Saeed Abedini remains detained in the Iranian prison system, serving an 8-year prison sentence after being arrested in 2012 on charges that he was evangelizing in the Islamic republic.
But despite being hospitalized and in bad physical shape, Abedini penned a touching Easter letter, commemorating Jesus' death and delivering a pointed message to his fellow Christians.
Abedini's sufferings have been well documented. He has sustained physical abuse, hasn't seen his wife and children in nearly two years and has little hope of freedom on the horizon, yet rather than focus on his own plight the letter affirmed his belief in humanity's need for Jesus Christ.
Saeed Abedini and his wife Naghmeh (ACLJ)
"On the Eve of Good Friday and Easter I was praying from my hospital room for my fellow Christians in the world," he wrote. "What the Holy Spirit revealed to me in prayer was that there are many dead faiths in the midst of Christians today."
Abedini continued, "Some times we want to experience the Glory and resurrection with Jesus without experiencing death with Him. We do not realize that unless we pass through the path of death with Christ, we are not able to experience resurrection with Christ."
He encouraged Christians to remember the need to embrace Christ in order to reach personal success. Instead of focusing on only what people want for themselves, he said individuals should, instead, do what God wants of them.
"In conclusion, let us resurrect our Dead faiths to living faiths by first dying to our selfish 'resurrected' self and experiencing the cross of Jesus," he continued. "Then we are able to experience the Glorious resurrection with Christ."
Pastor Saeed Abedini (ACLJ)
Read the letter in its entirety.
Abedini, a Christian pastor who has American citizenship but was born in Iran, has experienced ongoing pain in his stomach area — an ailment and undefined injury that the group says resulted from repeated prison beatings at the hands of Iranian officials.
TheBlaze has highlighted the pastor’s plight over the past year and a half, including barbaric treatment and horrific abuse he has reportedly endured in prison as a result of his Christian faith.
He was first arrested in 2012 on charges stemming from meetings he had with other Christians inside private homes — an act that is not illegal in Iran.