Iran (MNN) — An Iranian/American pastor is facing some troubling days ahead. According to the American Center of Law and Justice, Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith, is being moved from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, which is even more dangerous.
According to the ACJL, Pastor Saeed faces life-threatening conditions and treatment there.
President of Open Doors USA David Curry says while this looks bleak, there is good news. "From that fact, we can gather that the Iranians are listening and paying attention to the advocacy from the United States."
The ACLJ reports Pastor Saeed's family members went to visit him at Evin Prison Monday, only to be notified that he had been moved a half hour away to Karaj.
The transfer comes as Iranians took to the streets to mark the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979. The protests are a bit surprising, especially since many young people are disenfranchised with the current radical Islamic government.
Curry agrees. "There's a growing need there and a growing desire amongst these younger generations in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries to see freedom come. That's certainly what we're praying for."
In 2005, Loes Bijnen, a Dutch Diplomat from the embassy in Tehran, described Rajai Shahr prison:
"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."
Curry is encouraging you to pray for Pastor Saeed and other Christians in the same situation. "There are 100 million people in countries around the world living in fear for the faith. Not because they're bad people, but because they call themselves believers. The western world is the exception."
Open Doors provides physical and spiritual support to these Christians. Curry is encouraging you to help them do that. "When you're giving to Open Doors, you're taking the most dangerous countries in the world to be a believer and you're being hope; you're bringing the Gospel; you're bringing the Word of God into those countries."
It's important. Curry says, "The percentage of believers in the Middle East has dropped to just over 4%, according to the Pew Research study. 100 years ago it was 20%. Christianity is being squeezed into extinction in the Middle East."
The ACLJ is asking you to help in another way. They would like you to sign a petition to encourage President Obama to make Pastor Saeed's release a top priority and support a critical resolution in the Senate calling for Pastor Saeed's release.
Send a message to President Obama today. Sign the petition to immediately intervene to save Saeed.