Today is a good day. Five prisoners have been released by the Iranian government, and among them is Saeed Abedini. An Iranian native and convert to Christianity, Abedini was arrested in 2012 by the Iranian government during a trip to help build a state-run secular orphanage. How is such a deal successfully brokered? The Director of International Christian Response, a Swiss organization that advocates for the persecuted church and religious freedom, points out that success in such endeavors is the result of many people and agencies operating tirelessly behind the scenes, often for years at a time.

Though today’s release is significant, it is not the end of a single story; rather, it is the continuation of many lives that fit into a much larger picture. These five souls and their families will need much prayer and care as they heal from their lengthy incarceration and separation.

Keep in mind, too, that much of the global church still remains under unprecedented assault. Abedini was but one of many imprisoned around the globe, simply because they bear the name of Christ. The identities of religious prisoners often remain hidden for security purposes, but we can lend them our names, our voices and our freedom by (1) keeping their stories alive in our churches and on social media, (2) financially supporting organizations who work among the persecuted such as International Christian Response and (3) “remembering those who are in prison, as though in prison with them,” praying for their perseverance under hostile conditions.

Thanks to all who labor in prayer and action for global religious freedom. We persevere.
K.A. Ellis
Ambassador, International Christian Response-USA
www.christianresponse.org
Karenangelaellis.wordpress.com
On Twitter: @KarAngEllis