U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is being urged by more than 80 Senators and Representatives to "exhaust every possible option" to try and secure the release of American pastor Saeed Abedini, who is currently being held in prison in Iran.
"This is a significant bi-partisan effort to secure the freedom of a U.S. citizen who faces incredible torture and life-threatening punishment in one of Iran's most brutal prisons – simply because of his Christian beliefs," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), in a statement on Thursday.
"This letter from a politically broad spectrum of members of Congress underscores the real issue here: the U.S. government must protect its citizens and exercise every diplomatic tool available to secure the freedom of Pastor Saeed. We are very grateful for this Congressional support and urge Secretary Kerry to act without delay. Pastor Saeed's life hangs in the balance. Secretary Kerry's personal involvement in this case is critical to securing the freedom of this American." more >>
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." more >>
The United Nations Human Rights Council has been called to intervene in the case of American pastor, Saeed Abedini, who remains imprisoned in Tehran, Iran, after he was sentenced to eight years in prison following what has been widely labeled, an unjust trial.
The European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), an affiliate of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), filed a statement on Monday in Strasbourg, France, asking the U.N. Council to call for the release of the pastor, much like the U.S. State Department has done.
"Pastor Saeed Abedini, a Christian with dual United States–Iranian nationality, is currently imprisoned at Evin Prison in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran, because he encouraged peaceful assemblies of Christians in private homes," the ECLJ reminded the U.N. in the written statement. more >>
Twenty churches have been destroyed, damaged or abandoned, and around a hundred "of our sons have been killed," the Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch, All the East, Alexandria and Jerusalem for the Greek Melkite Catholic Church has said, speaking about the dire situation of Christians in the Middle East.
The patriarch has said that Christians in particular need solidarity in the face of the extreme persecution currently being witnessed in Arab countries.
"The current phase in Syria has transcended the issue of the limited assistance," he said, noting that media reports do not begin to illustrate the current situation of citizens in the country, especially Christians. more >>
In Syria's rebellion, no religious or ethnic group has been spared horrific levels of loss and suffering, but its 2,000-year-old Christian minority is now facing a distinct persecution.
Under the cover of war and chaos, this group, which alone lacks militias of its own, is easy prey for Islamists and criminals, alike. These assaults are driving out the Christians en masse. This 2,000-year-old community, numbering around 2 million is the largest church in the Middle East after Egypt's Copts, and it now faces extinction.
Archdeacon Emanuel Youkhana of the Assyrian Church of the East, despite recent heart surgery, is now constantly on the road in Lebanon and Iraq trying to cope with the refugee crisis. He wrote to me today: more >>
American pastor Saeed Abedini is reportedly being tortured in an Iranian prison as an appeal against his 8-year sentence is being filed.
"When I heard this from my husband, I cried. It broke my heart. Behind those walls he feels helpless and relies on us to be his voice. It is so easy to feel forgotten in the walls of the prison. Please help me make sure he is never forgotten," Pastor Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, told the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) after visiting her husband on Monday.
The ACLJ, which is representing Naghmeh and the couple's two children in the U.S., added in a media statement that Abedini remains cut off from speaking with his family following the trial in January. He was arrested in September 2012 during one of his many visits to his place of birth while working on an orphanage, and has been imprisoned ever since. more >>