Christian Leader Flies to Turkey/Iran Today on Rescue Mission to Secure the Release of Pastor Saeed
Contact: Rev. Patrick Mahoney, 540-538-4741; Katie Mahoney, 540-538-4747
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2013 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Rev. Patrick Mahoney will be available for interviews today, Sunday, September 29, until 4:00 P.M. EST. While in Turkey, Rev. Mahoney will meet with Iranian officials in attempt to secure a meeting in Tehran with President Rouhani and Iranian government leaders to discuss Pastor Saeed.
Posted below is letter to President Rouhani.
Rev. Mahoney has a long history of building bridges to the Islamic community in America and around the world. Some of his work includes: flying to Florida and talking Pastor Terry Jones out of burning 230 Korans, being invited by Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki as he led a Christian prayer delegation to Baghdad, being invited to Morocco to meet with government leaders to discuss building better relationships between Christians and Muslims, helping ensure the rights of Muslims were not violated when they wanted to have an event on the lawn of the Capitol and recently praying with Syrian leaders for peace at their Washington, D.C. Embassy.
Rev. Mahoney comments:
"Around the world, every person should be afforded the right to express their faith traditions free from government persecution, harassment and intimidation. No one should have to suffer violence or brutality because of what they believe.
"I am flying to Turkey/Iran in hopes of securing the release of Pastor Saeed who is serving an 8 years prison sentence because of his Christian beliefs.
"I will be appealing to the new Iranian leadership which has expressed a desire to have a more open and moderate attitude toward human rights and personal freedoms and work toward building better relationships with their global neighbors.
"On this historic mission, I will not be going as a representative of the United States government, but rather as a faith leader sharing the heart of Christ and calling upon Iran's leaders to show compassion and mercy and allow Saeed to return to his family in America.
"The power of faith transcends governments and leaders and can transform nations and societies. If I have the opportunity to meet with President Rouhani, I will not be speaking to him on a political level but rather as one faith leader to another."
For more information or interviews call:
Rev. Patrick Mahoney at: 540.538.4741 Katie Mahoney: 540.538.4747
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.
The power 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