English: Coat of arms of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Stylized version of Arabic script of Allah (الله, with the central lam shaped to look like a sword.) Deutsch: Wappen der Islamischen Republik Iran Македонски: Грб на Исламската Република Иран (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney is calling for the faith community to stop and pray for several minutes, wherever they are in the world, for the release of Pastor Saeed and the persecuted church.
This worldwide prayer event will take place on Saturday, October 5, at 11:00 A.M. EST.
Rev. Mahoney will be leading the prayer at the Iranian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey where he has been the past week.
He has meet with Iranian officials several times in hopes of getting into Iran and meeting face to face with President Rouhani.
Rev. Mahoney has received assurances from Embassy officials that a letter he wrote to President Rouhani would be personally delievered to him. Below is a copy of that letter.
Letter to President Rouhani
Dear President Rouhani,
Grace and peace from the Lord God Almighty. My hope and prayer is that I will be able to meet face to face with you and members of your Administration to discuss ways in which the Christian faith community in America can have a more open dialogue with the Muslim faith community in Iran.
of faith transcends government and politics and reaches to the very core of pressing issues facing both our nations and the world in which we live. God, who is sovereign over all, is the only one who can bring healing and peace into the very difficult issues that are before us.
As a Christian cleric, I have worked for years in America and around the world building bridges to my Islamic neighbors and friends
. Some of my work includes: being invited by Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to Baghdad as I led a Christian delegation to pray for that country, meeting with Rev. Terry Jones and convincing him not to burn 230 Qurans and having them turned them over to me for safety, traveling to Morocco by invitation of the King to help moderate discussion between Christians and Muslims in that country and ensuring that the right of America Muslims were protected when they sought to have an event at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
My Christian faith tradition teaches that we are to reach out in love and mercy to all mankind and build strong and open relationships. Jesus teaches that we are, “to love our neighbor as ourselves.” He does not say we are only to show love and mercy to our Christian neighbors
The teachings of Islam also say much about mercy as the Quran states, “The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Show mercy to those on earth, and He Who is in heaven will show mercy unto you.”
President Rouhani, I have traveled thousands of miles to Turkey at my expense, with hopes of getting into Iran, on a “Mission of Mercy” to discuss the imprisonment of Pastor Saeed Abedini. As you know, Pastor Saeed was sentenced to 8 years in an Iranian prison
. His situation has drawn international media and press attention.
Although I have strong feelings on this subject, I have not come to Iran to discuss the specific allegations and facts regarding Saeed’s case. It is my sense that we can have an open conversation on this matter at a later time. I have also not to come to Iran to lecture your country and officials with respect to what they must do.
Rather Mr. President, I have come as a humble servant of God asking that you show Saeed, his wife and two children mercy.
He has been separated from his wife, Naghmeh his son and daughter for one year. Being in prison, it is has been impossible for him to see his family, celebrate their birthdays, hold them in his arms and provide for them as a husband and a father. President Rouhank as a faith leader, I respect how much Islam cherishes family, and I would prayerfully ask that you would extend God’s love and mercy to Saeed and allow him to return to America and be united with his family.
The significance and impact of this action would be more powerful than words could ever express. First, it would demonstrate to other faith traditions around the world that Muslims embrace mercy and forgiveness. It would also be a powerful step in building a bridge between the Islamic community in Iran with the Christian community in America.
President Rouhani, you have recently said that Iran is interested in establishing better relationships with their global neighbors. I can hardly think of a better way of showing the sincerity of those words than by releasing Pastor Saeed from prison. It would have a powerful “ripple effect” of goodwill around the world.
My hope and prayer is that I would be able to fly back to America with Saeed and see him reunited with his precious family. I want to make it clear I am not coming to Iran as a “representative” or “agent” of the United States government. I am simply coming as a follower of God and faith leader, speaking to another faith leader, and asking that mercy be extended in this situation.
God gives us moments and times in which we can capture the attention of the world and share a positive message of healing and hope. President Rouhani, with the entire world watching, I believe this is such a moment.
I pray that I will be able to meet with you and members of your Administration and that Saeed will soon be released. I look forward to hearing back from you and I look forward to a prosperous and lasting friendship. God is gracious and kind and His mercies extend to the heavens.
In God’s love,
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney
Director of the Christian Defense Coalition