Friday, September 19, 2014

Prayer Vigil for Saeed Abedini Sept. 26--Special Plea for Prayer for Persecuted Christians Worldwide

A week from today, Friday, September 26, a worldwide event will be happening: the Second Annual Global Prayer Vigil for Saeed Abedini. Pastor Abedini is an American citizen born in Iran, who came to faith in Jesus and, in the course of time, became a pastor in Idaho. But he retained his love for his own people, much as the Apostle Paul retained his love for the Jews even while being sent by God to the Gentiles. Pastor Abedini made several trips back to Iran to help his people, unmolested. Then, two years ago, he returned to Iran to assist in establishing a state-run orphanage, and was arrested on September 26, 2012, for "crimes against the state," because he is a Christian. He is presently serving an 8-year sentence in one of the most dangerous prisons in Iran. The first purpose of the meetings on September 26 is to pray for his safety and release: The national meetings are announced on these two websites:

Be Heard Project: Prayer Vigil September 26 #SaveSaeed.

Voice of the Persecuted: 2nd Annual Global Prayer Vigil for Saeed Abedini Planned for September 26th.

These meetings are being held in hundreds of cities around the world. They will be preceded by a prayer meeting in Washington, D.C., the evening before, in which Franklin Graham, Jay Sekulow and others will be involved. Our local Topeka, Kansas, Second Annual Global Prayer Vigil for Saeed Abedini (link to MeetUp) will be held on the South Apron of the State Capitol at noon. (If you prefer, here is a link to the Topeka Prayer Vigil on Facebook.) These meetings will also drawattention to and lift up prayer for aan even larger concern: the growing persecution of Christians in a large number of countries. This is a concern Christians should address before God in unity, and with a spirit of repentance for our own divisiveness. In Topeka, at least, the Prayer Vigil for Pastor Saeed will lead into a continuing series of quieter meetings addressing persecution more generallyTopeka Prayer for the Persecuted. Topeka Prayer for the Persecuted promotes times of group prayer, and times of public awareness, for Christian minorities and individuals who are presently being persecuted because of their faith. Persecution is found in many places in the world--notably now Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, the states of the Arabian Peninsula, and the territory of the dangerous "Caliph" of the new Islamic State. In these areas, systematic destruction of Christian minorities that have lived, mostly at peace, for almost two millennia is underway. But persecution is also a fact of life in other places, such as China, and now India and Pakistan, and numerous countries in Africa. This group will seek to bring attention to this story to which the media as a whole has largely shut its eyes. But, more importantly, we will pray, and attempt to foster prayer outside our meetings, for the persecuted, as well as for our own national leaders and the national leaders of the countries that persecute (1 Timothy 2: 1-4). We plan to meet--either for a private, quiet prayer meeting or for a less-quiet activity, about once a month. It would be good to see similar local groups starting in other places as a result of this effort!