Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Church of the Hill, along with the Christian Defense Coalition, plans to organize a prayer for American Pastor Saeed Abedini on Tuesday, who has been imprisoned in Iran for nearly 1,000 days. He also urged Christians to join in that effort.
According to a press release issued on Christian Newswire, Mahoney and other Christian organizations will hold a press conference at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington. They will also conduct a prayer vigil and mark the 1000th day that Abedini has been in an Iranian prison.
"Every five minutes across the globe, a Christian is killed because of their faith," Mahoney said. "Today marks day 1000 that Pastor Saeed will be spending in an Iranian prison cell for his Christian faith; 1000 days of being away from his wife and two precious young children; 1000 days of facing brutal beatings and torture."
Christian Newswire reported that Mahoney and the other Christian groups will pray for Pastor Abedini's release and urge Congress to free him.
"We are leaving 1000 flowers at the United States Capitol to remind the members of Congress that millions of Christians are facing persecution and violence around the world and to demand they work for the immediate release of Pastor Saeed and work to end this faith-based genocide," Mahoney said.
According to Christian Newswire, Mahoney is also the founder of the #orangejumpsuit campaign, which is "a movement challenging people to stand with the persecuted church around the world through prayer, activism, public engagement and wearing orange." He called on Congress to act immediately to secure Abedini's release.
"Pastor Saeed is an American citizen and it is unthinkable that Congress would move forward with a nuclear deal with Iran while he is being daily tortured in one of their prison cells," Mahoney said. "Congressional resolutions are not enough. Actions must speak louder than words regarding religious freedom and human rights."
Mahoney urged Christians to participate in the #orangejumpsuit movement as a way to speak up against persecution of Christianity around the world. On a Facebook page designated for this event, he urged Christians to mark the occasion on Tuesday by wearing an "orange piece of clothing, ribbon or scarf on that day."
"We are also encouraging Christians across the nation to wear orange while they fast and pray for Pastor Saeed and our persecuted brothers and sisters," Mahoney said. "We cannot be silent or indifferent when it comes to the persecuted church."
Mahoney elaborated on Facebook on how his church and other Christian groups will remember Abedini's imprisonment in Iran due to his Christian faith.
"We have obtained a permit to leave 1000 flowers on the lower western terrace of the Capitol Building (Washington Monument side) and hold a prayer vigil and demonstration demanding Congress to do all within their power to bring Saeed back to his family," Mahoney said.
Mahoney urged Christians everywhere to "act and pray" for "the persecuted church." He ended with a quote from German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who stood up to Nazi Germany during World War II.
"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless," Bonhoeffer said. "Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."