While Congress has been debating over President Barack Obama's Iran nuclear deal proposal, Pastor Saeed Abedini's family and friends continue to plead for his release to be included in the agreement as the American preacher remains imprisoned.
According to the Catholic News Agency, Pastor Abedini is still experiencing harsh treatment behind bars as he enters his third year in Iran's Rajai Shahr prison.
On August 6, prison guards reportedly targeted the American pastor when his cell was raided for no apparent reason. more >>
The World Evangelical Alliance Chairman of the Global Task Force on Nuclear Weapons has personally come out in defense of the widely debated U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, and criticized what he called "outrageous" and "irresponsible" remarks from politicians such as Mike Huckabee, who compared the deal to the Holocaust, and Michele Bachmann, who said it might bring about the End Times.
In a phone interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday, Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, who is also founder and director of The Two Futures Project, a network of American Christians urging the abolition of nuclear weapons, emphasized that the WEA does not have an official position on the deal, but shared in his own view that he believes the deal will indeed make the world a safer place.
"I think that the Iran deal, as it is negotiated, will make the world a better place. Assuming that Iran does want a nuclear weapon, then the deal makes getting one much harder for the foreseeable future, and also it imposes measures that are ensured to catch any attempt at cheating," Wigg-Stevenson told CP. more >>
A group of at least eight Christian converts were beaten and arrested by Iranian authorities while they were gathered for worship inside a house church in the city of Karaj, an Iranian resistance group has reported.
According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, plainclothes officers raided the church earlier this month as part of a wide crackdown on house churches.
After raiding the house, the officers beat up the congregants and then confiscated their Bibles, other Christian literature and satellite dishes located on the premises. more >>
American pastor Saeed Abedini, who is serving eight years in prison in Iran, has reportedly been subjected to an aggressive raid by guards at his prison cell, a human rights agency has said, adding that Abedini's condition is "very worrisome."
The American Center for Law and Justice noted that very little information has been available on Abedini's well being over the last month, noting that his relatives in Iran who visit him are presently out of the country, while the government has rejected all requests for the pastor to talk on the phone with his wife, Naghmeh, and the couple's two children in the U.S.
The Human Right Activists News Agency Iran reported last week that Abedini's prison cell was raided by guards in what it called "dishonorable and harsh" actions. It added that the pastor's condition at Rajai Shahr prison is very worrisome. more >>
A Sydney-based evangelist as well as the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), both recently condemned the crackdown on Christians under Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who had promised better treatment of religious minorities before taking office, and called for the release of prisoners of conscience, including Iranian American pastor Saeed Abedini.
"The Iranian government actively pursues Christian ministers and believers, placing them in prison under trumped up political charges, or simply killing them in accordance with their law," asserted Christian worker Marlene Mathew, who works with immigrants from the Middle East, to The Christian Post on Monday. "These people are innocent and need to be set free....In recent weeks the Iranian government has openly declared that 'Christians are enemies' who are a major threat to the state."
The USCIRF also condemned the detention of prisoners of conscience, and called for their immediate release, adding that since President Rouhani assumed office, he has failed to fulfill his promise to improve the climate for religious freedom, despite sparking hopes in 2013 when he said, "All ethnicities, all religions, even religious minorities, must feel justice," as reported by The Jerusalem Post. August marks the second anniversary of Rouhani's presidency. more >>
Former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a Republican, has proclaimed that the nuclear agreement reached between Iran, the United States and five other world powers is nothing more than the fulfillment of End Times prophecy found in the Bible, and added that the world will likely see the "strong right arm" of the Lord strike in judgement.
While speaking on Jan Markell's "Understanding the Times" evangelical radio program last Saturday, the 59-year-old Bachmann argued that if Congress fails to strike down the agreement reached with Iran, then Christians should rejoice because it is a sign that the End Times are coming to fruition.
In July, the U.S., China, Russia, United Kingdom, France and Germany signed on to an agreement that could potentially grant Iran access to nuclear capabilities within a decade's time. Fearing that Iran has every intention to use nuclear capabilities to wipe out Israel and the U.S., Bachmann equated the agreement to "all the nations of the world" turning their backs on Israel. more >>