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Saturday, February 1, 2014

"How deep the deception!"

"We have allowed politics, position and power, 
 to rule our hearts instead of mercy.
 How deep the deception......."

In December of 2013, Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Saeed Abedini, currently in prison in Iran, testified before a special congressional committee in Washington and sadly declared, "I feel abandoned by my own government!" 
Just one month earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iran's foreign Minister Zarif in Geneva including several other nations and together they reached an agreement that would freeze part of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for a relief in the sanctions.
 Amidst all of the political haggling back and forth and the constant attention paid to the media for "photo ops," both sides failed to address the more important issue, the forgotten and neglected issue of human rights. Saeed Abedini's name was not brought up once. Kerry failed to confront Iran and make Saeed's release as a "pre-condition" to any further discussions of the nuclear issue. Instead, Iran was promised a relief to any further sanctions and we shook hands with a nation that promotes terrorism and hates Israel.

"How deep the deception!

The Obama Administration has allowed politics, position and power to rule its hearts instead of mercy!
They have turned their backs on Saeed and the thousands of political prisoners in Iran fighting desperately for their lives every day! Since Rouhani took office last year, as the new president of Iran, more than 500 executions have been carried out! Before Rouhani took office, there was maybe 10 executions a month. Now there is more than 25 executions a day! That is astronomical!
Shiva Mahbobi, spokesperson for CFPPI (Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran) in a recent meeting with European delegates, sadly explained that the Iranian Regime deliberately deprives prisoners of any medical supplies and then forces their families to pay for the cost of medication that they never receive! Many of the political prisoners are suffering from untreated diabetic and heart conditions and will eventually die unless they receive immediate medical treatment.
Recently Saeed Abedini was evaluated for his internal bleeding by a doctor who recommended surgery to treat his condition, but the Iranian Regime refuses to come to his aid.

"We can no longer stand by and be silent!"

I woke up this morning to a picture that horrified me and broke my heart. It was a picture of a young Iranian filming an execution on his cell phone in Qazvin. A crowd of people stood by and watched in despair as a lifeless man hung high above the earth at the end of a boom crane! 
Iran is a culture of death, a culture that forbids the exercise of human rights, a culture that prohibits free speech and any disagreements with their government. We sit down across the table with a government who is systematically on a daily basis, committing a slow genocide, a cleansing of political prisoners who dare to speak a word of disagreement. We reach across and shake hands with a government that wants to destroy Israel and wipe them off of the face of the map!
We can no longer stand by and watch and be silent! We have a responsibility to the citizens of Iran to show mercy and compassion. Our silence is an endorsement that what they are doing everyday is acceptable! We have exchanged nuclear rights for human rights!
One one occasion, Jesus was asked by an expert in religious law, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
 Jesus quickly responded, "You must love the lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your strength and all of your mind and, love your neighbor as yourself." The teacher was perplexed and asked, "Who is my neighbor?"
 Jesus then told the story, a famous parable of the Good Samaritan. He  explained that a Jewish man from Jericho was attacked by robbers and left for dead. A priest came along and saw the man but crossed to the other side of the road. A temple assistant walked over and observed the wounded man but instead of helping him went on his way. However a despised Samaritan arrived on the scene and was moved with compassion. He put the man on his donkey and took him to a local inn and paid the innkeeper to take care of him.
Jesus then gazed into the teachers eyes and posed the important question, "Which of
 the three would you say was a neighbor to this man?"
 The teacher replied, "The one who showed mercy!"
Jesus commended the teacher for his excellent answer and admonished him to "go and do the same."

 "The one who showed mercy!"
That is the correct answer. The teacher was right! Mercy rather politics! How deep the deception. If we claim to love Jesus than we must love Iranians or else our claim is bogus!
Political prisoners are suffering everyday in deplorable conditions, crying out for mercy!
Like the Good Samaritan, we must respond with compassion and mercy. We must speak out, sign petitions and pray for these hopeless prisoners.
God desires our mercy rather than our politics.

"He has shown you O man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly before your God."
                                   (Micah 6:8)