Mar 25 2013
Letter from Saeed Abedini

"Here's a letter from a fellow Air1 listener, Saeed Abedini, of Boise, Idaho. He was able to give it to family visiting him in Evin Prison, in Teheran, Iran.  It was written on the margins of a ripped-up newspaper, remarkably. 

We can't all relate to being in Evin Prison, or being beaten, or being denied medicine because we are "unclean".  But we can relate to the struggle to forgive." ~ Brant


A letter from Saeed Abedini to his wife, Naghmeh Received March 21, 2013

Hello to my dear love and wife,

When I saw my family for the first time behind the glass walls, I could see my mom four meters away. As she approached me and saw my face, she broke down and could not get closer. She was crying. I understood what she felt because after weeks of being in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, I also got to see my face in the mirror of an elevator that was taking me to the prison hospital. I said hi to the person staring back at me because I did not recognize myself. My hair was shaven, under my eyes were swollen three times what they should have been, my face was swollen, and my beard had grown.

It was a few days ago when one of my family members, with weary eyes and after running around for 15 weeks in trying to get me out of prison, said that my dad says every single day that “this week I will get my son out of prison.” But this does not happen and he is not able to get me out of prison. In that instant I looked into the wrinkled and tired eyes of my dad. I could clearly see that he had ran around for months and he had no more strength left in him. It was very hard seeing my family in such a situation.

You, my wife, on the other side of the world, alone with the kids. Alone and worried. My family here in Iran, being interrogated, tired and under so much pressure.

With the loud voice of the prison guard, our visitation had ended and they put covers over our eyes and we returned to the dark room void of any natural sunlight.

I started praying for my family. My dear Naghmeh. You are the love of my life. I am always in love with you.

Dear Naghmeh, I have been stung so many times that I have become full of poison. This is an Iranian saying. A lot of people say that they have been stung by so many people that their whole being is full of poison like a poisonous snake. It

means that we have been bitten by the snakes of this world so many times that, that all of the poison has collected in us and that we are like the poisonous snake. But if we sting anyone, we will die. This Iranian saying is full of spirit of revenge and unforgiveness and every time I would hear this in Iran, I would get very sick hearing it.

A few days ago they brought a young war veteran who was disabled in 80% of his body in my cell. He had been put in solitary confinement with his horrific condition. And this had made him very mad and he kept saying “why did they do this to me? I gave my whole life for their sake. See what they have done to me!!!” And when he would get very mad he would say “I will take my revenge!”

I spoke to this young man until 4 in the morning. I spent time with him and spoke to him to forgive. When we don’t forgive, we drink the poison ourselves and then wait for the other person to die. And we take the knife that has hurt us and we stab ourselves with it again! And this is the will of the evil one who wants to destroy us.

But when we forgive, we pour out the poison of the enemy and of the devil and we don’t let the poison stay in us and we don’t let the poison make us into poisonous snakes! So that we don’t become like the person we despised and who persecuted and tortured us.

Maybe you ask, what is the secret of being so happy in such a hard situation?

Forgiveness and a change of attitude. When we forgive, we become free and we become messengers of peace and reconciliation and goodness. And whoever stings us, we can take into our embrace and love them. And in this dark and evil time, we can live full of love and full of peace and full of joy and shine like the stars! Glory be to His Name.

I forgave the prison doctor who did not listen to me and did not give me the medication that I needed. I forgave the interrogator who beat me. Every day when I would see the interrogator and for the last time when I saw him, I forgave him. I smiled at him and with respect shook his hand and I said my goodbye. The minute I forgave them and loved them, that second I was filled with unspeakable

joy. I saw in the eyes of the interrogator that he had come to respect me and as he was leaving, he could not look behind him. Love is as strong as death.

We have to get rid of the poison in our body because if we don’t, we will die. We have to get rid of both poisons; first the poison of the snake that bit us and also the poison in us that was created by that bite. We can get rid of the first poison by forgiveness and we can get rid of the second poison by humility, by dying to ourselves, and allowing the band-­‐aid of love and goodness to replace the empty place of the wound. So that we are not a tool of darkness and revenge, but that we can be light and love and a vessel of forgiveness and we can be transformed in the process.

Surely you have someone in your family, city, work or environment that have become like poisonous snake who have bitten you and tried to make you poisonous. So, forgive them and use the antidote of love and be Victorious!

One of the chances of forgiveness came when I was blindfolded and a guard was holding my hand guiding me. He asked “what are you here for? What is your crime?” I said “I am Christian Pastor.” All of the sudden he let go of my hand and said “so you are unclean! I will tell others not to defile themselves by touching you!” He would tell others not to get close to me. It really broke my heart. The nurse would also come to take care of us and provide us with treatment, but she said in front of others “in our religion we are not suppose to touch you, you are unclean. Baha’i (religion) and Christians are unclean!” She did not treat me and that night I could not sleep from the intense pain I had. According to the doctor’s instructions, they would not give me the pain medication that they would give other prisoners because I was unclean.

I could not fall sleep one night due to the pain when all of a sudden I could hear the sound of dirty sewer rats with their loud noises and screeches. It was around 4 in the morning. It sounded like laughter in a way.

Even though many would call me unclean and filthy and would not even want to pass by me and they had abandoned me and they were disgusted to touch me because they were afraid that they would also become unclean, but I knew that in the eyes of Jesus Christ, and in the eyes of my brothers and sisters, I am like the sewer rat, beautiful and loveable – not disgusting and unclean – and like the rats I

can scream with joy within those prison walls and worship my Lord in joy and strength.

The Joy of the Lord is my strength. Amen.


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Comments (33) -

3/25/2013 2:23:49 PM
Sharlynne United States
God is there with you Saeed. You are the light in that dark prison. God put you there because He knew that you would be the mighty person of faith that he needed. We will continue to pray for you and your family until you are back home. God Bless you Saeed.
3/25/2013 2:39:30 PM
Marilou Spencer United States
Marilou Spencer
To those prison guards,doctors,nurses. I don't know what GOD are you ALL worshipping, LUCIFER??? Isn't it JESUS touched and FORGIVED MARY MAGDALINE ??? who are all of you to cast that stone on Saeed????
3/25/2013 3:17:10 PM
Janice Coyle United States
Janice Coyle
You are the LIGHT in that dark prison, Keep the Faith we are all praying for you and your family.
Tomorrow is Jesus' resurection will pray for you and let the congretation know about you to pray with them. God Bless Saeed!
3/25/2013 3:30:01 PM
Mark Stanford United States
Mark Stanford
Our God is a loving and forgiving God. No matter what you think your sin is. I like the saying "Doon't judge me for my sins, I am too busy judging my own to judge yours." I believe it's as simple as when you say you believe and accept Jesus as the savior. Nobody can take that away from you. God knew every move you would make from before you were born. He forgave you the day you said yes to Jesus. That can never be retracted. We will always continue to sin because we "all fall short of the Glory of God". I hated many things about myself until a certain radio host who I'll leave nameless, took time out of his day to meet me for coffee and explain some of these issues that I've struggled with for years and years. Thank God for forgiveness, and thank God for Christian radio hosts that go the extra mile and help a struggling Christian. They will get their rewards in Heaven. Never give up Saeed, I am a nurse and I see and get what I believe to be opportunities everyday to practice what I was taught. Never give up. Never give up. Always pray because it will always be heard. You will see your rewards in Heaven also. FAITH !!!

God Bless.
3/25/2013 3:33:41 PM
Julie United States
I am so humbled to read what you wrote, Saeed.  My world has nothing of the tortures that you speak of, but the "pains" of normal life and family issues.  Thank you for speaking about forgiveness.   This is a lesson that I have been asking God to help me with.  
I am blessed to read your writing about forgiveness, and unforgiveness being like the venom of that snake.

May God Almighty, our Alpha and Omega, continue to give you strength.   This is temporary; this is not our home.  Shine brightly while you can; love while you can.  May we all serve our God with love and forgiveness the way you have demonstrated.
God Bless you.  God bless Naghmeh.   God bless your children.   God IS with them.
3/25/2013 3:35:43 PM
Jen Allen United States
Jen Allen
Dear Brother Saeed,  as Paul was, so are you - Light in a dark place.  I don't think you will know, this side of Eternity, the difference you are making for the Kingdom of Heaven.  We continually pray for you, for your family and for those in the darkness in Evin Prison to come to know the One True God through your testimony of suffering. We pray for your quick release and for you to be reunited with your wife, children and the rest of your family.  May the Lord protect you in all ways, Saeed.  You are not forgotten, nor foresaken - He is always with you.
3/25/2013 3:57:14 PM
mary diaz United States
mary diaz
Prayers for your strength and your safe return home and comfort for your family. God bless
3/25/2013 4:05:19 PM
Aaron Fl Canada
Aaron Fl
I sit here humbled and in tears.. the faith I have... makes me pray harder for you... Be it Gods will and blessing for you.

Romans 12:14-21
King James Version (KJV)
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
3/25/2013 4:11:42 PM
julia United States
God Bless & Godspeed
3/25/2013 4:16:13 PM
Sheri United States
God is right there with you Saeed! You are not alone! Think if your beautiful wife and children! Think if the day you will return to them. Remember all the good that has happened in your life! Hold on to these while you are in there! Brother, Jesus is real and He is clearly speaking to your heart! You are coping with this horrific punishment! You did nothing wrong brother!!! We love you and are praying for you every day! God bless you Saeed!
3/25/2013 4:42:00 PM
Kristen Wallace United States
Kristen Wallace
Wow. So touching to hear how he can be so helpful to that veteran and not have any hate in his heart. That is incredible. My family and I pray for you and your family, and the government. I know you will be greatly rewarded in heaven;
Matthew 5:11
11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you[c] and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
3/25/2013 4:46:31 PM
Nathan Halberstadt United States
Nathan Halberstadt
so inspiring...he's a great man.
3/25/2013 4:51:52 PM
crystal girard United States
crystal girard
Frown My Heart Cries Ugh
3/25/2013 5:08:11 PM
nicole United States
Jesus is with you Saeed!! Remember you have millions who would wipe away your tears and cure your pain!!! God loves you...
3/25/2013 5:09:04 PM
Christine Cerda United States
Christine Cerda
this letter humbles me. How many petty thoughts and fustrations do we carry over such silly injustices we think that are done to us. Even if we don't act out on it or voice our inner thoughts they are like this poisen. I am not even suffering the things you are yet your strenth and goodness and christ like gestures, make me want to change how I am. you remind me so much of Paul in the bibble. My prayers are with you and will increase in frequency of them.
3/25/2013 5:26:04 PM
Stanla United States
The message of Holy Week resonates through this message. May God bless Saeed and bring him home to his family. This story touches my heart and I pray that Saeed's pain will be relieved soon and he will find favor in the eyes of his captors.
3/25/2013 5:26:33 PM
Vi Riek United States
Vi Riek
May the joy and peace of God continue to give you strength and open the doors that your guards may see Jesus in you. Isaiah 40-31 tells us that those who wait upon the Lord will mount up with wings as eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint. May this scripture sustain you until you are freed. Will continue to pray for that to happen soon and for you to be reunited with your loved ones.

3/25/2013 6:36:42 PM
Patricia United States
Praise God from whom all of our blessings flow,I praise God for our modern day Paul,Pastor Saeed!! What an awesome Testimony!!
3/25/2013 7:16:45 PM
Paula OBrien United States
Paula OBrien
What a testament of strength and faith! I pray for you, Saeed, and your family, daily, so that the plan God has in store for you may happen, but also for comfort and peace within. Please, stay strong in the knowledge that God has you in His arms and loves you when others don't.
3/25/2013 7:34:14 PM
Carrie Giffoni United States
Carrie Giffoni
God bless you for the courage that you have shown during your imprisonment!  I can't imagine the terrors you are going through!  I have been writing poetry for years and a few came to mind when I heard about what you are enduring at this time.  I want to share them with you...


Your will, not mine, dear Father
Should be by constant goal.
If I don't fight for your glory
My life can never be whole.

Give me the strength dear God
Through the Spirit you've given to me..
Help me fight my battles
In my struggle to be free.

When I am so weary and tired
Renew me with your pure light...
Dress me with your strong armor
Through these long and painful nights!

I pray that I'll always remember
That this life may seem long to me
But it is so short
Compared to Eternity.

3/25/2013 8:31:44 PM
Dalton Edmonds United States
Dalton Edmonds
Wow.  That is all I can say.  Some days I forget just how blessed I am to live in the US.  
3/25/2013 8:50:30 PM
Alesia Pennington United States
Alesia Pennington
As fellow believers let's unite in prayer so that God's will can be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  Let's pray that the walls will shake and the doors will open and that people will be saved.  Let's pray that our brother Saeed will be free and that God will get the Glory
God is with you Saeed.
Acts 16:26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

3/26/2013 3:40:35 AM
Karen Brightwell United States
Karen Brightwell
I agree with Alesia that according to God's holy word Acts 16 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone's chains came loose.
Father God I pray for this man , that you would encourage him, bring the Word to his remembrance as comfort in these times. That you would heal his body and set him free, in Jesus name! amen.
3/26/2013 4:29:21 AM
rick summerton United States
rick summerton
first of all i would like to say how strong and amazing your faith is. it would be so easy to just give in to the powers of your tortures but yet you have not. i would also like you say that you have many followers praying for your release from a prison that you truly do not belong in. your passion is strong and has set many examples of humbleness. for that i say thank you.
3/26/2013 4:46:37 AM
Dan Sprague United States
Dan Sprague
May God release you from prison this day, just as God released Peter from that prison many years ago. The prayers of the saints are rising to God in increasing numbers to ask the Lord Almighty, who is strong to save, to release you, pastor Saeed from prison this day and return you safely and in good health to your beautiful family.
3/26/2013 5:09:38 AM
jim carroll United States
jim carroll
i know when i am aggravated, and done wrong, when i hold the gruge inside me it tears me up, then i forgive, and as he stated i not only feel great, the person i forgaved has questions, and scratched his head, i have been topld not to send emails out to my co workers anymore, on what GOD has done for me in my life, no encourgaging words, nothing, i have been doing this for nearly ten years, the sad thing about it is i work at a Christian school, my boss told me i am not allowed to do this, i heard of your story on Air One,  forgiving is only way, bibe say  7 times 70, GOD forgives us all time and we mess up all time, i will pray for you, your wife, family, people you come in contact with, when i accepted the Lord as my Saviour first verse i received was Phil 4;13, GOD is carrying you now, as the saying goes, one set prints in the sand, where are you lord why did you leave me, i did not leave you i am carrying you, prayerws and thought with you Jim Carroll  GO RAIDERS
3/26/2013 7:17:38 AM
Elias Fakhoury United States
Elias Fakhoury

As you already know our God is an awesome God. You will get out, you will see your kids, and most of all you will see your wife. Your strength is extremely amazing and humbling. You are a Christ fearing man and I commend you for that. You have inspired so many people with your love of Jesus. You didn't deny him and you went to prison.... that will never make sense to me, ever.
Best of luck my friend, God bless you and may he give your wife strength.
3/26/2013 8:04:30 AM
Julie United States
here was I feeling sorry for my self because money is tight, and then to read this amazing letter from Pastor SAEED. What an incredible man of God you are dear brother, tears are flowing as I think of you in that terrible place. Jesus is with you, and those around you are blessed to be near you. Do not worry about your family God, sees them and their needs too, He will watch over them as you know He watches over you. Your forgiveness and humility astound me, I am speechless, You are Gods precious child, He sees and hears and knows all that they are doing to you and His heart is bleeding for them too in their lost state. Hold on dear brother He is near and will not forget you.I will pray and pray until you are set free.
3/26/2013 8:39:11 AM
Schlaegel United States
"Surely you have someone in your family, city, work or environment that have become like poisonous snake who have bitten you and tried to make you poisonous. So, forgive them and use the antidote of love and be Victorious!"
This seems quite out of place in a letter to his wife. I wonder if the wife has confirmed this letter, or if it possibly is a hoax.
3/26/2013 8:42:56 AM
Danielle United States
You are loved by God, by Jesus and by every Christian in this confused world! We love you and are praying for you!
3/26/2013 11:57:20 AM
Eimi Middlekauff United States
Eimi Middlekauff
May your story touch the lives of the world! I am so sad that OUR country is not doing more!  You are from here.. this is so so shameful that someone in high authority is ignoring your plea. But God sees you, He knows where you are and when you will be released.  I pray his miraculous protection until that day comes!
4/4/2013 12:41:53 PM
Margaret Womble United States
Margaret Womble
God bless you and all you touch-me included!Nothing is in vain when we trust in God!
4/7/2013 8:52:17 PM
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