I’ve Got Your Back

Normally, I would do a post about writing, but this week, I feel like another situation demands precedence. Below is a blog post that I will also be adapting into a letter. As you read this, please pray as you feel led.

“I’ve got your back.” A friend of mine and I like to jokingly say that whenever we go out to eat and one of us has to sit with our backs to the door. I like the phrase, but, quite frankly, I never sat down and thought about exactly what it means until recently. In my mind, it means that someone is watching for any danger that might befall me, and, if any does, is willing to protect me even at cost to them.

When I heard of what has happened to Pastor Saeed Abedini, I really began thinking about that phrase. To summarize in short, Saeed was in Iran on travel this past summer, was arrested, and was sentenced this past Sunday, January 27, 2013 to eight years in prison for evangelizing in Iran. The charges apparently stem back to several years ago when the Iranian house church movement was not deemed a threat to the government.

“I’ve got your back.” From what I understand, Saeed became a naturalized citizen in 2010. Now, I, being raised in the South, had no idea of what was in the oath until I looked it up when thinking about becoming a naturalized citizen. When someone takes the oath to become a citizen, they pledge, essentially, to the following:

• Pledge to support the Constitution and its laws and defend it against all enemies, both domestic and foreign.
• Renounce allegiance and fidelity to other foreign entities.
• Pledge to bear arms in armed service, perform unarmed service in the military, or perform civil service when called upon.

When he took that oath, Saeed became an American. An American with a rich heritage. An American, pure and simple. In taking that oath, he essentially said, “America, I’ve got your back. I renounce loyalty and fidelity to Iran. I will defend my new homeland’s Constitution and laws, and I’ll do so through service as required.”

“I’ve got your back.” The question in my mind is, do we, as the United States, more specifically, our government, have Saeed’s back? Are we looking out for him, and, seeing the danger that he’s in (and yes, it’s very real), are we as a government, willing to do anything and everything that we can to protect him and bring him safely back to the States so that we can be reunited with his family?

From everything that I remember a couple of years ago when our three hikers were unjustly imprisoned in Iran, it seemed as if every effort were made to bring them home. However, I am not seeing that with this situation. It has barely received media attention and seems to have only received lip service from the government. Remember, Saeed is an American. He became one when he took that oath in 2010, and therefore, our government should be working just as hard to secure its release as it did for the three hikers. I implore you to contact the Obama Administration, Secretary of State Kerry, and your Congressional delegation to make them aware of the need to secure his release.

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