American businessman Donald Trump criticized President Barack Obama's failure to negotiate with Iran for the release of imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini. The pastor's wife, Naghmeh, expressed her gratitude toward Trump.
"I am very happy to hear that he is doing this, because this is the first example of anyone outside of the legal and political areas speaking out. I hope that more people like him will speak out," Naghmeh Abedini told WND.com.
"I would very much like to meet him and thank him for what he has done in bringing awareness to this issue," she added. "Every voice counts and especially voices like Mr. Trump's. I'm just thankful he's using his voice to speak out against this injustice." more >>
"Catching Fire," the new sequel to "The Hunger Games," opened this past weekend. It broke the November box office record with a staggering $161.1 million, and Christian reviewers say the sacrifices in the film prove remarkably similar to the deaths of early Christians in the Roman coliseum.
"I was struck by the level of sacrifice and strangely selfless heroism that we find in the film," Paul Asay, senior associate editor for Focus on the Family's review blog, Plugged In, told The Christian Post in an interview on Monday. In his own review, Asay wrote "The premise and plot of The Hunger Games can recall for some the Church's earliest martyrs – those who took part in another bloody spectacle on the floor of the Roman Colosseum."
"Catching Fire," the sequel to "The Hunger Games" (2012), follows the story of Katniss Everdeen, a heroine who voluntarily sacrifices herself to save her sister from a bloody struggle where children must fight to the death. The gladiator-like battle, known as the "Hunger Games," was instituted to keep the colonies in the empire of "Pan Am" subservient. In the first film, Everdeen wins the games, along with Peeta Malark, a boy from her district. more >>
A rape victim from the Central African Republic (CAR) has shared her testimony and revealed that only praying to God at night helps her get back to sleep from the persisting nightmares she is experiencing.
"I cannot stop thinking about what happened. I have many nightmares. My grandparents and my foster parents tell me not to think about it anymore and to pray. God was there when it happened. He knew and He saw it. What can I do? God saw. God knows. I leave it to Him," the woman, identified as Suzanne, shared in a statement with persecution watchdog group Open Doors.
"Each time I have a nightmare, I get up and pray. After that, I am able to sleep again. I ask God to prevent others to live through the same things I have lived through. I also pray to God to touch the hearts of the people who are able to help us stop this violence and bring back peace to our country. I ask Him to forgive my aggressors for what they did to me." more >>
The family of Pastor Saeed Abedini said in a recent interview that they are "devastated" that the Obama administration failed to secure Abedini's release during recent negotiation talks with Iran, in which the Middle Eastern country agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for lighter economic sanctions. Abedini is an American pastor who has been imprisoned in Iran over the past year for his Christian faith.
"As a wife and a mom, it's devastating," Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor's wife, told Fox News Radio. Naghmeh and her family saw these recent peace talks between Iran and the U.S. as a possible opportunity for Abedini to be released from his eight-year prison sentence. The pastor was sentenced in January 2013 under the charges of "planting house churches that are intended to undermine national security."
Naghmeh added to Fox News Radio that she now believes the U.S. has no leveraging power since making the nuclear program deal. "Iran has no incentive for them to release him. I don't think we have any more leverage. We now have to consider other avenues and having other countries speak out because our country when we could have used our leverage chose to stay silent." more >>
Americans are being encouraged to leave an empty dinner place on Thanksgiving Day for Saeed Abedini as a sign of solidarity with the imprisoned American pastor. A group is also setting up a Thanksgiving display in front of the White House to petition for his release.
"While Americans enjoy the blessings of spending Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, it is important to remember that millions around the world are being brutalized, persecuted and attacked for their Christian faith. Thousands are in prison," said the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition.
"Pastor Saeed will not be able to spend this special day with his wife and two young children, but instead will be spending it in a cramped prison facing constant violence and persecution." more >>
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln called a nation divided by war to join together in a time of corporate thanksgiving and repentance when he proclaimed that Americans "set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."
Lincoln went on to recommend they offer up "the ascriptions justly due" to God "for such singular deliverances and blessings…with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience…and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union."
And a national Thanksgiving Day was birthed, wherein those having much, little, or in-between, gather around the table with loved ones, friends, and maybe even Fido (hopefully underneath), to carry on this great American tradition. more >>