By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
WASHINGTON D.C. (ANS) -- A group of pastors is putting their freedom on the line to bring attention to the plight of Saeed Abedini, a U.S. pastor sentenced to eight years in one of Iran's most brutal prisons for his Christian faith.
Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini
According to a story by Paul Strand for CBN News, they're calling for clergy from all over America to come to the White House and risk arrest every Monday from now till March 8. They're saying it's time for more than talk about persecuted Christians around the world.
"Part of our obligation as ministers is not just proclamation, but demonstration," Rev. Keith Tucci, with the League for the Defense of Christian Pastors, told CBN News before he was arrested in front of the White House Monday afternoon.
"We believe that our culture is dying for a model and we also believe that there are many courageous men in the pulpits in America who understand that it's time to act now," he said.
Rev. Pat Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, noted that Obama called Jason Collins after the basketball player announced he's gay. The president also called Sandra Fluke after the Georgetown University law student made a very public stand for the right of American women to receive free contraceptive coverage in their health plans.
"And yet he has not called the wife of an American citizen who is being brutalized in an Iranian prison," Mahoney told CBN News. "And if President Obama won't reach out to her and won't stand for her husband and the persecuted Church, then she's coming to his very front yard."
That's one reason Saeed's wife, Naghmeh Abedini, will join the pastors on March 8. Mahoney, Tucci, and other pastors hope her participation will bring hundreds of clergy members to head for the White House and face arrest with her.
Writing on the Facebook page "Pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini" www.facebook.com/PrayForPastorSaeedAbedini),Naghmeh Abedini said she will be arrested on March 8 at noon.
Naghmeh expl ained her decision. She said it isn't "out of rebellion against my government or hatred or disobedience, but it came out of love for my husband and the persecuted Christians. That it came out of love for those who are in chains because of their faith in Jesus. Hoping and praying that my government would hear my desperate plea to secure the immediate release of my husband before it's too late."
Naghmeh asked supporters to join her. She added, "You get three warnings before the arrest, and those of you who do not wish to be arrested can walk away after the third warning."
Mahoney said Saeed Abedini has come to represent the persecuted church around the world. He said the eight-day protest has been dubbed the Hebrews 13:3 Project.
"Remember those in prison as if you were in prison with them," he said quoting the passage. "And those who are suffering as if you were suffering with them."
To learn more about the campaign visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=unF8_5S1t7g&list=UUQwiQtz-XtWkJQzQFOChDnw
For more information visit www.BeHeardProject.com.