The wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini has revealed she is fasting until Sept. 26 to mark the date her husband was imprisoned in Iran three years ago and to remember Christians being persecuted around the world.
In a Facebook update shared September 5, Naghmeh Abedini encouraged Christians to join her in her 21-day fast.
"I will be fasting from pleasant food (Daniel 10:3 - 'I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled'). I plan to abstain from coffee and chocolate. You are free to abstain from food, social media, TV or skip a meal or two ... the point is to spend that time in prayer," Naghmeh wrote.
"The Scripture that the Lord has given me for this time of prayer and fasting has been Hebrews 12:1-2. That as we remember Saeed and the persecuted Church (the 'witnesses'), we would look at our own walk with God and get rid of all of the sins that are so easily ensnaring us. The Lord is showing me that as we pray for Saeed and the persecuted Church and remember the witnesses, revival can be brought into our own life and in our country," she concluded.
Naghmeh also previously fasted for a 21-day period in January, leading up to January 27, the date that her husband was first charged of crimes in Iran.
As reported by the Gospel Herald, Pastor Saeed, who is serving an eight year prison sentence for "threatening the security of the state," was first arrested in 2009 while working as a Christian leader and community organizer in Iran's underground home church communities for Christian converts who are denied the right to worship freely in public churches.
Although he was initially released after pledging to stop formally organizing house churches in Iran, he was imprisoned again after returning to Iran in 2012 to help build a state-run, secular orphanage.
Pastor Saeed remains in an incredibly dangerous situation due to the frequent executions, inmate violence and beatings that take place in Iranian prisons. The pastor has suffered long stints in solitary confinement, and beatings and torture at the hands of his jailers and fellow inmates. He was also denied medical attention for his injuries.
The American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing the Abedini family, recently published a letter that was sent to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations. In the letter, Naghmeh asks to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani when he travels to New York City later in September regarding her husband's plight.
"... For the last three years, our family has greatly suffered in the absence of my husband and my children's father. Saeed is currently being held in Rajaei Shahr prison in Gohardasht. Saeed is not a criminal. Saeed is not a threat to Iran or the stability of its government," Naghmeh wrote in her letter.
"Saeed is a husband and a father. Saeed is suffering from internal injuries incurred during his time in prison that Iranian doctors have indicated need surgery and hospitalization, but which he has not yet received."