Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tackling My Fear and Loathing of Islam

After two and a half months of mission work in SE Missouri, I am ready to tackle, head on, my fears about Islam.  I'm currently reading Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics.  While I seriously considered posted this at my mission blog, Annie Go Lightly, in the end, I considered it too personal at this point to discuss openly.

This blog isn't private but it also gets no traffic.  Granted, I haven't posted since October of 2013 but nevertheless, it was not visited even then.  The post also seems to more properly fit into the context of the theme of the blog, my perceived vision of the collision between the counter cultural waters of religious conservatism and society today.


From here on, what appears is strictly stream of consciousness writing.  I have been wrestling like Jacob with an angel for two years now and after my time in Missouri,  I am ready to face my fear, loathing, and distrust head-on.  If I am called to love and trust in God, no exceptions, then there has to be a way out of this morass.
  • My fear of Islam's power and influence on the world and how the world will appear in the future, how it will effect my children and my children's children
  • My awareness that Islam is no respecter of art representations of God and His prophets in any religious context.  Afghanistan's great buddha's (1500 years old in 2001) are a clear modern example of this.
  • Knowledge of Islam's exposure to heretical Christian beliefs that warped "believers" and made them vulnerable to the forces of Muslim believers in what is now modern day Saudi Arabia.  Arians, Monophysites, and Nestorians all existed side by side then, with incomplete understanding of Christ's teaching and held heretical views.  This incomplete knowledge led to Mohammad's own lack of understanding of true Christianity.  Hence, one of the many reason for the severe errors of Islam.
  • Consider the challenge to Christians to resist Islam's growing numbers throughout the world.  
  • What will happen when non-Arab Muslims finally "get" that they are not full and equal believers and never will be because only the Arabic language in the Koran can contain the pure revelation of Allah.  Not speaking and understanding Arabic makes the majority of Muslim believers second class believers.  This will not go over well when it is finally understood.
  • Islam wants the high numbers (convert, have lots of babies) but Arabs claim exclusive and complete knowledge only to their small group.
  • The more I read, the more I come to believe that Islam itself is a heresy, a corrupt version of Christianity.  Corrupt and deeply flawed.
  • Read more of Pope Emeritus Benedict and his writing (and its meaning and implications) of his suggestion of having a smaller but purer church in the future.
To Be Continued

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Benghazi - 60 Minutes Report

 

60 Minutes: Benghazi

The following script is from "Benghazi" which aired on Oct. 27, 2013. The correspondent is Lara Logan. Max McClellan, producer.
When Chris Stevens was killed in Benghazi, Libya, on the anniversary of September 11th last year, it was only the sixth time that the United States had lost an ambassador to its enemies. The events of that night have been overshadowed by misinformation, confusion and intense partisanship. But for those who lived through it, there's nothing confusing about what happened, and they share a sense of profound frustration because they say they saw it coming.

Tonight, you will hear for the first time from a security officer who witnessed the attack. He calls himself, Morgan Jones, a pseudonym he's using for his own safety. A former British soldier, he's been helping to keep U.S. diplomats and military leaders safe for the last decade. On a night he describes as sheer hell, Morgan Jones snuck into a Benghazi hospital that was under the control of al Qaeda terrorists, desperate to find out if one of his close friends from the U.S. Special Mission was the American he'd been told was there.


Morgan Jones: I was dreading seeing who it was, you know? It didn't take long to get to the room. And I could see in through the glass. And I didn't even have to go into the room to see who it was. I knew who it was immediately.

Lara Logan: Who was it?

Morgan Jones: It was the ambassador, dead. Yeah, shocking.

Morgan Jones said he'd never felt so angry in his life.  Only hours earlier, Amb. Chris Stevens had sought him out, concerned about the security at the U.S. Special Mission Compound where Morgan was in charge of the Libyan guard force.

Now, the ambassador was dead and the U.S. compound was engulfed in flames and overrun by dozens of heavily armed fighters.

Although the attack began here, the more organized assault unfolded about a mile across the city at a top secret CIA facility known as the Annex. It lasted more than seven hours and took four American lives.

Contrary to the White House's public statements, which were still being made a full week later, it's now well established that the Americans were attacked by al Qaeda in a well-planned assault.

Five months before that night, Morgan Jones first arrived in Benghazi, in eastern Libya about 400 miles from the capital, Tripoli.

He thought this would be an easy assignment compared to Afghanistan and Iraq. But on his first drive through Benghazi, he noticed the black flags of al Qaeda flying openly in the streets and he grew concerned about the guard forces as soon as he pulled up to the U.S. compound.

Morgan Jones: There was nobody there that we could see. And then we realized they were all inside drinking tea, laughing and joking.

Lara Logan: What did you think?

Morgan Jones: Instantly I thought we're going to have to get rid of all these guys.

Morgan Jones' job was training the unarmed guards who manned the compound's gates. A second Libyan force -- an armed militia hired by the State Department -- was supposed to defend the compound in the event of an attack. Morgan had nothing to do with the militia, but they worried him so much, he could not keep quiet.

Morgan Jones: I was saying, "These guys are no good. You need to-- you need to get 'em out of here."

Lara Logan: You also kept saying, "If this place is attacked these guys are not going to stand and fight?"

Morgan Jones: Yeah. I used to say it all the time. Yeah, in the end I got quite bored of hearing my own voice saying it.

Andy Wood: We had one option: "Leave Benghazi or you will be killed."

Green Beret Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Andy Wood, was one of the top American security officials in Libya. Based in Tripoli, he met with Amb. Stevens every day.  The last time he went to Benghazi was in June, just three months before the attack. While he was there, al Qaeda tried to assassinate the British ambassador. Wood says, to him, it came as no surprise because al Qaeda -- using a familiar tactic -- had stated their intent in an on-line posting, saying they would attack the Red Cross, the British and then the Americans in Benghazi.

Lara Logan: And you watched as they--

Andy Wood: As they did each one of those.

Lara Logan: --attacked the Red Cross and the British mission. And the only ones left-

Andy Wood: Were us. They made good on two out of the three promises. It was a matter of time till they captured the third one.

Lara Logan: And Washington was aware of that?

Andy Wood: They knew we monitored it. We included that in our reports to both State Department and DOD.

Andy Wood told us he raised his concerns directly with Amb. Stevens three months before the U.S. compound was overrun.

Andy Wood: I made it known in a country team meeting, "You are gonna get attacked. You are gonna get attacked in Benghazi. It's gonna happen. You need to change your security profile."

Lara Logan: Shut down--

Andy Wood: Shut down--

Lara Logan: --the special mission--

Andy Wood: --"Shut down operations. Move out temporarily. Ch-- or change locations within the
city. Do something to break up the profile because you are being targeted. They are-- they are-- they are watching you. The attack cycle is such that they're in the final planning stages."

Lara Logan: Wait a minute, you said, "They're in the final planning stages of an attack on the American mission in Benghazi"?

Andy Wood: It was apparent to me that that was the case. Reading, reading all these other, ah, attacks that were occurring, I could see what they were staging up to, it was, it was obvious.

We have learned the U.S. already knew that this man, senior al Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi was in Libya, tasked by the head of al Qaeda to establish a clandestine terrorist network inside the country. Al-Libi was already wanted for his role in bombing two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Greg Hicks: It was a frightening piece of information.

Lara Logan: Because it meant what?

Greg Hicks: It raised the stakes, changed the game.

Greg Hicks, who testified before Congress earlier this year, was Amb. Stevens' deputy based in Tripoli - a 22-year veteran of the Foreign Service with an impeccable reputation.

Lara Logan: And in that environment you were asking for more security assets and you were not getting them?

Greg Hicks: That's right.

Lara Logan: Did you fight that?

Greg Hicks: I was in the process of trying to frame a third request but it was not allowed to go forward.

Lara Logan: So why didn't you get the help that you needed and that you asked for?

Greg Hicks: I really, really don't know. I, in fact, would like to know that, the answer to that question.

In the months prior to the attack, Amb. Stevens approved a series of detailed cables to Washington, specifically mentioning, among other things, "the al Qaeda flag has been spotted several times flying over government buildings".

When the attack began on the evening of September 11, Amb. Stevens immediately called Greg Hicks, who was back in Tripoli.

Greg Hicks: Ambassador said that the consulate's under attack. And then the line cut.

Lara Logan: Do you remember the sound of his voice?

Greg Hicks: Oh yeah, it's indelibly imprinted on my mind.

Lara Logan: How did he sound?

Greg Hicks: He sounded frightened.

In Benghazi, Morgan Jones, who was at his apartment about 15 minutes away, got a frantic call from one of his Libyan guards.

Morgan Jones: I could hear gunshots. And I-- and he said, "There's-- there's men coming into the mission." His voice, he was, he was scared, you could tell he was really scared and he was running, I could tell he was running.

His first thought was for his American friends, the State Department agents who were pinned down inside the compound, and he couldn't believe it when one of them answered his phone.

Morgan Jones: I said, "What's going on?" He said, "We're getting attacked." And I said, "How many?" And he said, "They're all over the compound." And I felt shocked, I didn't know what to say.

And-- I said, "Well, just keep fighting. I'm on my way."

Morgan's guards told him the armed Libyan militia that was supposed to defend the compound had fled, just as Morgan had predicted. His guards -- unarmed and terrified -- sounded the alarm, but they were instantly overwhelmed by the attackers.

Morgan Jones: They said, "We're here to kill Americans, not Libyans," so they'd give them a good beating, pistol whip them, beat them with their rifles and let them go.

Lara Logan: We're here to kill Americans.

Morgan Jones: That's what they said, yeah.

Lara Logan: Not Libyans.

Morgan Jones: Yeah.

About 30 minutes into the attack, a quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to waitand raced to the compound, at times running and shooting their way through the streets just to get there. Inside the compound, they repelled a force of as many as 60 armed terrorists and managed to save five American lives and recover the body of Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith. They were forced to fight their way out before they could find the ambassador.

Not long afterwards, Morgan Jones scaled the 12-foot high wall of the compound that was still overrun with al Qaeda fighters.

Morgan Jones: One guy saw me. He just shouted. I couldn't believe that he'd seen me 'cause it was so dark. He started walking towards me.

Lara Logan: And as he was coming closer?

Morgan Jones: As I got closer, I just hit him with the butt of the rifle in the face.

Lara Logan: And?

Morgan Jones: Oh, he went down, yeah.

Lara Logan: He dropped?

Morgan Jones: Yeah, like-- like a stone.

Lara Logan: With his face smashed in?

Morgan Jones: Yeah.

Lara Logan: And no one saw you do it?
Morgan Jones: No.

Lara Logan: Or heard it?

Morgan Jones: No, there was too much noise.

The same force that had gone to the compound was now defending the CIA Annex. Hours later, they were joined by a small team of Americans from Tripoli. From defensive positions on these rooftops, the Americans fought back a professional enemy. In a final wave of intense fighting just after 5 a.m., the attackers unleashed a barrage of mortars. Three of them slammed into this roof, killing former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Lara Logan: They hit that roof three times.

Andy Wood: They, they hit those roofs three times.

Lara Logan: In the dark.

Andy Wood: Yea, that's getting the basketball through the hoop over your shoulder.

Lara Logan: What does it take to pull off an attack like that?Andy Wood: Coordination, planning, training, experienced personnel. They practice those things. They knew what they were doing. That was a-- that was a well-executed attack.

We have learned there were two Delta Force operators who fought at the Annex and they've since been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cross -- two of the military's highest honors. The Americans who rushed to help that night went without asking for permission and the lingering question is why no larger military response ever crossed the border into Libya -- something Greg Hicks realized wasn't going to happen just an hour into the attack.

Greg Hicks: Effectively, they're not. And I-- for a moment, I just felt lost. I just couldn't believe the answer. And then I made the call to the Annex chief, and I told him, "Listen, you've gotta tell those guys there may not be any help coming."

Lara Logan: That's a tough thing to understand. Why?

Greg Hicks: It just is. We--, for us, for the people that go out onto the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they're coming to get us. That our back is covered. To hear that it's not, it's a terrible, terrible experience.

The U.S. government today acknowledges the Americans at the U.S. compound in Benghazi were not adequately protected. And says those who carried out the attack are still being hunted down.

Just a few weeks ago, Abu Anas al-Libi was captured for his role in the Africa bombings and the U.S. is still investigating what part he may have played in Benghazi. We've learned that this man, Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee and long-time al Qaeda operative, was one of the lead planners along with Faraj al-Chalabi, whose ties to Osama bin Laden go back more than 15 years. He's believed to have carried documents from the compound to the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan.

The morning after the attack, Morgan Jones went back to the compound one last time to document the scene. He took these photos which he gave to the FBI and has published in a book he has written. After all this time, he told us he's still haunted by a conversation he had with Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, a week before the attack.

Morgan Jones: Yeah, he was worried. He wasn't happy with the security.

Lara Logan: And you didn't tell him all your worries?

Morgan Jones: No. No, didn't want to--

Lara Logan: Why not?

Morgan Jones: I didn't want to worry him anymore, you know? He's a nice guy. I sort of promised him he'd be OK.

Lara Logan: You think about that?

Morgan Jones: Every day, yeah.

The U.S. pulled out of Benghazi and al Qaeda has grown in power across Libya. When a member of our team went to the U.S. compound earlier this month, he found remnants of the Americans' final frantic moments still scattered on the ground. Among them Amb. Stevens' official schedule for Sept.12, 2012, a day he didn't live to see.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

IN MY NOT SO HUMBLE OPINION

1984 and the Thought Police have arrived. I'm perfectly okay with people choosing their own lifestyle and living peacefully with their choices. I'm NOT okay with a society that is rapidly evolving in the direction that says I can't disagree and live MY life peacefully.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The following was Thomas Sowell's timely post this morning in 

Townhall Daily:


Serious About Syria?
Why are we even talking about taking military action in Syria? What is that military action supposed to accomplish? And what is the probability that it will in fact accomplish whatever that unknown goal might be?
What is painfully clear from President Obama's actions, inactions and delays is that he is more or less playing it by ear, as to what specifically he is going to do, and when. He is telling us more about what he is not going to do -- that he will not put "boots on the ground," for example -- than about what he will do.
All this is happening a year after issuing an ultimatum to the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria against the use of chemical or biological weapons. When the President of the United States issues an ultimatum to another sovereign nation, he should know in advance what he is going to do if that ultimatum is rejected.
But that is not the way Barack Obama operates. Like so many people who are masters of lofty words, he does not pay nearly as much attention to mundane realities. Campaigning is his strong suit. Governing is not.
With the mainstream media ready to ooh and aah over his rhetoric, and pass over in silence his policy disasters as President, Obama is home free as far as domestic politics is concerned. But, on the world stage, neither America's enemies nor America's allies are hypnotized by his words or his image.
Nations that have to decide whether to ally themselves with us or with our enemies understand that they are making life and death decisions. It is not about rhetoric, image or symbolism. It is about whether nations can count on the realism, wisdom and dependability of the American government.
Make no mistake about it, Barack Obama is a very clever man. But cleverness is not wisdom, or even common sense.
When he was in the Senate, Obama -- along with Senators Joe Biden, Chuck Hagel and Hillary Clinton -- was critical of the Bush administration for not being favorable to the Assad regime.
Hillary Clinton said that she and other lawmakers who visited Assad considered him a "reformer." Back in 2007, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, both Senator Biden and Senator Hagel chided her for not being more ready to negotiate with Assad.
Senator John Kerry in 2009 said, "Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region."
Some people said that having Joe Biden as Vice President meant that President Obama had someone with many years of foreign policy experience. What they ignored was that Biden had decades of experience being wrong on foreign policy issues, time and time again.
Page 2 of 2
Biden opposed President Ronald Reagan's military buildup that countered the Soviet Union's buildup, and helped bring about both the end of the Cold War and the end of the Soviet Union. General David Petraeus' "surge" strategy that greatly reduced the terrorist attacks in Iraq was opposed in 2007 by Senator Biden, who said, "We need to stop the surge and start to get our troops out."
Senator Hillary Clinton not only opposed the surge from the outset, she was among those who refused to believe that it had succeeded, even after all the hard evidence had convinced most other people.
The grim reality is that key people in positions to shape our foreign policy during the Obama administration -- the President, the Vice President, two Secretaries of State, and the current Secretary of Defense -- all have a track record of grossly misconceiving the issues, our enemies and our national interest.
This is the administration that is now asking for a blank check from Congress to take unspecified military action to achieve unspecified goals.
"Military action" is a polite phrase for killing people. It would be nice to believe that this has some larger purpose than saving Barack Obama from political embarrassment, after having issued an ultimatum without having thought through what he would do if that ultimatum was ignored.
He has the authority to take military action if he wants to. The question is whether he can sucker the Republicans into giving him political cover by pre-approving his unknown actions and unknown goals.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 01, 2013 03:02 EST

In March 2005 a small group of nuns from the Cistercian Monastery of Valserena in Tuscany moved to Aleppo, Syria, to found a new monastic community there. The nuns were inspired to take up the legacy of seven monks who were martyred in 1997 in Tibhirine, Algeria. The sisters wanted to follow the example set by these men, who had totally dedicated their lives to God and to their beloved Algerian neighbors, both Christian and Muslim.

The sisters’ guiding Scripture is John 10:16: “There are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and I must led these too. They too will listen to my voice.”

Once they had settled in Aleppo, with the blessing of both the Latin Apostolic Vicar and the Maronite bishop of Tartous, the sisters gained a new awareness of the importance of helping Christian Arabs remain in the Middle East, as well as a respect for the diversity of their traditions. Their project was, and continues to be, establishing a permanent monastery on the land they bought near the Syrian border with Lebanon, in a Maronite village named Azeir, atop a hill, far from the big cities.  The monastery is at the service of isolated Christian communities, in a land which is predominantly Muslim but which is home to the most ancient of Christian traditions.

To the sisters, Syria represents the meeting place of East and West, the place where Christianity began and then spread to Asia Minor, Greece, Rome, and then Armenia and India—all the way to China, with saints such as such as Afraate, Ephraim, Cyrus, Simeon Protostilite, Maron, Isaac of Niniveh, and others who followed in their footsteps, such as John Chrysostom and John Damascene.

It is this tradition the sisters wish to honor and perpetuate, persevering in their mission despite the fear and the hardship: to keep the monastery going and provide those who desire it with a chance to spend a few days there, with a church to go to.

These nuns have been providing a much-needed independent perspective on the tumultuous events going on inside Syria, in eye-witness reports published on their website and in the Italian bishops’ newspaper, Avvenire.

Here is a translation of a letter written on the 29th of August, in which the sisters seem to be holding their breath as President Obama deliberated about what, if any, action would be taken in Syria by the United States.

***
Today we have no words, except those of the Psalms that the liturgical prayer puts onto our lips in these days:
Rebuke the Beast of the Reeds, that herd of bulls, that people of calves…oh God, scatter the people who delight in war…Yahweh has leaned down from the heights of his sanctuary, has looked down from heaven to earth to listen to the sighing of the captive, and set free those condemned to death…Listen, God, to my voice as I plead, protect my life from fear of the enemy; hide me from the league of the wicked, from the gang of evil-doers. They sharpen their tongues like a sword, aim their arrow of poisonous abuse…They support each other in their evil designs, they discuss how to lay their snares. “Who will see us?” they say. He will do that, he who penetrates human nature to its depths, the depths of the heart…Break into song for my God, to the tambourine, sing in honor of the Lord, to the cymbal, let psalm and canticle mingle for him, extol his name, invoke it…For the Lord is a God who breaks battle-lines! … Lord, you are great, you are glorious, wonderfully strong, unconquerable. 

We look at the people around us, our day workers who are all here as if suspended, stunned: “They’ve decided to attack us.” Today we went to Tartous…we felt the anger, the helplessness, the inability to formulate a sense to all this: the people trying their best to work and to live normally. You see the farmers watering their land, parents buying notebooks for the schools that are about to begin, unknowing children asking for a toy or an ice cream…you see the poor, so many of them, trying to scrape together a few coins. 

The streets are full of the “inner” refugees of Syria, who have come from all over to the only area left that is still relatively liveable…. You see the beauty of these hills, the smile on people’s faces, the good-natured gaze of a boy who is about to join the army and gives us the two or three peanuts he has in his pocket as a token of “togetherness”…. And then you remember that they have decided to bomb us tomorrow. … Just like that. Because “it’s time to do something,” as it is worded in the statements of the important men, who will be sipping their tea tomorrow as they watch TV to see how effective their humanitarian intervention will be….

Will they make us breathe the toxic gases of the depots they hit, tomorrow, so as to punish us for the gases we have already breathed in?

The people are straining their eyes and ears in front of the television: all they’re waiting for is a word from Obama!

A word from Obama? Will the Nobel Peace Prize winner drop his sentence of war onto us? Despite all justice, all common sense, all mercy, all humility, all wisdom?

The Pope has spoken up, patriarchs and bishops have spoken up, numberless witnesses have spoken up, analysts and people of experience have spoken up, even the opponents of the regime have spoken up…. Yet here we all are, waiting for just one word from the great Obama? And if it weren’t him, it would be someone else. It isn’t he who is “the great one,” it is the Evil One who these days is really acting up.

The problem is that it has become too easy to pass lies off as noble gestures, to pass ruthless self-interest off as a search for justice, to pass the need to appear [strong] and to wield power off as a “moral responsibility not to look away…”

And despite all our globalizations and sources of information, it seems nothing can be verified. It seems that there is no such thing as a minimal scrap of truth … That is, they don’t want there to be any truth; while actually a truth does exist, and anyone honest would be able to find it, if they truly sought it out together, if they weren’t prevented by those who are in the service of other interests.

There is something wrong, and it is something very serious…because the consequences will be wrought on the lives of an entire population…it is in the blood that fills our streets, our eyes, our hearts.

Yet what use are words anymore? All has been destroyed: a nation destroyed, generations of young people exterminated, children growing up wielding weapons, women winding up alone and targeted by various types of violence…families, traditions, homes, religious buildings, monuments that tell and preserve history and therefore the roots of a people…all destroyed. …

As Christians we can at least offer all this up to the mercy of God, unite it to the blood of Christ, which carries out the redemption of the world in all those who suffer.

They are trying to kill hope, but we must hold on to it with all our might.

To those who truly have a heart for Syria (for mankind, for truth…) we ask for prayer…abounding, heartfelt, courageous prayer.

The Trappist nuns from Azeir, Syria
August 29, 2013 


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cardinal George Stands on Principle


July 31, 2013
CatholicLeague.org

Bill Donohue defends Francis Cardinal George:

  Everyone knows that the Catholic Church has a long and proud history of immigrant outreach. Everyone knows that the Catholic Church, like virtually every religion in the history of the world, believes marriage should be confined to one man and one woman. It should come as no surprise, then, that Catholics who financially support pro-immigrant organizations expect that their contribution will not fund entities that reject Church teachings on marriage.

The Chicago Archbishop, Francis Cardinal George, made a principled decision not to funnel funds, via the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), to the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, a pro-gay marriage institution. This has led to an uproar among some in Chicago. Their angst is contrived.

As Cardinal George said in his open letter of July 29, organizations that apply for CCHD funding do so knowing that they are expected to respect Church teachings. No one forces them to apply; they are free to secure funds elsewhere. But when they violate their agreement, and are called out for doing so, they should not pretend to be victims.

Mark Brown, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, writes today that all along he has said that “it’s a mistake for the church to use the grants to punish organizations that it knows to be doing good work in the community....” So when an organization applies for funding, and is then denied because it violated an agreement that it voluntarily entered into, it is being punished for doing so. Amazing logic. Hope any handyman who enters into an agreement with Brown knows about his moral compass.

If Cardinal George denied funding to a pro-immigrant organization that was aligned with racist or anti-Semitic causes, he would be heralded as a champion of human rights. But because the issue is gay marriage, he is condemned. The politics are so transparent that it’s making a joke of those promoting it.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Modern Day Suffering Servant of God

After beatings, imprisoned pastor finally receives medical care

By Adelaide Mena


Imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini. Credit: American Center for Law and Justice.
Related news:

Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran for over 300 days, has at last received long-awaited medical care after suffering numerous beatings in captivity.

“Thank you to all of the individuals who have prayed, written letters, signed petitions, called government officials, run benefit races, tweeted, and shared Saeed’s story,” said the pastor’s wife, Naghmeh Abedini, in a press release.
“Thank you to all the government officials from around the world who have stood for my husband. Iran has listened to your pleas.”

Pastor Saeed is an Iranian-born United States citizen, and is currently serving an eight-year sentence in Evin Prison in Iran on charges of threatening national security for earlier pastoral work in Iran. Human rights organizations and Christian activists, however, have contended that he is being held because of his Christian beliefs.

Abedini, who was raised Muslim, converted to Christianity in 2000, and, after his marriage to Naghmeh, an American citizen, gained U.S. citizenship in 2010.

Previously, Abedini worked with house churches throughout Iran until he stopped his work with religious organizations in the country at the government’s request. Since 2009, Pastor Saeed has worked exclusively with non-religious orphanages in the country. He was arrested in the fall of 2012 during a visit to one of these orphanages.

While in prison, Abedini has suffered beatings, and sustained a number of internal and external injuries. He has been sent to the hospital on two occasions, however on both visits, he returned to prison with no treatment for his injuries.
According to the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents his wife, Abedini was taken to a hospital again on July 20, and “for the first time, he was examined by a physician and prescribed  medication for  injuries he sustained from the beatings he endured by prison guards.”

“While I am encouraged that Saeed is finally getting medical care, the fight is not yet over,” said Naghmeh Abedini of her husband’s treatment.

“It has been a difficult 300 days – 300 days of torment simply because Saeed loves Jesus Christ. I am hopeful Iran will do the just and honorable thing and release Saeed.”


Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=8111#ixzz2aNgxltd0