Hopefully, for most of you reading this site, Christmas is a warm and joyous time with family as we celebrate our Savior’s birth and exchange gifts. However, it’s important to remember that the many Christians around the world suffering from persecution won’t have such an opportunity. America’s Saeed Abedini is one of the latter. He is an Iranian American Christian Pastor and former Muslim who has been imprisoned in Iran since the summer of 2012. He was arrested while visiting his family in the country. Officially, the reason for his arrest was that he was compromising national security. However, as Fox News explained back in January of 2013, there are probably much more nefarious intentions at work here:
As her husband’s trial and possible death sentence looms, the wife of an American Christian pastor imprisoned in Iran for evangelizing clings to hope and prays for a miracle.
Naghmeh Abedini has been told by attorneys for her husband, Saeed, to expect the worst at Monday’s trial, where the 32-year-old husband and father faces the capital charge of compromising national security. Supporters believe the charges are directly related to Abedini’s work nearly a decade ago starting a house church movement in Iran, and the judge he’ll face, Abbas Pir-Abassi, is infamous for sending defendants to the gallows.
This Christmas season, he has written a letter from his prison describing his situation and what it’s like to celebrate Christmas while dealing with such horrible persecution. Here’s the full text of it, courtesy of the American Center for Law and Justice:
Rajai Shahr Prison 2014
These days are very cold here. My small space beside the window is without glass making most nights unbearable to sleep. The treatment by fellow prisoners is also quite cold and at times hostile. Some of my fellow prisoners don’t like me because I am a convert and a pastor. They look at me with shame as someone who has betrayed his former religion. The guards can’t even stand the paper cross that I have made and hung next to me as a sign of my faith and in anticipation of celebrating my Savior’s birth. They have threatened me and forced me to remove it. This is the first Christmas that I am completely without my family; all of my family is presently outside of the country. These conditions have made this upcoming Christmas season very hard, cold and shattering for …read more