The stresses of Evin Prison and the Christian women imprisoned there

According to the Iranian Christian News Agency, Maryam Naghash-Zargaran (also known as Nasim) is an Iranian Christian convert currently serving her four-year prison sentence in the women’s ward of Evin prison.

ICNA reports that Nasim was transferred to Modares hospital on Sunday, September 29, to be treated for her heart disease. Having had heart surgery before, mental pressures in prison resulted in her heart attack, and as a result she was transferred to the hospital. As of now, there are no details about her condition.

Nasim also suffered depression due to inappropriate conditions in prison.

The 35-year-old Christian was first arrested in the winter of 2013 for „acting against national security.” On the day of her arrest, she received a phone call from the intelligence police on Vozara Street in Tehran. When summoned there, she was immediately arrested and kept for three days. Then she was transferred to Evin prison and remained there for 19 days. After that, she was released on bail.

Since the time of her arrest, security authorities have searched her house several times, confiscating her personal belongings as well as any Christian-related material.

Later she was called for her trial at branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. There, Judge Mohammad Moghiseh sentenced her to four years in prison for „propagating against the Islamic regime and colluding to undermine national security.” She appealed the ruling but the appeals court upheld her sentence. Nasim was summoned to prison to start serving her sentence on July 15, 2013 in the women’s ward of Evin prison.

Her name previously had not been published among Christian prisoners in Evin, which raises speculation that there are more unknown Christian prisoners in Iranian prisons.

At the same time, reports indicate that three other Christian convert activists–Somayeh Bakhtiari, Ronak Samavat, and Nasim Zanjani–are still being held in prison. These Christian women had been arrested and imprisoned in the first half of the Persian year (March – September). They were accused of holding prayer and worship meetings in house-churches.

To counter non-Shi’ite religions in Iran, especially Christianity, the Islamic regime of Iran raises unfounded allegations against Christians, including moral and financial accusations, and spying for England and Israel.

Iranian judicial and security authorities have repeatedly tried to make up false allegations against Christian converts to pressure them and distort public opinion about them. Most of these false allegations are political and argue that house-churches are actually political groups which are in contact with/spy for foreign countries like England and Israel. In most of the Christian cases, Iranian authorities try to downplay the religious aspect of these cases and make them appear as political cases, in order to unmercifully sentence them and avoid international pressure.

It is interesting to note that just before President Hassan Rouhani’s trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, two Christian woman prisoners ,Maryam Jalili and Mitra Rahmati, were released together with a number of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. The women had been sentenced to two and a half years in prison. When they were released, only one month remained on their prison sentence.

Source http://www.mohabatnews.com

Reclame

Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedin who is imprisoned in Iran, speaks at Liberty University

Please listen to the 6 minute video at the bottom of this post, as Naghmeh Abedini talks about how she always feared she would question Jesus’ goodness, if she were to ever go through a big trial. But, she says, „..in that deep, dark night of despair, I reached put to Jesus, and I’ve known Him since I was 9, and I connected to Him in such a deep way that, not only did I not question His goodness, but I proclaim His goodness amd how awesome He is, and I got to drink of His goodness. He gave me strength to stand and He’s given me joy and peace.”

Story, video and Photo credit http://www.liberty.edu

Naghmeh Abedini has been traveling the U.S. and the world for over 15 months to raise awareness of her husband Pastor Saeed Abedini’s unjust imprisonment in Tehran.

Saeed Abedini was arrested in the summer of 2012 while helping build an orphanage in Iran. He was later sentenced to eight years in Evin Prison in Tehran for “endangering national security.” He has served a year of that sentence already and has been beaten and told to give up his faith in Christ.

According to his wife, Saeed Abedini has stood strong in his faith and has led over 30 people in prison to Christ.

“The kids and I desperately want him back, but we are proud that he has chosen to stand up for his faith and to proclaim the Gospel in a dark prison and bring hope to those people,” she said. “To know that so many of the Iranian people are coming to know Christ makes it worth it. I know his imprisonment is not in vain.”

In June, Naghmeh Abedini had the chance to speak to the United Nations in Geneva, sharing the Gospel with more than 196 nations. The message was broadcast to more than 50 million Iranians.

“I pray that the Lord would awaken your desire to ask for nations for your inheritance and that you would be on fire for the Living God,” she said.

Vice President for Communications Johnnie Moore said Liberty believes the Great Commission is both for people in the ministry and in the marketplace.

“Missions is at the heart of the university and always has been. We do not believe that the Great Commission is for some Christians, it is for all Christians,” he said.

Liberty’s student body collectively represents all 50 states and 95 countries. Students and alumni are constantly engaged in areas all over the world, including the school’s ongoing Restore Rwanda campaign and several short-term mission trips through the Center for Global Engagement. Global Focus Week allows students to continue pursuing these options and become more involved in missions.

Good News from Iran – Pastor Robert Asseriyan has been released from jail

Via Mission News Network

Iran (VOM) ― Despite reports of crackdowns on Christians in Iran, there is one bright spot.

According to reports from Mohabat News and the Voice of the Martyrs USA, Pastor Robert Asseriyan, one of the leaders of the Assembly of God Church in Tehran, was released from prison. He had been arrested during a worship service at the church on May 21.

The Farsi services at the church–one of the last „building churches” that remained open in Iran–have been forcibly closed down by the police, according to Mohabat News.

It seems one of the conditions for Pastor Asseriyan’s release was his silence, as authorities instructed him and his family not to be interviewed by the media or to make public statements about his arrest, his 43 days in prison, or conditions for his release. The status of the charges against him is unclear at this time.

Often in Iran, Christians are released from jail after making substantial bail payments, but the charges against them are never dropped. In this way, police can pick them up at any time in the future and can use the unresolved case against them to pressure them to cease Christian activities.

Please continue to pray for Pastor Asseriyan and his family. Pray also for other Christians who remain imprisoned in Iran. You can write letters of encouragement to several of them through the Prisoner Alert Web site.

Pastor Saeed Abedini torture stepped up in notorious Iranian prison

photo via www.cbsnews.com

As Americans, and as citizens of free countries we are having the opportunity to watch living martyrs and possible future deaths of Christ followers, something we had not seen before the advent of the internet, where information flows freely even from countries like Iran, which are tightly monitored and controlled.

By posting updates on Pastor Saeed frequently (and others in his situation), our intent is only to highlight the work of Christ, through the Holy Spirit, yet through dedicated men and women who have sacrificed their futures, and in many cases their lives, in order to proclaim the Gospel to those that have never heard it. Just like in the book of ACTS, the persecution of Christians fanned the Gospel into a wider and broader geographical area, and thus more souls were won to Christ. As we heard a North Korean brother say, here in this video, that when he saw the public execution of 2 young men and a woman who had brought Bibles into his town, instead of scaring him, it made him want to know this Christ of the Bible even more. This North Korean brother has now trained in the knowledge of God’s word and is going back and being a witness to his kinsmen, even unto death, if caught.

But getting back to Pastor Saeed, here is the update from the Christian Post:

Pastor Saeed Abedini Severely Beaten,

Fainting From Internal Bleeding

The American Center for Law and Justice received news that U.S. pastor Saeed Abedini has been severely beaten in Evin Prison in Tehran, denied proper medical care, and experiencing fainting spells.

„Pastor Saeed reported today that last week he was severely beaten when the prison officials took him to the hospital. During the weekly prison visit today, Pastor Saeed’s family reported that his physical condition is worsening – seeing first-hand the marks and symptoms left by the recent beating. These beatings and the internal injuries are causing Pastor Saeed frequent fainting spells,” the law group, which is representing Abedini’s wife and two children back in America, revealed in a statement on Monday.

The Iranian-born pastor, who converted to Christianity and was building an orphanage for children when he was arrested in Tehran last year, was sentenced to eight years in prison in January for „endangering national security.” The ACLJ called that a „sham trail,” however, noting that the real reason behind Abedini’s sentence was his faith.

Inside Evin prison, Abedini has been pressured to deny his faith in Christ, and even threatened that he will not be released after the 8-year sentence unless he does so, but the pastor has refused to recant his faith.

He has been suffering from internal bleeding because of the beatings, however, and his wife Naghmeh has expressed deep concern for his well-being.
Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/pastor-saeed-abedini-severely-beaten-fainting-from-internal-bleeding-93977/#wO0mwVB5pdgRLlKu.99

O scrisoare primita de la Pastorul Saeed Abedini – cetatean american incarcerat in Iran

photo from http://www.theusreport.com/the-us-report/tag/pastor-saeed-abedini

READ LETTER IN ENGLISH here – Assemblies of God has posted the letter that Pastor Saeed Abedini has sent to his wife here. –http://ag.org/top/downloads/Abedini_Letter.pdf and read the article in english here – Please Pray for US Pastor Saeed Abedini, held in Iran since July 2012

Cand am auzit ca la Craciun au fost puse la mese tacamuri de Craciun la scaune goale ca un semn de aducere aminte a incarcerarii mele si a celor care sunt inchisi pentru Christos, mi s-au umplut ochii de lacrimi de bucurie. Am avut ocazia ca sa pot  impartasi aceasta cu alti prizonieri din inchisoare, si ei au fost socati de dragostea si suportul pe care noi crestinii il avem unii pentru altii in Isus. Le-am spus atunci cum in Biblie suntem toti considerati ca frati si surori (indiferent de rasa, culoare sau nationalitate) si ca noi trebuie sa suferim unii cu altii. Aceasta vine de la Domnul nostru.

Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu ne spune ca atunci cand suntem persecutati pentru credinta noastra, noi trebuie sa ne bucuram. Cand ma gandesc ca toate aceste incercari si persecutii sunt inregistrate pentru mine in ceruri, mi se umple inima de o bucurie de nedescris.

Biblia ne spune ca Bucuria in Domnul este taria noastra. Fara bucuria in Domnul noi nu putem trai. Este aceasta bucurie din viata noastra care ne da putere sa mergem inainte. Fara putere, noi nu putem continua lucrarea Domnului si fara bucurie, nu avem putere.

Eu am vrut intotdeauna ca Dumnezeu sa ma faca un om evlavios. Nu mi-am dat seama pana aici ca pentru a ajunge  oameni evlaviosi noi trebuie sa devenim ca si otelul calit sub presiune. Este un proces greu de cald si de rece pana se  obtine otelul. Procesul din viata mea pe care il traiesc astazi este ca intr-o zi mi se spune ca voi fi eliberat pe cautiune ca sa pot sa-mi vad familia si copiii de Craciun (toate au fost minciuni) iar in ziua urmatoare mi se spune ca voi fi spanzurat pentru credinta mea in Isus. Intr-o zi am dureri intense dupa bataile pe care le primesc la interogatii, iar in ziua urmatoare ei se poarta frumos cu tine si-ti ofera dulciuri. Aceste calde si reci nu pot sa te faca decat un om de otel care te poate face sa mergi inainte pentru inaintarea Imparatiei Sale.

Cand timp de 120 de zile esti pus sa dormi intr-o camera cu o lumina puternica care sta aprinsa continuu si care nu mai separa ziua de noapte si cand nu poti vedea lumina adevarata a soarelui decat cateva minute pe saptamana, atunci este momentul cand ai devenit manopera Sa si poti fi un vas care sa duca Imparatia Sa intr-un loc de intunerec unde sa poti sa impartasesti Evanghelia Pacii si a Vietii la o lume care moare. Si aici este locul unde inveti ca poti sa-ti iubesti vrasmasii cu toata inima ta.

Astept cu nerabdare ziua cand pot sa va vad pe toti aceia care ma sprijina prin rugaciuni si sa va pot imbratisa in bratele mele. Va multumesc pentru dragostea pe care mi-ati aratat-o.

Ce este in noi este mai tare decat ce este in lume si a biruit lumea.

Pastor Saeed Abedini, in lanturi pentru Domnul nostru Isus Christos

– traducere de A.C. –

Please Pray for US Pastor Saeed Abedini, held in Iran since July 2012 + read letter to his wife

photo from http://www.theusreport.com/the-us-report/tag/pastor-saeed-abedini

Assemblies of God has posted the letter that Pastor Saeed Abedini has sent to his wife here. –http://ag.org/top/downloads/Abedini_Letter.pdf

In the letter Pastor Abedini describes how his jailers tell him he will go free, and the next day they tell him he will hang. One day they beat him, and the next day they give him candy. Yet, despite these intense physical and psychological pressures Pastor Abedini looks to his faith in Christ as the anchor that keeps him going every day:

When for 120 days you are asleep in a room with one big light that is constantly lit and does not separate day or night and when you can only see true sunlight for a few minutes a week, that’s when you are becoming His Workmanship and you can be a vessel in bringing His Kingdom in a dark place and you are able to share the Gospel of Peace and Life to the dying world. And this is where you learn you can love your enemies with
all of your heart.

I am looking forward to the day to see all of you who are behind me with your prayers and to embrace you in my arms. Thank you for the love you have showed me.

What is in us is stronger than what is in the world and it has conquered the world. 

Christian Post reports on the plight of US Pastor Saeed Abedini, who was jailed during a 2009 visit to Iran to see his parents.

Abedini, 32, grew up in Iran, before converting to Christianity at the age of 20, and marrying an American woman in 2002, which helped him gain U.S. citizenship. Along with his wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children, the pastor has traveled back and forth between Iran and the U.S. a number of times in the past few years, helping create a network of underground churches, which provide a safe haven for Muslims who have converted to Christianity.

During one such trip in 2009, Abedini was detained by Iranian officials and interrogated for his conversion. While he was released with a warning against engaging in any more underground church activities, in July 2012, he was once again arrested while working on a non-sectarian orphanage project.

An American pastor currently held in Iranian prison is facing a grim future after it was announced that his case was recently transferred to a judge accused of human rights violations and infamous for the number of people he has sentenced to death.

The ACLJ says the minister was arrested for „his previous work as a Christian leader in Iran,” and that he faces the death penalty for trying to convert Muslims to the Christian faith. Currently, Abedini is facing trial at the Evin Prison in northwestern Tehran, described by the persecution watch group as one of Iran’s most brutal prisons – reports allege that he has been beaten by guards and inmates.
Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/us-pastor-saeed-abedini-faces-notorious-hanging-judge-in-iran

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