Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘torture’

Rajai Shahr Prison, Iran

Rajai Shahr Prison, Iran

Many of you are familiar with the story of Saeed Abedini, an American pastor imprisoned in Iran. The ACLJ has just published a Christmas letter he wrote, and I am riveted by this man’s faith and hope in the midst of the extreme physical hell and torture he’s enduring. As the letter says, this is his third Christmas in prison; America hasn’t yet brought him home.

If a man who is being slowly murdered for leaving Islam can rejoice in the true meaning of Christmas this much, how much more the rest of us?

#SaveSaeed – you can help!

***

Rajai Shahr Prison 2014

Merry Christmas!

These days are very cold here. My small space beside the window is without glass making most nights unbearable to sleep. The treatment by fellow prisoners is also quite cold and at times hostile. Some of my fellow prisoners don’t like me because I am a convert and a pastor. They look at me with shame as someone who has betrayed his former religion. The guards can’t even stand the paper cross that I have made and hung next to me as a sign of my faith and in anticipation of celebrating my Savior’s birth. They have threatened me and forced me to remove it. This is the first Christmas that I am completely without my family; all of my family is presently outside of the country. These conditions have made this upcoming Christmas season very hard, cold and shattering for me. It appears that I am alone with no one left beside me.

These cold and brittle conditions have made me wonder why God chose the hardest time of the year to become flesh and why He came to the earth in the weakest human condition (as a baby). Why did God choose the hardest place to be born in the cold weather? Why did God choose to be born in a manger in a stable, which is very cold, filthy and unsanitary with an unpleasant smell? Why did the birth have to be in such a way that it was not only hard physically, but also socially? It must have brought such shame for Mary and her fiancé that she was pregnant before marriage in the religious society of that time.

Dear sisters and brothers, the fact of the Gospel is that it is not only the story of Jesus, but it is the key of how we are to live and serve like Jesus. Today we like Him should come out of our safe comfort zone in order to proclaim the Word of Life and Salvation though faith in Jesus Christ and the penalty of sin that He paid on the cross and to proclaim His resurrection. We should be able to tolerate the cold, the difficulties and the shame in order to serve God. We should be able to enter into the pain of the cold dark world. Then we are able to give the fiery love of Christ to the cold wintry manger of those who are spiritually dead. It might be necessary to come out of the comfort of our lives and leave the loving embrace of our family to enter the manger of the lives of others, such as it has been for me for the third consecutive Christmas. It may be that we will be called fools and traitors and face many difficulties, but we should crucify our will and wishes even more until the world hears and tastes the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas means that God came so that He would enter your hearts today and transform your lives and to replace your pain with indescribable joy.

Christmas is the manifestation of the radiant brightness of the Glory of God in the birth of a child named Emmanuel, which means God is with us.

Christmas is the day that the heat of the life-giving fire of God’s love shone in the dark cold wintry frozen hearts and burst forth in this deadly wicked world.

The same way that the heat from the earth’s core melts the hard stones in itself and produces lava, the fiery love of God, Jesus Christ, through the virgin Mary’s womb came to earth on Christmas to melt the hard heart of sin and wickedness of the world and removes them from our life. In the same process, the work of the Holy Spirit is a fiery rain of God’s Holiness and Mercy that flows into our body, soul and spirit and brings the light of Christ into us and through us making this dark, cold, wintry world into radiant burning brightness. He is turning our world into a world full of peace, joy, and love that is so different than the dark, cold, and wintry world that we used to live in. Hallelujah!

So this Christmas let the lava-like love of Christ enter into the depth of your heart and make you fiery, ready to pay any cost in order to bring the same lava love to the cold world around you, transforming them with the true message of Christmas.

Pastor Saeed Abedini

Soaking in the lava love of Christ

***

Please visit the ACLJ’s page discussing this letter.

*************************************************************************************

A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes…and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

*************************************************************************************

©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

 

Read Full Post »

This sickening story came to my attention over the weekend:

Obama Ignores Pregnant Wife of American Sentenced to Sharia Death By Hanging for Not Renouncing Christian Faith

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim is the pregnant 27 year-old wife of a naturalized American citizen. She and their 18 month-old son Martin are being held by the authorities in Sudan, who plan to let her give birth, then flog her and put her to death. Martin, who is ill, and the unborn child are Americans. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Hangings in Iran. From the Gatestone Institute.

Hangings in Iran. From the Gatestone Institute.

Iran’s “Enemies of God”: Zaniar and Loghman Moradi.

From the Gatestone Institute:

Zaniar and Loghman Moradi, cousins, were arrested in 2009 on charges of “enmity to God and corruptors on earth,” and a year later they were sentenced to death by Judge Salevati, known as Tehran’s “Hanging Judge.” Both were twenty years old at the time of their arrest.

…They both await public execution at any time, most likely from a crane, commonly used for hangings in Iran to ensure the slowest and most painful suffocation. The method does not use a trap door, but instead the accused is hoisted up slowly so that death will not be instantaneous. (more…)

Read Full Post »

If you are concerned about human rights and religious freedom, please sign this petition! Freedom-loving bloggers, feel free to reblog!

Barnabas Aid, an organization that works to stop Christian persecution, has began the Proclaim Freedom campaign that gives concerned people the chance to step up and do something about this injustice. Their website says:

Barnabas Aid’s Proclaim Freedom campaign will run to the end of 2012 and will seek to raise the profile of the persecuted Church around the world. It will have two specific aims: (more…)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: