Christian Woman Falsely Accused of Blasphemy Marks Six Years in Prison

Asia Bibi, the Christian mother of 5 in Pakistan jailed on false accusations of blasphemy, has started her sixth year behind bars.

Bibi was jailed in 2009 after a group of Muslim women became upset that she took a drink of water from the same water supply they had used.  Bibi was then sentenced to death because of the blasphemy accusation and placed on death row.

The case is being questioned even among Muslim oriented media sources.  Al Jazeera America wrote that the case has “serious inconsistencies on witness accounts” and that some witnesses changed their testimony as much as three times.

The Pakistan director of Human Rights Watch says that you can see how the Muslims within the government are targeting Bibi as a Christian by brazenly taking the unconstitutional step of banning the President from issuing Bibi a pardon.

“Nobody had anticipated that any court of the land could ban the president from pardoning her. This was brazenly unconstitutional,” says Hasan. “Aasia’s case is an example of judicial bigotry and institutionalized maliciousness on part of the Lahore High Court.”

Bibi has been in failing health on death row.  Family members say that Bibi has been vomiting blood.

“When vomiting there is also shown traces of blood. Asia has difficulty feeding properly, while constant pain in the chest,” The Global Dispatch quoted the unnamed family source as saying. “Therefore it is necessary that Asia Bibi be submitted as soon as possible [for] a full medical checkup, including blood work.”

Saeed Abedini’s Imprisonment Reaches Day 1,000

Pastor Saeed Abedini has now been imprisoned because of his Christian faith for 1,000 days.

Several groups are marking the day, June 23rd, by sending 1,000 flowers to the U.S. Capitol to remind legislators of Saeed’s wrongful imprisonment at the hands of the Iranian government.

“Every five minutes across the globe, a Christian is killed because of their faith. Today marks day 1,000 that pastor Saeed will be spending in an Iranian prison cell for his Christian faith; 1,000 days of being away from his wife and two precious young children; 1,000 days of facing brutal beatings and torture,” said Rev. Patrick Mahoney, pastor of Church on the Hill in the nation’s capitol.

“We are leaving 1,000 flowers at the U.S. Capitol to remind 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.”

The 1,000 day mark was punctuated by a petition started by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) that received one million signatures calling for Saeed’s immediate release.

“Pastor Saeed shouldn’t have to languish another single day in one of the world’s worst prisons. He shouldn’t be forced to endure another day of the pain from prison beatings. He shouldn’t have to miss another Father’s Day, birthday, or anniversary away from his loving wife and adoring young children,” the ACLJ stated.

The ACLJ and others are calling on the American negotiators working on a nuclear deal with Iran to include Saeed’s release as a requirement for the deal.  The deadline for a deal is June 30th.

Jailed Sudanese Pastors Denied Lawyers and Visitors

Two jailed Sudanese pastors facing criminal charges were moved to a high security prison where they are being denied any visitors including their lawyers.

The Muslim-dominated government has filed false charges against Christian pastors Rev. Peter Yen Reith and Yat Michael for spying, undermining the government and insulting religion.  Initially, the men were kept at low security military prison Omdurman.  Now, they have been rushed to high-security Kober Prison.

The move came after an American Pastor who visited the pair was found taking pictures and video from the prison waiting room.

The pastor’s lawyers tried to meet with their clients but were denied by the prison’s director who said they needed a court order.

“We are concerned by this development in the clergymen’s case. They already endured extended detention without access to their families at the beginning of this year, and they and their families should be spared further emotional distress,” Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas, said in a statement shared with The Christian Post.

Pastor William Devlin of Infinity Bible Church in New York has visited Sudan nine times in the last eight years.  He went to see the two men at the invitation of three local Sudanese pastors.

“Western pastors, African pastors, European pastors must go to Khartoum to advocate for these imprisoned pastors,” Devlin wrote. “Even if they cannot visit them, they can meet with their wives and support their wives and children financially.”

Health of Wrongfully Imprisoned Asia Bibi Failing

The health of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman wrongfully imprisoned in Pakistan on false charges of blasphemy, is quickly fading according to family members.

Bibi is having trouble walking and had been throwing up blood.

“When vomiting there is also shown traces of blood. Asia has difficulty feeding properly, while constant pain in the chest,” The Global Dispatch quoted the unnamed family source as saying. “Therefore it is necessary that Asia Bibi be submitted as soon as possible [for] a full medical checkup, including blood work.”

Bibi has been jailed after a group of Muslim women made false accusations of blasphemy after the Christian woman drank water from the same water supply.

Wilson Chowdhry of the British Pakistani Christian Foundation says that Bibi has been forced to cook her own food in a “dingy” cell for the last five years after attempts to poison her.

“Asia Bibi has been facing rapidly declining health for some time and we call on Christians to uphold her in their regular prayers,” Chowdhry said in a statement. “Asia continues to believe that God will release her from her captivity, however, the Supreme Court hearing date is proving hard to achieve. Many believe the delay is instigated by Pakistani authorities in an attempt to subvert justice through her early demise.”

The family’s visit was the first in months because Bibi’s family has been on the run due to death threats from Muslims.

Saeed Abedini Viciously Beaten In Prison

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has revealed that Pastor Saeed Abedini has been viciously beaten by other inmates at the brutal prison where he is being illegally detained.

“Unprovoked, fellow prisoners attacked Pastor Saeed as he attempted to leave his cell, punching him in the face near his left eye and nose,” Executive Director Jordan Sekulow wrote. “In addition to physically beating the persecuted pastor, prisoners demolished a small table Pastor Saeed used to study and read.”

“As he was attacked, Pastor Saeed called out for help,” he continued. “Iranian prison guards did intervene and prevent further injury. However, Pastor Saeed suffered injuries to his face—his eyes beaten black and blue. He was able to be seen briefly by a prison doctor, and thankfully he did not receive any broken bones.”

Abedini has been illegally detained by Iranian officials since 2012.

“It is heartbreaking to me and my family that Saeed was again beaten in prison. Saeed’s life is continuously threatened not only because he is an American, but also because he is a convert from Islam to Christianity. It’s time to get Saeed home before it is too late,” Naghmeh Abedini said in response to the news.

This is not the first assault at the hands of other inmates and Naghmeh Abedini has stated she fears his health will continue to decline with each successive beating.

Iranian officials have reportedly told Saeed his sentence will be extended if he does not deny Christ.

“The times they have moved him in and out of solitary [confinement] and the times they have threatened him, they said ‘You will stay here longer than the eight years and your only key to freedom is if you deny your Christian faith and you return to Islam.’ The guards have said that, officials have said that continuously,” Abedini said.

JBS Special News Report: Naghmeh Abedini Rallies World Leaders For Husband

Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of wrongfully imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini, has been traveling the world meeting with leaders asking them to pressure the Iranian government for her husband’s release with the help of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

JBS News writer, Jason Wert, recently had the honor of interviewing Tiffany Barrans of the ACLJ. Barrans has been at Naghmeh’s side since 30 hours after Saeed was imprisoned by the Iranians and has traveled with Naghmeh around the world.

Tiffany spoke with USA Headline News about their travels and the reception of world leaders, including a trip last week to the European Parliament, Germany and then yesterday in front of the U.S. Congress.

Q: What kind of reception did you receive from European Leaders?

Barrans: We had an incredible reception both at the European Parliament and with every member of the German government that we met.  Individuals at the Foreign Ministry, the top leaders, the people in the party who were second in command to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

It is always amazing to me how in touch Europe is with the issues of religious freedom in particular and more broadly with human rights.  And they look for ways to make sure their actions match their words.  Something I hope we can improve upon here in the United States!  We truly had a great reception from everybody.

Q: Given that America and Europe do not have the best relationship right now, have you found some countries do not want to become involved because Saeed is an American?

Barrans: It’s always a touchy subject, obviously.  There are some countries that hesitate to get involved because he is an American.  Sometimes it’s related to their relationship with the American government and sometimes it’s because they’re concerned he may have been a spy!

Luckily for us, the Iranian government came out very quickly in their state controlled media and said that [Saeed] was not being considered a spy so we can quickly nip that one and move on.

Germany in particular, the Netherlands has been great as well, has a real heart for those who have been persecuted for their faith and have been active in this field.

Q:  This may seem out of left field, but do you think perhaps the legacy of the Holocaust is what contributes to Germany’s passion for religious freedom?

Barrans: I don’t think that’s out of left field, I think that’s right on!  A lot of them would even admit that themselves.  There are so many in current generations that centuries of trying to right that wrong are necessary and even then, you can’t.  So they’re very sensitive to those who are persecuted, on religious grounds in particular.  It’s also in many businesses whose equipment was used for medical experiments.  So that’s why you see Germany taking a lead on religious freedom issues.

Q:  How is Naghmeh holding up?

Barrans:  I’ve been with Naghmeh since 30 hours after her husband was taken the summer of 2012.  So I’ve walked with her very closely through this process.  It never ceases to amaze me the strength that the Lord gives her.  It truly is a divine thing for her to walk in peace.

I see those moments when we travel together, when we’re tired, when something bad happens when I get that 3:30 in the morning call when she’s broken because she’s human just like the rest of us.  But her faith has always encouraged me and strengthened my faith, to be honest.

It’s hard for me to watch her to have to console her two young children who fear when she leaves to advocate for Saeed and to bring their daddy home that they’re concerned that she won’t come home.  That like their daddy she will go to do good and not come home.

But her faith always encouraged me.

Q:  We spoke with Naghmeh after she met with the President in Idaho about her husband’s situation and how the President told her son that he would try to bring him home by his birthday.

Barrans:  Naghmeh tells the story of six-year-old Jacob, her son,  at his birthday in March.  When he met the President at the end of January he said “Mister President, will you bring my daddy home for my birthday?”  And the President looked him in the eye and said “Well son, when’s your birthday?” and Jacob said “March 17th!”  You know, a very strong little boy.  And the President said “oh, that’s very soon but I will try, I will try.”

In the heart and the mind of a little boy, if I can speak with the President of the United States then of course my daddy is coming home.  And he woke up on March 17th on his birthday and he ran around the house looking for his daddy and his hopes were just crushed when he wasn’t there.

You think of it through the experience of a child that age and realize that he’s lived almost half of his life without his father.  It’s very difficult and then imagine being the mom who is missing her husband and trying to insure that her children are still living a life that is whole and complete when something so large is missing.

Q:  Naghmeh spoke before a Congressional committee on Tuesday.  What kind of reception did she receive from the committee?

Barrans: I have never seen a Congress so unified on something to be quite honest.  Religious liberty is something that they should be, to be quite honest.  But as you had the family members of the four held captive in Iran and the pain they experience there was such an incredible reaction from Congress.

You saw Democrats, in some cases for the first time, asking how they can consent to the nuclear deal and trust Iran with something as important as a nuclear deal when they’re violating their own law and international law very publicly by holding these Americans?

That’s incredible in that we haven’t necessarily heard that before loudly from the party but it was great to see the Dems taking that position as well as the Republicans at the hearing.

Naghmeh Abedini Tells Congress Jesus Hasn’t Abandoned Her Family

The wife of Saeed Abedini, the American pastor imprisoned in Iran for being a Christian, told Congress that Jesus has not abandoned her family despite her husband’s continued illegal captivity.

Naghmeh Abedini spoke to the House Foreign Affairs Committee Tuesday during a hearing about Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Iran.

“Most mornings like today, I wake up in a new hotel in a new city or country and am reminded of my new reality — a reality that includes lonely airports and empty hotel rooms,” Abedini explained in her testimony. “This pain of this journey without my husband has only increased as I have had to frequently leave my children to advocate for my husband’s release. The reality is, we are a family torn apart.”

“Over the last three years, I have had to watch my two children, Rebekka (who is 8 years old) and Jacob (who is 7 years old), suffer daily as they have grown up without a father or a mother,” Abedini continued. “I am here today as single mother who is trying to be strong for her children, and as a wife who humbly admits, I need your help. I cannot bear to look at my children’s longing eyes one more time and explain to them why their daddy is still not home.”

Abedini told the Congressmen that time is running out for the U.S. to have leverage to demand the release of her husband and others held captive.

“I can’t make foreign policy but I know that this is a crucial time and we have to bring Americans home while we can,” she told CP. “This is the time we have leverage. I know that we have a few weeks. I think after a deal is made or not made, it will be much more difficult to get Saeed out.”

The Committee passed a resolution at the end of the hearing calling for the immediate release of the captive Americans.

Naghmeh Abedini Asks European Officials For Help

The wife of wrongfully imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini is turning to European leaders for help in her quest to free her husband.

Naghmeh Abedini visited with German officials and the European Parliament to speak with lawmakers who are committed to religious freedom around the world.  The German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights quickly supported Naghmeh’s mission.

“I call upon Iran to quash Pastor Abedini’s sentence – and the sentences of all those imprisoned merely on account of their religious belief – without delay,” the commissioner said in a statement following the meeting. “Until he is released, I appeal to all those responsible in Iran to grant him urgently needed medical treatments, including outside the prison.”

A vigil at the Iranian Embassy in Germany was held by Naghmeh and German freedom advocates.

The meetings were arranged by the American Center for Law and Justice along with the German rights group Internationale Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte.

Tiffany Barrans of the ACLJ traveled with Abedini.

“This opportunity was invaluable to raise the plight of Pastor Saeed and the Christian community that suffers in Iran,” Barrans said.

The ACLJ has been advocating for Abedini’s release for years.

“Continued international pressure has helped free persecuted Christians before and we pray that it will again,” ACLJ said.

Meriam Ibrahim Shares Details Of Her Torture By Sudanese Officials

Meriam Ibrahim spoke out on the National Day of Prayer about the horrors she experienced during her time held captive by the government of Sudan.

She said that at one point she was “heavily pressured” by guards for three days to renounce Christ and become Muslim but she refused each time.

“Meriam revealed how she refused to waver in her faith in Christ, believing God would save her even as she was shackled in chains and sentenced to 100 lashes and death. Making matters worse, her infant son was in prison with her and she was pregnant with another child at the time — forced to give birth while shackled in chains,” said in an article ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow, who introduced Ibrahim at the Virginia event.

“In the face of persecution and told by Sudanese officials that she could avoid a death sentence if she renounced her Christian faith, Meriam stood strong and refused to reject her faith. For three consecutive days, she was told to renounce Christ. For three consecutive days, she refused.”

Ibrahim has said that her faith was “the only weapon” she used to survive her captivity.

Ibrahim said that her family had to leave behind very successful businesses in Sudan and they’re rebuilding in America from the ground up.

UN Human Rights Council May Take Up Abedini’s Case

Officials with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) say the U.N. Human Rights Council is taking a hard look at the case of Pastor Saeed Abedini and his wrongful imprisonment in Iran.

“The Human Rights Council Working Group looked at the facts, they looked at the evidence and they came to the independent conclusion, as we have, that his detention is arbitrary, that it is in violation of international law and that he should be freed,” Associate Counsel Matthew Clark said to One News Now.

“So the U.N. is taking steps to put out there exactly what is happening and what action needs to be taken by the Iranian government to free him.”

The move by the U.N. is seen as significant to put pressure on Iran in the wake of Abedini’s home country doing nothing to help obtain his release from an Iran prison.

“It’s been nearly two and a half years now since Jacob’s dad, Saeed Abedini, has been imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith,” Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ wrote in an article for Fox News.

“And, on this day, the day Jacob turns 7, his dad is still languishing in prison — separated from his son, his daughter and his wife — still in need of medical care, still facing an uncertain fate.”