Think about how long Pastor Saeed Abedini’s family has been crying out for his freedom. Over two years separated from their husband and father! How can this be for a man who is a United States citizen and has committed no crime?
The Bible tells us that freedom is at the core of our faith: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).
Freedom is worth everything. Just ask anyone who is not free. Today, on Day Fourteen of our 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed, let’s take a few minutes to reflect on what it means to worship freely.
Today is Martin Luther King Day. I’m reminded of our God-given, right to be free. Dr. King died defending the right of our African American brothers and sisters, along with those of all races and backgrounds, to enjoy the full spectrum of human rights promised by the Founding Fathers. These inalienable rights, as they called them, were endowed by our Creator. The rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” They include the freedom to worship as we choose. Perhaps we don’t share the same faith, but I will defend your right to worship freely.
The cry for freedom is always the same. For all people. Everywhere. I once had a conversation with an African leader from a country where Christians have been fiercely persecuted. A Christian himself, he had fought hard, long years for his nation’s freedom. “All we want is for the people in this nation to have the freedom to worship as they please,” he said, “whether Christian, Muslim, or even tribal ancestor worship.” He added, “I may not agree with what they believe, but I will die for their right to worship freely.” Then he paused for a minute and spoke the following words as if hearing them for the first time: “All we want…is liberty and justice for all.”
Pastor Saeed is in prison simply because he is a Christian. He has violated no laws, committed no crime. This man has been unjustly mistreated and even tortured for his faith. He is not alone. Many others around the world are being denied their rights and imprisoned for their faith. Saeed is the face of all people who are unjustly deprived of liberty and justice. We fast and pray for his soon release.
Today, let us cry out with one voice for freedom. Let Saeed go!