(Photo: World Compassion TV)
A Christian pastor in Iraq being held in prison is suffering from urgent health problems and might die unless he receives immediate attention, a missionary organization says.
Pastor Abdi Ali Hamzah has been held in jail since July 2011, after he was arrested without charges in his home and sentenced to five years in prison. World Compassion Terry Law Ministries is seeking to raise urgent attention for a man who it says has put his life on the line going undercover to refugee villages and helping Dr. Terry Law distribute $100,000 dollar-worth of food to desperately hungry people in Iraq.
"He has been in prison for 18 months now, and before that we sent him to Jordan to have some gammanite surgery done," Jason Law, vice president of Operations and the son of Dr. Law, shared with The Christian Post on Thursday. "He had a tumor in his brain, and they believe that it is coming back. From our understanding, he is now in a prison hospital but is not really receiving the treatment and care that he needs."
According to Law, Iraqi authorities accused Pastor Hamzah of being a spy to Iran and for allegedly taking two trips to the neighboring country, but his passport doesn't show any signs of travel.
"We believe that it's more of an issue with some people who didn't like the evangelism that he was doing," Law told CP. "We know that he was offered some position within the government and declined, and we think that maybe some of those people backlashed in this manner."
Dr. Law, who has also ministered to hurting people in the former Soviet Union, Cuba and North Korea, is traveling to Iraq this weekend and will be campaigning for Pastor Hamzah's release based on humanitarian grounds.
In a press release, Dr. Law calls on believers from around the world to keep the Iraqi pastor in their prayers this weekend as he appeals for his release. "I urgently need you to pray this weekend specifically for Pastor Hamzah (we call him Pastor Jamal), who is imprisoned in Iraq," Law urges. "This is a man who has put his life on the line for the Gospel and for our work for years."
World Compassion encourages Christians to share news about the pastor through social media and email, calling for friends and family to pray together for the health and freedom of the pastor.
The ministry reminds readers of the Bible verse Matthew 18:19 NKJV, which reads: "Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven"