A few months into his imprisonment in Iran three years ago, pastor Saeed Abedini had a dream that he was out of prison celebrating his daughter Rebecca's 9th birthday. Rebecca turns 9 "in a few months," according to his wife, Naghmeh Abedini, and she is now looking to God to move on behalf of her husband.
"He (Saeed) hopes that he will be here for Rebecca's 9th birthday. He mentioned to his father that the first few months of his imprisonment he'd been in solitary and he had a dream that he was here when Rebecca was not much older. He thought she was maybe 9. He had a dream about that and he's really hoping that he would be here before she turns 9. If he misses her 9th birthday, he would have missed four birthdays, pretty much half my kids' lifetime," said Naghmeh Abedini in a CBN news interview Thursday.
On Wednesday Naghmeh expressed her disappointment at the news that her husband and three other Americans would not be released as a part of President Barack Obama's much criticized nuclear deal with Iran, but publicly noted that it "makes sense." more >>
Pastor Saeed Abedini, one of the four Americans imprisoned in Iran, said in a letter that he feels threatened and targeted following the announcement of the nuclear deal between the United States and the Islamic Republic earlier this week.
"I want you to know that as I wrote the thank you letter to President [Barack] Obama after he had visited my family in January of this year (which he read at the national prayer breakfast), that God is in control of all countries and leadership in the world when the body of Christ comes together in united prayer. He is in control and He is the One who beautifully writes the history over all governments, presidents, and any P5+1 negotiating team," the pastor said in a letter.
"We are all looking for a safer, more friendly world and because of this desire many of us are happy and others un-happy about the deal. Please join me in using these emotions that have been awakened to give fervor to united prayer for God's chosen people, America, and for the whole world." more >>
WASHINGTON — Speaking on a Thursday panel discussion on international religious freedoms at Georgetown University, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., asserted that although he thinks religion is not "inherently a good thing," the U.S. should do more to influence foreign governments into protecting the religious liberties of their citizens.
Ellison, who grew up in a Catholic household in Detroit and became a Muslim at the age of 19, was asked by Baylor University Chancellor and former U.S. Solicitor General Ken Starr to provide his definition of freedom of religion, and explain what the U.S.'s role is in promoting the freedom of religion abroad.
Ellison began by explaining that freedom of religion is the right of individuals to practice their religion, no matter how unorthodox their personal religious views might be. more >>
Despite her disappointment that her husband, Pastor Saeed Abedini, was not released as a part of President Barack Obama's recent nuclear deal with Iran, Naghmeh Abedini supported the decision Wednesday saying it "makes sense" and that she knew all along that her husband's release would not have been a part of the deal because the State Department had already informed her that would be the case.
"You know it makes sense. It's something they have been up front with me and the other families from the beginning, that he (Saeed) would not be part of the deal. They have said that. Every call I've had with State Department and the White House has been that," said Naghmeh Abedini in an interview with CNN Wednesday after listening to Obama explain to a reporter why the deal could not have included the release of the pastor and three other Americans being held in Iran.
"Nobody is content, and our diplomats and our teams are working diligently to try to get them out," said Obama at a White House press conference Wednesday after being accused of being "content" with the four Americans being held in Iran. more >>
A peeved President Barack Obama flatly rejected a suggestion Wednesday that he was "content" with the recent nuclear deal with Iran which did not include the release of four Americans, including pastor Saeed Abedini, who remain imprisoned in the Middle Eastern nation on mostly "trumped-up" charges.
Responding to a question from CBS News' Major Garrett at a White House press conference on Wednesday, President Obama took offense to Garrett's suggestion that he was "content" with the nuclear deal despite not securing the release of the Americans imprisoned in Iran.
"As you well know, there are four Americans in Iran, three held on trumped-up charges according to your administration and one, whereabouts unknown," said Garrett in the run-up to his question. "Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content with all the fanfare around this deal to leave the conscious of this nation, the strength of this nation unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?" more >>
The American Center for Law and Justice and Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini, have urged Congress to reject Tuesday's nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran, which lifts economic sanctions from the Islamic Republic. The ACLJ noted that Obama had promised the Abedini family face-to-face that he would not forget the pastor and will bring him home.
"It is unconscionable that the Obama administration would sign a deal with Iran without securing the freedom of pastor Saeed who has been imprisoned for nearly three years simply because of his Christian faith," Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ, said in a statement when asked to comment on the deal by The Christian Post.
"President Obama told the Abedini family face-to-face that he considered the release of pastor Saeed a 'top priority.' How could that be a 'top priority' when a deal is reached and pastor Saeed is left behind? What happened today makes a bad deal even worse. We will now focus our attention on convincing Congress to reject this deal." more >>