Thursday, September 16, 2010

Persecuted for the Gospel

As I read over this article, the parallels between this young man and myself caused by heart to both ache and swell as I contemplated his situation. 

     Neshan Saeedi, a 27-year-old Christian, has not been seen since his arrest by government authorities in July, according to the Farsi Christian News Network. 
     On July 24, Saeedi was at home with his wife and young daughter in the city of Ahvaz, Iran, when plainclothes security officers entered his house and arrested the family. Security officers searched the home and seized personal belongings, including a computer, CDs containing films of Christian seminars and teachings, Christian books, Bibles and family photo albums.     
     The family was taken to the Chaharshir detention center in Ahvaz, where they were interrogated for several hours before Saeedi’s wife and daughter were released. Officers threatened Saeedi’s wife, saying if the family continued its Christian activities their daughter might be taken away. The family was accused of threatening Iran’s national security by participating in anti-government activities. They were further accused of being spies of foreign powers and of leading people to a pro-Israel ideology.
The article continues to explain that the church he attended has disbanded out of fear, you can read the entire thing here.

In Iran, this young man is being interrogated, arrested, persecuted, and potentially tortured as the result of his dedication to Christ.  The leaders of the Church are being sought out.  Our own nation has been heading in the direction of Christian persecution.  A recent example is Pastor Terry Jones threat to burn a Quran.  The president of our nation pleads with the man not to burn the Quran and sends FBI agents to convince him otherwise.  Our nation, which was founded on Christian principles, is now defending a book over the Word of Truth.  Misguided teenagers burn Bibles every day and it would be rare to find a PTA meeting that addressed the subject.  However, one pastor with almost no influence is able to stir fear in the hearts of our nation's leadership as they reeled at the idea of such an unholy act.  Your treasure is where your heart is.

Yet it is in these times that the Gospel thrives.  It is when met with opposition that the glory of God's love is best demonstrated by His followers.  I genuinely hope to bring the love and power of God to those nations that persecute Christians as so many others so admirably do.  If our country continues in the path it has been on, I might not have to go anywhere to do it.

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