Date: January 18, 2016
By Dan Wooding, Founder of the ASSIST News Service
WASHINGTON, DC (ANS – Jan. 18 2016) – Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for theAmerican Center for Law & Justice(ACLJ), has been able to talk with Pastor Saeed Abedini – a U.S. citizen – who was released this weekend from an Iranian prison after more than three years of harsh imprisonment for his Christian faith.
In a phone call from a U.S. military hospital in Germany where he’s being treated, Pastor Saeed thanked our entire ACLJ (http://aclj.org) team and the more than 1.1 million ACLJ members who worked to secure his freedom, saying, “May God bless you for everything you did.”
Sekulow, who also hosts atalk show, which airs on radio and television, and is a frequent guest commentator on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and the Fox News Channel, said, “I cannot underscore enough how grateful he is for the tireless efforts of the millions of people who prayed and spoke out for his freedom over the last nearly three and a half years.
“Pastor Saeed has endured the worst conditions imaginable. He is now free and looking forward to returning home to America. He is receiving much-needed medical care at a U.S. military base in Germany and his road to recovery from all he has endured will take some time. Please continue to pray for Pastor Saeed and his family.”
Sekulow went on to say, “I want to join Pastor Saeed in thanking all our friends and members here at the ACLJ who have stood with us, resolute, in our advocacy across the globe for Pastor Saeed’s freedom.
“As we celebrate his release, it is important to remember that Pastor Saeed was just one of thousands imprisoned for their faith and millions facing deadly persecution just for being Christians.”
He added: “Now that Pastor Saeed is free and safe, we turn our attention and advocacy to the plight of numerous other persecuted Christians. More than 1.1 million of you made your voice heard for Pastor Saeed, and now he is free. It’s time for us to raise our voices again. Be heard with us as we aggressively advocate for Christians in the Middle East facing genocide for their faith.”
Meanwhile, Naghmeh Abedini, wife of released Pastor Saeed Abedini, has thanked President Barack Obama, the Rev. Franklin Graham, the various groups that campaigned for her husband's release, and the millions of people around the world who signed petitions for the cause.
Earlier on Sunday, she revealed that Obama had personally called her, and she tweeted, “I just had a wonderful call w/ @BarackObama @POTUS ! Our family is so thankful for all the hard work and support in bringing Saeed home.”
Pastor Abedini, whose home is in Boise, Idaho, spent over three years in prison for his Christian faith, and was released alongside three other Americans by the Iranian government as part of a reported prisoner exchange.
Photo captions: 1) Saeed and Naghmeh on their wedding day in Tehran. 2) Jay Sekulow. 3) Naghmeh Abedini with her daughter, Rebekka. 4) Dan Wooding.
About the writer: Dan Wooding is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the author of some 45 books and has two TV programs and one radio show in Southern California, and has reported widely for ANS from all over the world.