American Pastor Saeed’s Emotional Letter from an Iranian Prison Illuminates the Meaning of Christmas
Written by Project Inspired | December 15, 2014
You may or may not know the story of American Pastor Saeed Abedini. For those of you who don’t, Pastor Saeed is a U.S. citizen who was imprisoned in one of Iran’s toughest prisons in the summer of 2012 for choosing to share the Christian faith in Iran. Of course, his wife and many members of Congress have since been pressing for his release. You can sign the petition meant to help bring him home here: http://beheardproject.com/saeed
While imprisoned in Iran, Pastor Saeed has endured many harmful encounters with fellow prisoners and guards. All, of course, prompted by his position as Christian in a country so hostile towards the Christian faith. Pastor Saeed’s wife, mother and others have visited him frequently. Recently, however, even these visits have been forbidden. Still, in the midst of all the turmoil that has occurred in Pastor Saeed’s life, one constant that has remained is his faith in Christ. Read below the VERY emotional letter he has written his family about this Christmas.
These days are very cold here. My small space beside the window is without glass making most nights unbearable to sleep. The treatment by fellow prisoners is also quite cold and at times hostile. Some of my fellow prisoners don’t like me because I am a convert and a pastor. They look at me with shame as someone who has betrayed his former religion. The guards can’t even stand the paper cross that I have made and hung next to me as a sign of my faith and in anticipation of celebrating my Savior’s birth. They have threatened me and forced me to remove it. This is the first Christmas that I am completely without my family; all of my family is presently outside of the country. These conditions have made this upcoming Christmas season very hard, cold and shattering for me. It appears that I am alone with no one left beside me.
He also wrote what Christmas means to him in the midst of this terrible situation:
Christmas means that God came so that He would enter your hearts today and transform your lives and to replace your pain with indescribable joy. . . .
The same way that the heat from the earth’s core melts the hard stones in itself and produces lava, the fiery love of God, Jesus Christ, through the virgin Mary’s womb came to earth on Christmas to melt the hard heart of sin and wickedness of the world and removes them from our life.
Pastor Saeed feels alone, but he is not, and one small but powerful thing we can all do is lift up our brother in Christ through prayer. This season of giving, with Pastor Saeed in our thoughts, please take the time to join us in prayer for him.