US pastor jailed in Iran sends message from hospital

(Photo: Ecumenical News / Peter Kenny)Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of jailed Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini speaking at a human rights conference in Geneva, Switzerland on February 25, 2014.

U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini sent a message over Easter message from his hospital room in Teheran while serving an eight-year sentence for his Christian faith in Iran.

In the message he showed that despite his plight, his faith is strong as he said, "On the Eve of Good Friday and Easter I was praying from my hospital room for my fellow Christians in the world."

The 33-year-old Idaho resident, who has served one year of an eight-year prison term in Iran for practicing his Christian faith, passed the letter to family members.

They were permitted to visit him at the Tehran hospital where he has been for more than five weeks, say his attorneys.

"What the Holy Spirit revealed to me in prayer was that there are many dead faiths in the midst of Christians today.

"That Christians all over the world are not able to fully reach their spiritual potential that has been given to them as a gift by God so that in reaching that potential, the curtain can be removed and the Glory of God would be revealed," said Abedini.

The letter was passed to Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, who spoke at the Geneva Summit on Human Rights and Democracy held in February. She lives in the Boise-area with their two children.

At the Geneva conference she said, "At present my husband is suffering from internal injuries that resulted from beatings, but the Iranian government is denying him the necessary medical care needed to treat those injuries."

Saeed Abedini was born a Muslim and raised in Iran then move to the United States. In 2000, he chose Christianity.

June 2012 was the last time Naghmeh and her children saw Saeed.


He spent months imprisoned without being informed of charges, ant then in January 2013 Abedini was sentenced to eight years in prison.

His family and lawyer have been pressing the U.S. State Department and other public and private groups to help secure his release.

"Saeed always made Easter a special celebration by doing special crafts with our kids in order to remind them of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and what that meant for forgivnesss of sin for humanity and reconciliation with God," Naghmeh Abedini told

"I had hoped that with all of the travels and efforts over the last few years, Saeed would be home by now. Again this year we celebrated Easter with a deep pain and longing of not having Saeed in our midst.

"With Saeed's birthday coming up in May and our 10th year wedding anniversary coming up in June, I only hope that we would not have to face more painful reminders of Saeed's absence."

In his message her husband said, "Sometimes we want to experience the Glory and resurrection with Jesus without experiencing death with Him. We do not realize that unless we pass through the path of death with Christ, we are not able to experience resurrection with Christ.

"We want to have a good and successful marriage, career, education and family life (which is also God's desire and plan for our life).

"But we forget that in order to experience the Resurrection and Glory of Christ we first have to experience death with Christ and to die to ourselves and selfish desires."

Representatives of both the two main parties in the U.S. Senate and Congress have called for the pastor's immediate release.

The jailed pastor said, "In conclusion, let us resurrect our Dead faiths to living faiths by first dying to our selfish 'resurrected' self and experiencing the cross of Jesus. Then we are able to experience the Glorious resurrection with Christ."

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