I remember reading the book, Jesus Freaks, by DC Talk when I was a young Christian. I was amazed and moved by the stories of the Christians who lost their lives for their belief in Jesus Christ. While it brought me to tears on many occasions, the people all seemed so far away. In my mind, Christian persecution was something of the past. It only happened in small, third world countries today, and not very often.
Unfortunately, my eyes have been opened and I know those naïve ideas I had as a baby Christian could not be further from the truth. Christin persecution is alive and growing in our society. It is not limited to third world countries but has crossed borders around the world. It is epidemic and as a people, we are failing in addressing this tragic reality.
Right now, there are two American Christians in peril because of their faith in Jesus Christ, period. They have committed no crimes, but they are in prisons where their very lives are in jeopardy every day, and our government has done little to nothing to bring them home.
Pastor Saeed Abedini, from Idaho, has been in an Iranian prison since 2012. On September 26, 2012, Iranian forces detained the American citizen because his Christian beliefs were considered a threat to national security. Pastor Saeed was in Iran visiting family. Currently, Pastor Saeed is in one of the most dangerous prisons in Iran, and he has only served one year of an eight year sentence.
In the Sudan, Merian Ibrahim, the wife of American citizen, Daniel Wani, is in prison, along with her two children; Martin, 20 months old and her newborn baby girl. Merian’s crime: she refuses to renounce Christianity and embrace Islam. The Sudanese government has imprisoned not only Merian but her two children. She has been sentenced to death by hanging.
These are American citizens who have done nothing criminal. Their only crime is loving Jesus Christ more than their own lives, and they will die in foreign lands unless our government intervenes.
As I see report after report of the atrocities these people are facing, along with their families, it seems inconceivable for our leaders to sit back and allow them to die. It is a national tragedy for our government to sit idly by and watch Americans killed for their Christian beliefs, but it is happening right now, in the year 2014.
I challenge every Christian, no, every person in this country to make a phone call or write an email to your congressman and President Obama. Hold our elected leaders responsible and accountable for the lives of our citizens, both here and abroad. We cannot idly sit back and allow these countries to kill our citizens and think the persecution of Christians will stay outside our borders. If we remain silent, we will soon see such atrocities take place in our own nation. Stand up and be heard. Save the lives of Pastor Saeed Abedini, Merian Ibrahim and her children.
— Staff WriterTweet