#FreeSaeed Has Come True! Pastor Saeed Has Been Released!
It has been confirmed by multiple sources that US-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini has finally been freed from the Iranian prison he was held in for more than three years.
Sources including Christianity Today and his wife Naghmeh confirmed the release of Pastor Saeed as a part of a prisoner swap between the US and Iran. The United States released 7 prisoners and Iran released 4.
Pastor Saeed was first taken in 2012 while he was in Iran helping to build a government approved orphanage. He had been warned not to participate in house churches while Iran, but was given clearance to help with the orphanage. While on a bus he was taken, arrested, and sentenced to eight years in prison.
Pastor Saeed’s wife became a tireless warrior pleading for his release. She spoke with anyone that would listen, including religious and political leaders all over the world. Mrs. Abedini’s legal representation, The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), gathered more than 1 million signatures in its effort to secure Pastor Saeed’s release.
This is indeed a cause to praise God as He has seen fit to answer the prayers of many believers around the world. This is also a reminder that many more Christians are being held and tortured in Iranian prisons. And still millions of other Christians are in dangerous places around the world where their freedom and their lives are in jeopardy for simply naming the name of Christ. We must continue to remember those that boldly stand for the name of Christ though it could cost their freedom and their lives.
A statement from the above mentioned Christianity Today article accurately describes the joy and the continued responsibility Christians feel at this time:
“As ‘Christians around the world rejoice’ at Abedini’s release, Middle East Concern (MEC) reported that ‘Iranian Christians request our continuing prayer, asking that … other Christians detained in Iranian prisons will be encouraged and released soon.’ MEC previously noted how Abedini was only 1 of an estimated 100 Christians in Iran—which contains between 200,000 and 750,000 Christians—currently in prison for their faith. On December 21, Farshid Fathi, one noteworthy believer championed by Elam Ministries and Voice of the Martyrs, was released after 1,821 days in prison. By comparison, Abedini was imprisoned for 1,208 days. Iran’s previous highest-profile imprisoned Christian, Yousef Nadarkhani, was imprisoned for 1,062 days.”