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Please pray for Rev. Saeed and his family.
Photo: ACLJ

While visiting his family in Iran, 32-year-old Rev. Saeed Abedini, now an American resident, was imprisoned without notice of any formal charges. He is currently awaiting trial at Iran's notoriously brutal Evin Prison, where he has been incarcerated since late September of 2012. Family members residing in Iran (also Christian converts) are currently under house arrest. Fortunately, his wife Naghmeh, and their two young children, didn't accompany him during this most recent visit.

Since moving to the United States in 2005, Saeed periodically travelled to the country of his origin to spend time with his family and oversee the development of an orphanage, a humanitarian effort he began years ago. Prior to this, Saeed was the founder of a house church movement in Iran. Over the course of his involvement, the movement had about 100 churches in 30 Iranian cities with more than 2,000 members. "It was just growing so fast," his wife Naghmeh explains. "[Governmental leaders] see the underground churches as a threat and Christianity as a tool from the West to undermine them."

Saeed converted to Christianity at the age of 20, after undergoing suicide bomber training by a radical Muslim group. The more he sought to be a devout Muslim and the deeper he went into training, the more depressed he became. "Christianity saved his life," Naghmeh adds. Yet when Saeed became a Christian, he became a criminal in his own country. To learn more about the situation in Iran, please go to the Iran Country Report.

May God arise and work mightily on behalf of Saeed's situation. Pray that angels will guard over this young pastor and his family, protecting them from further attacks, and that the Holy Spirit will act as their advocate throughout the legal process. Ironically, those involved in this case of imprisonment are themselves held captive by the rulers of darkness. May these perpetrators witness first hand the reality of Christ's glory and His delivering power in their own lives!

Added note: We are thankful that Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was released from prison on January 7th. (More on his story can be found here.) However, please uphold three other incarcerated Christians (and their families) in prayer - Behzad Taalipasand, Mohammadrezer (Johann) Omidi and Pastor Vruir Avanessian - who were arrested for their faith in recent weeks.

Current Ministry Fund

By funding television broadcasts, VOMC is making it possible for a vast audience of viewers to be reached throughout Iran with the "Good News" of Jesus' love via satellite. VOMC is also working with partners to provide the Theology of Persecution course in Farsi to train Iranian believers to provide a proper theological perspective and understanding of persecution from a Biblical point of view.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity
Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic tribes

Religion (%)
Islam (99.4), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.3)

Leader
President Ebrahim Raisi (2021)

Government type
Theocratic republic

Legal system
Religious legal system based on secular and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Iran

As the Gospel message goes forth over the airwaves, may the growth of the church continue to multiply despite persecution. Pray that the Iranian government will be open to change, allowing full rights and protection for its non-Muslim citizens as well. In the meantime, may those who are forced to flee the country find safe refuge and help so they can live in peace and worship the Lord with freedom.

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