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ICC Note: Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen imprisoned for his Christian faith in Iran, was given an ultimatum to either deny Christ or remain incarcerated, Baptist Press reports. “‘Deny your faith in Jesus Christ and return to Islam or else you will not be released from prison. We will make sure you are kept here even after your 8 year sentence is finished.’ These are the threats that prison officials throw at me,” Saeed wrote in a letter received by the American Center for Law and Justice. “My response to them is Romans 8:35-39.”
By Erin Roach
4/18/2013 Iran (Baptist Press) Iranian officials have pressured imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini to renounce his faith in Jesus even as they have stepped up their physical abuse and psychological torture of him, including taking him to a hospital but denying him medical treatment, according to recent reports.
In a letter obtained by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Abedini—a U.S. citizen of Iranian descent—wrote that he was told by Iranian prison officials, “Deny your faith in Jesus Christ and return to Islam or else you will not be released from prison. We will make sure you are kept here even after your 8 year sentence is finished.”
Abedini’s response, he wrote, is Romans 8:35-39, which says persecution and death cannot separate a believer from Christ.
“The reality of Christian living is that difficulties or problems do arise in our lives,” Abedini wrote. “Persecution and difficulties are not new occurrences, but are seen often in the Christian life. It is through the suffering and tribulations that we are to enter the Kingdom of God.”
The pastor closed the letter, ACLJ said in a news release April 10, by writing, “Pastor Saeed Abedini, the servant and slave of Jesus Christ in chains, with a lot of joy to see you soon. Evin Prison 9th March 2013.”
Jordan Sekulow, ACLJ’s executive director, said it’s clear that Abedini’s faith is sustaining him even as he suffers from increased brutality at the hands of prison guards.
Sekulow reported April 15 that Abedini’s Iranian family visited him in prison that day and saw firsthand the marks and symptoms left by a severe beating he received when officials took him to a hospital the previous week.

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