Today Marks Two Years of Captivity in Iran for American Pastor Saeed Abedini


Date:  2014-09-27

Prayer Vigils Held Worldwide as Franklin Graham, Pastor Saeed's Wife and Kids, and Hundreds More Gather in Front of the White House to Pray for His Freedom

By Michael Ireland
Special Reporter, ASSIST News Service

WASHINGTON, DC (ANS) -- On Friday, September 26-the two-year anniversary of his imprisonment-Christians across the globe gathered to pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini and for the persecuted church around the world.

Friday night (September 26) the first of more than 500 scheduled prayer vigils for Pastor Saeed and the persecuted Church was held in front of the White House. It has been two year since his arrest and imprisonment.

Franklin Graham and Naghmeh Abedini and her children Jacob and Rebakka pray for Pastor Saeed's release with other speakers and organizers of the prayer event
in front of the White House.
(Courtesy Samaritan's Purse).

"As the early morning hours of the day marking two years of illegal imprisonment began in Iran, Franklin Graham, Pastor Saeed's wife, his children, my father Jay Sekulow and hundreds of others gathered in front of the White House to pray for Pastor Saeed's freedom," writes Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) in a media update.

"Today, prayer vigils will be held not only all across America but in 33 countries around the world highlighting the plight of American Pastor Saeed Abedini who is imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith and so many others just like him across the globe," Sekulow said.

"Last night's prayer vigil in front of the White House was a powerful reminder of the power of prayer. God's Word tells us, 'For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.' Thousands are now beginning to gather together in prayer for our brother in Christ Pastor Saeed.

"Last night, we not only prayed for his safety and his swift return to his family, w e prayed for all those suffering in chains for the gospel around the world."

Pastor Saeed's wife Naghmeh shared a letter Pastor Saeed wrote to his daughter Rebekkah as she recently celebrated her 8th Birthday (the third Birthday she has had to spend apart from her father). In it he talks about the power of prayer even in the midst of these dark times.

Saeed said: "I know that you question why you have prayed so many times for my return and yet I am not home yet. Now there is a big WHY In your mind you are asking: WHY Jesus isn't answering your prayers and the prayers of all of the people around the world praying for my release and for me to be home with you and our family.

"The answer to the WHY is WHO. WHO is control? LORD JESUS CHRIST is in control."

Saeed continued: "I desire for you to learn important lessons during these trying times. Lessons that you carry now and for the rest of your life. The answer to the WHY is WHO. The confusion of "WHY has all of this happened?" and "WHY your prayers are no t answered yet" is resolved with understanding WHO is in control.LORD JESUS CHRIST, our GOD!"

He added: "God is in control of the whole world and everything that is happening in it is for His good purpose, for His glory, and will be worked out for our good (Romans 8:28). Jesus allows me to be kept here for His glory. He is doing something inside each of us and also outside in the world. People die and suffer for their Christian faith all over the world and some may wonder why? But you should know the answer of WHY is WHO. It is for Jesus. He is worth the price. And He has a plan to be glorified through our lives."


A letter was read aloud at the vigil in a moving testament to the strength found through Christ. The letter closes with Pastor Saeed telling his children, "So, let Daddy hear you sing a loud Hallelujah that I can hear all the way here in the prison!" And they did just that. His two young children, Jacob and Rebekkah, sang one of his favorite songs.


Pastor Saeed Abedini

Thousands around the world are joining them in prayer for their father's freedom. Nearly 300,000 have signed the petition for his freedom at  

Sekulow Added: "Over the next 24 hours or so, people all over the world will lift up Pastor Saeed in prayer. We will continue to pray. We will continue aggressively fighting across the globe for this persecuted pastor's freedom. "

The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) represents Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children who resident in Idaho. You can learn more about Pastor Saeed's case here.

On Thursday night, Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham spoke at a prayer event in Washington, D.C., outside of the White House to pray for Pastor Saeed's release and "ask for God's favor."

"Jesus warned his disciples in Matthew 24 that they would be hated and persecuted because of His Name. We see in Acts that Peter was imprisoned. We see that Paul was imprisoned and later executed for his faith," Franklin Graham said. "I want us to pray today. I want us to pray that God will intervene, and He would bri ng this faithful servant who has been tortured and beaten for his faith, that God will bring him home."

Saeed Family Photo

Pastor Saeed shown with his wife, Naghmeh and their two children.

Pastor Saeed's children also sang a special song of worship, and his wife, Naghmeh, read a letter he wrote to their daughter Rebekka on her eighth birthday- the third birthday he has missed since being imprisoned.

"You standing with us means so much to our family," Naghmeh said. "This is what the persecuted church needs."

Graham maintains close contact with Naghmeh, helping her bring awareness to the plight of her husband.

"She is worried, and is fervently asking for our prayers," he said. "Please pray for Saeed, Naghmeh, and their family."

Pastor Saeed was arrested in 2012 when he was visiting his former homeland to build an orphanage. Since then, he has suffered brutality and beatings for his faith from within the prison's walls. Now ISIS (Islamic State) militants are issuing death threats against Saeed, and imprisoned members of al Qaeda have already attempted to murder him as well. Saeed has told his family that he fears for his life and is forced to refuse allotted prison yard time to avoid these dang erous situations.

Samaritan's Purse works to serving members of the persecuted church all over the world. Most recently, we've been supplying tents and food for refugees in northern Iraq after families from the ancient Christian town of Qaraqosh were displaced when their home was overrun by ISIS (Islamic State) jihadists.

Please join us in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for their faith. Learn more about the vigils and where you can attend a vigil in your local area by visiting 

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