Iran (MNN) -- An Iranian/American pastor is facing some troubling days ahead. According to the American Center of Law and Justice, Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith, is being moved from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, which is even more dangerous.
According to the ACJL, Pastor Saeed faces life-threatening conditions and treatment there.
President of Open Doors USA David Curry says while this looks bleak, there is good news. "From that fact, we can gather that the Iranians are listening and paying attention to the advocacy from the United States."
The ACLJ reports Pastor Saeed's family members went to visit him at Evin Prison Monday, only to be notified that he had been moved a half hour away to Karaj.
The transfer comes as Iranians took to the streets to mark the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979. The protests are a bit surprising, especially since many young people are disenfranchised with the current radical Islamic government.
Curry agrees. "There's a growing need there and a growing desire amongst these younger generations in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries to see freedom come. That's certainly what we're praying for."
In 2005, Loes Bijnen, a Dutch Diplomat from the embassy in Tehran, described Rajai Shahr prison:
"Rajai Shahr is the place where political prisoners who are seen as a nuisance, are stowed away. Going to Karaj is a severe punishment. Once in there, one stops to be a human being. One is put out of sight, even of human rights activists and the press. In Raja Shahr, political prisoners have to share cells with dangerous criminals like murderers, rapists, and drug addicts who don't hesitate to attack their cell mates. They have nothing to lose: many of them are condemned to death anyway. Murders or unexplained deaths are a regular occurrence."
Curry is encouraging you to pray for Pastor Saeed and other Christians in the same situation. "There are 100 million people in countries around the world living in fear for the faith. Not because they're bad people, but because they call themselves believers. The western world is the exception."
Open Doors provides physical and spiritual support to these Christians. Curry is encouraging you to help them do that. "When you're giving to Open Doors, you're taking the most dangerous countries in the world to be a believer and you're being hope; you're bringing the Gospel; you're bringing the Word of God into those countries."
It's important. Curry says, "The percentage of believers in the Middle East has dropped to just over 4%, according to the Pew Research study. 100 years ago it was 20%. Christianity is being squeezed into extinction in the Middle East."
The ACLJ is asking you to help in another way. They would like you to sign a petition to encourage President Obama to make Pastor Saeed's release a top priority and support a critical resolution in the Senate calling for Pastor Saeed's release.
Send a message to President Obama today. Sign the petition to immediately intervene to save Saeed.
Guatemala (MNN) -- Are you fluent in English? Do you enjoy
teaching? Do you have a desire to serve the Lord?
A job opportunity from Operation Mobilization may be the fit for you.
OM has been working in Guatemala since 1990. They help
social ministries within Guatemala and provide training for evangelism and missions for
the national evangelical church. They emphasize discipleship training, evangelistic outreach, and
social help for needy people, as well as special training for students in schools.
National team members of OM Guatemala, as well as members from
other mission groups, could use your help learning English. OM would
like the English Teacher to start as soon as possible. The job commitment is for 1-2 years.
It is important for these missionaries to learn English
because it will help them expand their ministry and allow them to participate
more fully in the international work of OM.
The job will leave time to work in other areas of OM
Guatemala. The requirements for the position are as follows:
Strong personal relationship with Jesus
Self-motivated and willing to serve others
Fluent in English
Good teaching skills
Willingness to cooperate in the ministries of OM
Preferably able to speak Spanish, or willing to
Please note: Like all other jobs with OM, the position of
English Teacher is unpaid: finances for livelihood are to be provided through a
personal network of supporters.
Not only will you be helping other Christians make a
greater impact for Christ in Guatemala, but you will have the opportunity to
assist in ministries that spread the Gospel. To apply, click
If teaching in a foreign country is not for you, you can
still help. Pray that this English teacher would be found, that he or she would have
a heart for God and desire to make an impact in the world in Jesus' name. Pray
for God's continual guidance for OM. If you wish to give to the ministry, click here.
International (MNN) -- There's more to orality than an odd name. One Scriptures In Use worker says it fuels their outreach to women.
"It's not just something we add on to a plan," she states. "It's actually a whole strategy of how God is moving in a powerful way all across the world--especially in closed areas."
Why women? Women make up a majority of the world's 2.5 billion people who cannot read or write. They're also one of the most oppressed and impoverished people groups. By equipping female believers to carry the Gospel to these forgotten women, the hope of Christ shines brightly.
"We call them the 'Brave Women,'" says the worker. "They're like Shiphrah and Puah, one of the favorite stories among Muslim women. Those women were willing to stand against the very authorities of the land in order to obey God."
Evangelism carries a heavy price in some of the places SIU works.
"In many countries, to proselytize is instant death," the worker says. She gives Indonesia as an example, saying that many parts of this country operate under heavy Sharia law.
"They [believers] literally take their lives [into their hands] to do any kind of proselytizing of any of their Muslim friends or neighbors."
"[In] one particular country in Central Asia that's extremely closed to the Gospel," she continues, "the women aren't even allowed to carry Bibles."
In addition, Christian literature of any kind is strictly forbidden.
"Many of the women that have been in our classes have been arrested, have been jailed, have been fined up to 1 1/2 year's salary."
Despite the risk, many indigenous Christ-followers are using SIU training to share the Gospel with their fellow countrymen.
Through a program called Bridges for Women, SIU teaches oral strategies like storytelling, dance, and song to in-country Christians. Using what they've learned, believers then share the Gospel with unreached women in their communities.
"They memorize those stories, actually writing the Word of God on their heart," the worker explains. "They tell us all over the restricted countries of the world that no one can take this Bible away from them."
Last month in Malawi, 24 "grassroots" Christian trainers--leaders of widows' groups, volunteer groups, etc.--came together for SIU Bridges for Women training. Most work among non-literate people, and leaders weren't sure how to evangelize and disciple them.
However, by the end of SIU's training, each participant left encouraged and equipped for the Great Commission.
"It was some of the best Oral Arts reinforcing the core of the Scripture story that I have seen around the world," said SIU trainer Carla Bowman. "Their talent was unbelievable."
Read the full Malawi report here.
"An average oral learner can memorize a story within 45 minutes that might be anywhere from 6-8 verses long," the SIU worker adds. "They have to hear the complete story in its entirety maybe 4 or 5 times, and then they have the story memorized verbatim."
Depending on the location and number to be trained, each SIU workshop costs around $1,500. You can help by sponsoring a session.
Ask the Lord to open doors for women believers to reach the lost. Pray that governments in restricted nations will give people freedom to choose their religion.