Pastor Saeed: A Modern Day Daniel in a Modern Day Lions’ Den, 23 Senators Urge President Obama to Save Him from “Death Sentence”

11/7/2013. 23 Senators Urge President Obama to Save Pastor Saeed from “Death Sentence” in Bipartisan Letter. Jordan Sekulow, aclj.org

Twenty-three U.S. Senator’s have just sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama on Pastor Saeed’s behalf urging the President to take direct diplomatic action with Iran.

Led by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), the letter calls Pastor Saeed’s transfer a potential “death sentence” and urges President Obama to immediately speak out for his freedom.  Now nearly a quarter of the U.S. Senate is urging action from the U.S. government on Pastor Saeed’s behalf.

Senator Cruz was join in this bipartisan letter by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), John Boozman (R-AR), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Hoeven (R-ND), Richard Burr (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Rand Paul (R-KY), James Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bob Corker (R-TN), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

This is a critical step forward in highlighting what is the most dangerous time in Pastor Saeed’s life.  It is vital that we all continue to speak out for Pastor Saeed.  As diplomatic talks continue today between Iran and world leaders, Pastor Saeed’s name must be a part of these talks.

Pastor Saeed is surrounded by the worst of the worst in a deadly Iranian prison.  Time is of the essence to save this U.S. citizen’s life and bring him home to his family.

Please continue to sign the petition urging direct action from President Obama for Pastor Saeed’s freedom – the fastest growing petition in ACLJ history – on BeHeardProject.com.

The text of this powerful bipartisan letter is below.  We would like to thank these Senators and many others who are taking action for Pastor Saeed.

Dear Mr. President,

We received the grim news on Tuesday that Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, was abruptly and without explanation transferred from Iran’s Evin prison to the even more brutal Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj. Transfer to Karaj, customarily used to house violent criminals, has all too frequently been a de facto death sentence for political prisoners.

As you know, Pastor Saeed’s only crime is the peaceful practice of his religion. Even under the terrible circumstances of his year in prison, his courage and faith, and that of his wife, Naghmeh, have been inspirational.

All those who have followed Pastor Saeed’s case commend you for raising the issue with President Hasan Rouhani during your telephone call on September 27, 2013. We believe this new action by the Iranian regime merits additional response. It is imperative for the United States government to speak out boldly on behalf of Pastor Saeed, at the earliest possible opportunity, and we look forward to supporting you in this effort.

11/7/13. Pastor Saeed: A Modern Day Daniel in a Modern Day Lions’ Den. Matthew Clark, aclj.org

“Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen serving an 8-year sentence in Iran for his Christian faith, has been transferred to one of the deadliest prisons in the world.

Instead of sharing a cell with fellow prisoners of conscience, he now is surrounded by 22,000 of Iran’s most violent criminals – murderers and rapists – in a prison built to only hold 5,000 inmates.

One foreign diplomat described the horrendous conditions of the prison this way:

Rajai Shahr is the place where political prisoners who are seen as a nuisance, are stowed away. Going to Karaj is a severe punishment. Once in there one stops to be a human being. One is put out of sight, even of human rights activists and the press. In Rajaï Shahr, political prisoners have to share cells with dangerous criminals like murderers, rapists and drug addicts who don’t hesitate to attack their cell mates. They have nothing to lose: many of them are condemned to death anyway. Murders or unexplained deaths are a regular occurrence.

His very life is at stake.

Pastor Saeed really is a modern day Daniel in a modern day lions’ den.

Thousands of years ago, in Persia, on the same soil that makes up the current country of Iran, a man named Daniel too stood firm in his faith.  He refused to compromise his faith in God.  He refused to recant his faith in God when the rulers of the nation he lived in demanded it.

He was thrown into a literal lions’ den.  He prayed, and God closed the mouths of the lions, protecting him from certain death.  As a result, he was freed and allowed to practice his faith.

Today, Pastor Saeed faces a new kind of lions’ den, Rajai Shahr, where lions appear in the form of prisoners who routinely murder other prisoners.

Pray that God would shut the mouths of the lions that surround Pastor Saeed– that God would deliver Pastor Saeed unscathed as God did with Daniel so many years ago.

Pray and urge our nation’s leaders to take action.  Urge President Obama to directly engage diplomatically to save Pastor Saeed’s life.  Sign the petition to immediately intervene to #SaveSaeed at BeHeardProject.com.”

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