself to something that could claim government’s coercive powers to back it up. If contempt met such a “gospel” it is only logical. Only the audacious promise of Christ kept the saving gospel alive at all in such shadow.
Now such a situation for the church is rapidly becoming impossible again. In some sense the church’s enemies are right when they urge Christians who are being more and more hemmed in from traditional civil rights “quit whining.” The mourning of the Lord never was our strength. It was the JOY! Satan’s mocking through proxies or directly never changed that, and the idea that it did change is one big faith-sapper. We’re here to snatch Satan’s booty back from Satan by force of the gospel’s weird weapons of love and grace! We aren’t here to whine it back.
Agh, I sometimes find myself using an ambiguous word. Booty in the sense I used it here is what a pirate steals. Not a lewdly viewed part of the human body....
Iran is in the mood for releasing prisoners, I’m reading today. I think Saeed’s friends and family in the US would be glad to see him out.
Though in some cases that would coincide... can a rear end be made holy? I say YES! Because God first said yes.
God will kick Satan’s booty.
Ultimately that’s their choice. I’d wonder what Saeed’s own take on it would be, though. If released he might well say “hey what interrupted this great gospel ministry jag! I’m going right back!” But at least such a thing would make it clear to the world and he’d get cheering, not despairing tears, the second time around. Really, the sad devil of hell cannot win for losing, when a body gives himself totally to the Lord.
Oh my yes, with a hey nonny. It’s only because people believe in his smoke screen of lies that they get any other picture about his situation. Big bragging, but he’s a little runt before the Lord.
RE: Iran is in the mood for releasing prisoners, Im reading today. I think Saeeds friends and family in the US would be glad to see him out.
Unfortunately, Pastor Saeed is not one of those who were released in today’s news.
TEHRAN On the eve of a visit by Irans moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, to the United States, the Iranian authorities on Wednesday unexpectedly freed 11 of Irans most prominent political prisoners, including Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer.
Again, it would be more informative if we could find out from Saeed what he himself is thinking. He’s gone with gospel armor into one of the thickest spiritual battles on earth and he’s progressing! His attitude (to put it in country terms) might be more “Yee haw” than “Poor pitiful me” at this time....
I guess I am on a jag too but after this I got other stuff. I hope his example doesn’t stop with a look at him. I hope it keeps on with a view of the Jesus that is standing right behind him all the way. Because that’s where his energy and determination and direction is coming from. If it was merely Saeed, he would have wilted long ago.
And there is not some special class of people who can claim this very same Lord. However it usually takes a lot of hard and difficult life experiences for a sinner to learn such a capacity for the never-sinning Lord. It normally isn’t an overnight flash after initial belief, though never say never to the Lord of miracles.
Ciao. For now.
God Bless her and also Pastor Saeed Abedini who is suffering for Christ but look at the outcome. Many have been saved. Now these new Christians for the Lord will see a vastly difference between Islam and Christianity. I bet alot of Angels are singing on that day. =)