Pastor Saeed Asked to Deny Jesus Christ in Order to Be Set Free
Written by Project Inspired | June 11, 2015
Do you remember Saeed Abedini, the American pastor who was captured in 2012 and sentenced to eight years in prison for converting from Islam to Christianity? Well, it looks like things may have gotten worse for him. The Christian Post reports that Pastor Saeed was recently punched in the face and beaten for no apparent reason, other than his faith. And what makes matters worse, is that his freedom seems to depend on whether or not he denies Jesus Christ and abandons his faith. His wife, Naghmeh Abedini, told reporters:
“The times they have moved him in and out of solitary [confinement] and the times they have threatened him, they said ‘You will stay here longer than the eight years and your only key to freedom is if you deny your Christian faith and you return to Islam.’”
If this isn’t a test from God, we don’t know what is. Pastor Saeed could very well deny his faith and walk out of this Iranian prison a free man. But, at what cost? Is there any glory in freedom, if it comes at the price of your soul? We’re sure that Pastor Saeed has grappled with this question over the past few years. After all, he is human and he has a wife and two kids in the states who miss him dearly. Fortunately for him, no matter what he decides to do, God will not forsake him. For we serve a gracious and forgiving Lord; one that would never turn His back on us.
“The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.” – Daniel 9:9
As Christians, the cross we bear in the name of Jesus Christ, can sometimes become heavy. In the case of Pastor Saeed, his very freedom is on the line. However, God encourages us to persevere and to proclaim His name and His goodness even in the face of evil. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.” – Matthew 5:11-12.
It won’t always be easy. No, it wont. But in the end, when you’re seated at the foot of God’s throne, will it be worth it? Absolutely. So stay strong Christians, remain blessed and continue to pray for Pastor Saeed’s safe return.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6