|(Photo Courtesy of BP)|
Iran (MNN) ― You can be a part of saving a life. An Iranian-born pastor, who is a U.S. citizen, was arrested by the Iranian government on September 26, 2012. He is undergoing physical and mental torture in a notoriously brutal Tehran prison. An international campaign for his release is being shared, according to the American Center of Law and Justice (ACLJ).
On January 27, Saeed Abedini was sentenced to eight years in prison for establishing a network of Christian house churches years ago and for "attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam."
Since his conviction, he has not been allowed to communicate with his wife and two children who are in the United States, according to Baptist Press.
In the beginning of February, his Iranian relatives were allowed to visit him. According to FoxNews.com, he expressed apprehension and concern for his future. Abedini asked if there were international efforts to secure his freedom, the news network said, adding that his downtrodden spirit "is due to abuse and brainwashing techniques used by prison officials."
"It is no surprise that the Iranian prison guards are engaging in this kind of psychological abuse," Jordan Sekulow, ACLJ's executive director, told FoxNews.com. "We know that Pastor Saeed is undergoing physical beatings and torture. And we know there is growing concern about his health."
One of the many things ACLJ has done for the pastor is to launch a Web site SaveSaeed.org, and they are promoting #SaveSaeed on Twitter.
As of Monday (Feb. 11,) almost 195,000 people had signed a petition at SaveSaeed.org asking the United Nations, European Union, and Council of Europe to mobilize their resources to require Iran to honor its treaties and its constitution, and release the pastor.
ACLJ is looking for 300,000 signatures for this petition. That means for every day Saeed is supposed to be in prison, 100 people will have signed the petition. ACLJ believes that the more people are calling for Abedini's release, the more international media, governments, and world leaders are willing to put pressure on Iran to grant his freedom.
If you would like to sign this petition, click here. You can be a part of getting Pastor Saeed Abedini his freedom back. Also on the site are videos of Steven Curtis Chapman, TobyMac, Bart Millard of MercyMe, and other musicians and concerned citizens who have joined the effort.
Pray for Saeed as he is facing many trials in prison. Pray for his safety and continued strength to keep fighting. Ask God to give his wife and children the support they need at this time. Pray that God will use this devastating situation for growing His kingdom.