From Middle East Concern
Iranian Christians are requesting renewed intercession for Saeed Abedini, an American imprisoned in Iran since Sept. 26, 2012.
A family member visited Saeed Wednesday at Rajaei Shahr Prison, and learned that new charges may be brought against him. Since Saeed was imprisoned, the government has repeatedly said that his eight-year sentence could be extended.
On Tuesday intelligence officers interrogated Saeed. He told family members the interrogators abused him verbally and physically. During the interrogation officers repeatedly used a taser gun.
The interrogators said Saeed will face new charges. They claimed he has connections with anti-government groups and has made statements and taken actions against the government. Saeed denies the allegations. He has consistently asserted, during interrogations and at his trial, that he poses no threat to the government and was in Iran to help with the building of a government-approved orphanage.
This development comes as Iran’s President Rouhani will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week. This Saturday, the third anniversary of Saeed’s imprisonment, there will be hundreds of prayer vigils around the world for Saeed and his family.
In 2009 Saeed was warned by the government about his involvement with house churches and so focused on humanitarian activities during subsequent visits to Iran. Saeed was detained in 2012, while visiting his parents and conducting humanitarian aid work. In January 2013, he was convicted on charges relating to anti-state activities (derived from his involvement with house fellowships) and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. Saeed has joint Iranian-US citizenship. His wife Naghmeh and their two children live in the United States.
Iranian Christians are asking for prayers for Saeed and other Christians imprisoned for their faith:
· No new charges will be brought against Saeed
· He will receive the medical care he needs and will be released soon
· For physical and spiritual strength for Saeed’s wife Naghmeh, their two children and their extended family
· Saeed and all other prisoners in Iran will be treated with respect and dignity as beings created in the image of God
· Others currently detained in Iran for their Christian faith or activities will be released and all charges against them will be dropped
· All prison and governmental officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.
Iran is ranked #7 on the Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.