Pastor Saeed Abedini had been imprisoned in Iran since 2012 and his plight was shared widely in both the Christian and secular press, publicizing calls for his release. In January 2016 he was released as a part of the ‘Iran Deal’.
The ‘Mujahadeen-e-Khalgh’ (MEK) played a key role in bringing Ayatollah Khomeini to power in Iran in 1979. It is a Marxist and Islamic organization, which had been labeled as a ‘terrorist’ by the US Government until 2012. For more background on this organization read this article from the US Council for Foreign Relations here.
Most other groups opposing the Iranian regime shy away from the MEK. Their practice has been to solicit funds by knocking on the doors of ‘high’ places as well as using volunteers to work at ‘street level’, often carrying photograph albums that show Christian martyrs to help persuade potential donors. Many Iranians have been amazed at the MEK’s capacity for gathering funds for their operations as well as for their annual gatherings. The 2016 ‘Grand Gathering’ profiled a number of high profile speakers; included among these was Pastor Saeed Abedini.
Pastor Abedini has drawn widespread criticism for bending the truth and applauding a very brutal organization, which has taken up arms and fought against the regime, sacrificing many of its own members. His presence shook the Iranian Christian world, which was shocked to see how he identified himself so publicly with such a controversial political group.
Here is Pastor Abedini’s speech at the Gathering:
And here is an article about it – Click Here.
To many it appeared to be an attempt to draw attention, fame and money. The view of Iranian Christians is that this simply provides the Iranian regime with an excuse to label all Christians, and especially pastors as traitors!
While we have been aware of more detail, 222’s news agency ‘FCNN‘ has remained impartial in its articles about Pastor Abedini’s situation, relaying information made available about his imprisonment. Sadly he has not been serving under authority of any Iranian ministry. He has exaggerated and twisted information about his own ministry. His wife, Naghme, was chaperoned to many influential leaders in the USA by organizations supporting the campaign for his release from prison in Iran – Click Here
Late in 2015, Naghme publicly announced that her husband had an addiction issue and that he was abusive. It became apparent that she had taken legal action relating to the family situation and their marriage. This is a part of her interview: Click Here
This article provides more information on Naghme’s announcement and Franklin Graham’s comments: Click Here
Here is an insightful article and comments, the first of several that are due to be posted about the situation relating to Pastor Abedini : Click Here
The situation of Pastor Abedini has caused concern to many, particularly those in the Iranian Christian community. We wanted to take the opportunity to identify some of the issues. Please continue to pray for Pastor Abedini and his family and for Christians undergoing persecution in Iran.
Reverend Lazarus Yeghnazar,
222 Ministries International