Iranian- American Pastor Saeed Abedini was arrested last July 2012 for allegedly “undermining national security” in the Iranian government by “creating a network of Christian house churches… and attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam” during his mission work.
But even though he was tortured and suffered greatly, this adversity did not limit him in spreading the Gospel.
During his first year inside the Iranian jail, Pastor Abedini helped 10 Muslim prisoners to convert to Christianity. When the police learned of his evangelism, they decided to move him into another cell.
“Every time they changed my prison, it was a good time to evangelize,” Adedini told CBN in an interview.
His fellow inmate,s whom Pastor Abedini helped meet Jesus suffered. They were tortured while demanding them to deny the Christian faith and return to Islam.
“Every people [sic] who became Christian with me, they start torturing them, separate me from them and the last two years they make me completely isolated,” he said.
The pastor also saw several Christians in prison who were strong in faith but unfortunately weakened by the hardships and difficulties of their situation in the long run. He even heard one time a fellow Christian who recited an Islamic prayer to make his condition at ease. “We do not know how strong our faith really is until it is tested” the pastor said.
Throughout his sentence, Naghmeh, Pastor Abedini’s wife, advocated for his husband’s freedom. Then earlier this year, her prayers were answered when the pastor was released and was able to return to his family in America through a “prisoner swap agreement” between the American and the Iranian government.
In his Facebook account, Pastor Abedini urged his fellow Christians to keep the faith despite the adversities they encounter in life. “Jesus has a reason for telling us to finish what we have started with Him and keep going forward in our Biblical values. Our reward is waiting at the end of our journey,” he said.