Date: Septmber 27, 2016
By Mark Ellis, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
NEW YORK (ANS -- September 27, 2016) -- The Iranian-American Christian Pastor, Saaed Abedini, held in prison in Iran for over three years due to his underground church activities, shared the Gospel as he waited at the airport for his release.
Pastor Abedini spoke at a rally September 20th in New York protesting a visit to the UN by Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani. Pastor Abedini and others called for a halt to Tehran’s sponsorship of terrorism. They also demanded a halt to the executions in Iran, and urged the prosecution of the regime’s leaders.
Following the protest, Pastor Abedini was interviewed by Neil Cavuto of Fox News and shared further details about his release in January from Iranian confinement and return to the U.S.
The release and prisoner swap became controversial when it was later revealed that the arrival of a plane with $400 million in cash from the U.S. was instrumental in the process.
In addition to Pastor Abedini, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, Marine veteran Amir Hekmati and Nosratollah Khosrawi were also released by Iran on January 16, 2016.
Pastor Abedini recalled the circumstances of his release on Fox News. “When they escorted us from Evin Prison to the airport they told us in 20 minutes you will get into a plane from Switzerland and then fly out of the country,” he recounted.
“But when we got to the airport it took 20 hours. They kept us and we slept in the airport.”
During the lag time, Pastor Abedini felt emboldened to share the Gospel with his captor. “There was a guard with me who was in charge of all intelligence and policing at Evin Prison. I knew I was going to be free and they couldn’t do anything to me so I started sharing the gospel with him,” he told Fox.
“I talked about my faith. I talked about Jesus, that he was God in the flesh who came on the earth and took the punishment for our sins.
“When I shared the Gospel, the Good News with him, he opened up his heart because I said Jesus wants to go into your heart and save your life and cleanse all your sins because he went on the cross for you.”
Photo captions: Pastor Saeed Abedini. 2) Mark Ellis being welcomed to the set of "Windows on the World" by ANS founder, Dan Wooding.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), and also founder of www.GodReports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world. He is also co-host for “Widows on the World” with ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, which is aired weekly on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (http://hsbn.tv).