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CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH


Iran Tries U.S. Pastor on National Security Charges


Israel National News reports: “An Iranian-American Christian pastor charged with plotting against state security appeared in a Tehran court, but will be released on bail, his lawyer told ISNA news agency.

Saeed Abedini, a naturalized US citizen and Christian convert, denied ‘charges of establishing churches to disrupt national security’ in Iran and colluding to carry out crimes, his Iran-based lawyer Nasser Sarbazi was quoted by AFP as saying.

Abedini was not accused of espionage, Sarbazi said.

The 32-year-old was arrested in September on a return visit to Iran and alleged in a recent letter that he was beaten in prison, his wife Naghmeh and his US-based lawyer said last week.

Sarbazi said Abedini was to be temporarily released ‘in the next few days’ after he posts a bail of four billion rials (nearly $115,000).

He will then be able to leave the country, Sarbazi added.

In the United States, Abedini’s wife played down the accounts that her husband would soon be released on bail, saying the Iranian authorities had repeatedly promised to free him on bail but then failed to let him out when money was presented, AFP reported.

‘This is a game to silence the international media,’ said Naghmeh Abedini…” (The above headline is only a beginning of the greatest atrocities Christians and Jews will soon experience – Matthew 24:9; John 16:2; II Timothy 3:2; Revelation 6:9. And all this religious hatred because of ones love of Jesus – “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” – John 15:18 – 20. See the next three reports.)


Iran sentences American pastor Saeed Abedini to 8 years in prison


Fox News reports: “Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, an American imprisoned in Iran on charges of evangelizing, was sentenced this morning to eight years in prison.

According to the American Center for Law and Justice, Abedini was verbally sentenced in Tehran by Judge Pir-Abassi, known as the ‘hanging judge,’ to eight years in prison for threatening the national security of Iran through his leadership in Christian house churches. He will serve the time in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, known as one of the most brutal.

The evidence, the ACLJ reports, was based on Abedini’s activities primarily during the early 2000s, when house churches were not considered a threat in Iran.

‘This is a real travesty – a mockery of justice,’ Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ, who represents Pastor Saeed’s wife and children living in the U.S., said in a statement. ‘From the very beginning, Iranian authorities have lied about all aspects of this case, even releasing rumors of his expected release. Iran has not only abused its own laws, it has trampled on the fundamentals of human rights. We call on the citizens of the world to rise up in protest. We call on governments around the world to stand and defend Pastor Saeed.’…”


American Christian fears supporters have given up on freeing him


Fox News reports: “The American pastor sentenced to eight years in Iran’s Evin Prison after being persecuted for his faith questions whether enough is being done to help free him.

Saeed Abedini mentioned his doubt during a visit with relatives. It was a second time he was allowed to see members of his extended family since he was convicted.

Abedini expressed apprehension and concern to his relatives about his fate and openly asked if there were international efforts to secure his freedom, according to advocacy group American Center for Law and Justice.

It is believed that Abedini’s downtrodden spirit is due to abuse and brain-washing techniques used by officials at Evin Prison…”


Egyptian court sentences Christian family to 15 years for converting from Islam


Fox News reports: “The 15-year prison sentence given to a woman and her seven children by an Egyptian court for converting to Christianity is a sign of things to come, according to alarmed human rights advocates who say the nation’s Islamist government is bad news for Christians in the North African country.

A criminal court in the central Egyptian city of Beni Suef meted out the shocking sentence according to the Arabic-language Egyptian paper Al-Masry Al-Youm. Nadia Mohamed Ali, who was raised a Christian, converted to Islam when she married Mohamed Abdel-Wahhab Mustafa, a Muslim, 23 years ago. He later died, and his widow planned to convert her family back to Christianity in order to obtain an inheritance from her family. She sought the help of others in the registration office to process new identity cards between 2004 and 2006. When the conversion came to light under the new regime, Nadia, her children and even the clerks who processed the identity cards were all sentenced to prison.

Samuel Tadros, a research fellow at Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, said conversions like Nadia’s have been common in the past, but said Egypt’s new Sharia-based constitution ‘is a real disaster in terms of religion freedom.’…”



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