by Dr. D ~ January 28th, 2013
From the Christian Post:
… On Sunday morning, Judge Pir-Abassi of Branch 26 of the Iranian Revolutionary Court – known as the "hanging judge" – verbally convicted and sentenced Pastor Saeed to eight years in prison, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is representing the pastor’s family in the United States.
The court defied Iranian law, which requires a written verdict.
Response:We had been hoping for the best in this case since Pastor Saeed is an American citizen and had never really violated Iranian law. He was just visiting friends and relatives in his native country. Plus the authorities had told his family that he was going to be released over the weekend. Also the US State Department and the White house just last week asked the Iranian authorities to release the pastor who is an American citizen and allow him to leave the country.
Obviously they wanted to make an example of him. Since the conviction was made by the Revolutionary Court it also confirms that the Supreme leader of Iran –Ayatollah Khamenei was involved or behind it in some way. At the very least the Ayatollah had to have ok’d the verdict.
There is one important factor that none of the news stories mention but I believe is closely related to this case. There is actually a major Christian revival going on right now in Iran. Remarkably over half a million or so Muslims have been converted to Christianity in the last 7 years and the Islamic government is going crazy trying to figure out how to shut it down. The action against Pastor Saeed is probably part of a calculated crack down against a growing Christian church in that Muslim country.
According to reports that I have read, many of the conversions have been initiated by visitations by angels and by visions of Jesus Christ. Many other Muslims have also been converted though healings and miracles. Not exactly something that the Ayatollah and his boys are going to be able to stop- just ask the Romans and more recently the Chinese and North Koreans.
The testimonies coming out of Iran are very similar to what happened in China after the communists tried to shut down the Christian church in 1949. There were less than 900,000 Christians in China at the time but now no one really knows how many there are in 2013 since it is still growing exponentially. The estimate runs from 100 million to 150 million with no clear way to get a count since the church is still substantially underground. Even the officially sanctioned and recognized Three-Self Church continues to grow and recorded over 23 million members in 2110.
From other mission reports that I have recently read, the Iranian authorities have been attempting to identify and arrest Christian leaders all around the country since Christmas. They have also initiated a new law that the officially recognized Christian Churches can no longer meet and worship on Fridays which is the official day off for worship in Iran. It should be noted that converting from Islam to Christianity is a capitol crime in Iran and new Christians can receive prison and even a death sentence for their new faith if exposed.
This is a good time for Christians to remember to pray for their brothers and sisters in Iran and also for Pastor Saeed and his family. *Top