Saturday, July 4, 2015

Raymond Ibrahim: Christian Carnage and Western Indifference - Muslim Persecution of Christians, April 2015

The sheer breadth of global Muslim persecution of Christians, and the depths and variety of the depravity involved, which Raymond Ibrahim dutifully reports month after agonizing month, is beyond horrifying, beyond anything we have seen in history.  There is an infernal spirit behind the resurgence of Islam in our age.

By Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute — June 22, 2015

Note: The following represents some of the persecution Christians experienced at the hands of Muslims during the month of April, 2015 alone.   After reading this, ask yourself how Western media, politicians, and other foolish talking heads would react if Muslims experienced the same sort and amount of persecution at the hands of Christians or in Western nations in just one month.


Islamic State Slaughters 30 Christian Ethiopians

Approximately two months after the Islamic State published a video depicting its members slaughtering 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, on Sunday, April 19,  the Islamic jihadi organization released another video of more Christians in Libya, approximately 30 Ethiopians—derogatorily referred to by an IS spokesman as “worshippers of the cross”—being butchered for not paying jizya, extortion money demanded of the “People of the Book” who refuse to convert to Islam, according to Koran 9:29.

One group of Christians were shot execution style to the back of their heads, the others had their heads carved off, like the Copts before them.

The IS spokesman further addressed “Christians everywhere”:
We say to Christians everywhere, the Islamic State will expand, with Allah’s permission.  And it will reach you even if you are in fortified strongholds.  So whoever enters Islam will have security, and whoever accepts the Dhimmah contract [subjugated, third-class treatment and social status] will have security. But whoever refuses will see nothing from us but the edge of a spear. The men will be killed and the children will be enslaved, and their wealth will be taken as booty. This is the judgment of Allah and His Messenger.

In a statement, the Coptic Christian Church of Egypt pointed out that the Ethiopian martyrs, like the 21 Copts before them, were “murdered purely for refusing to renounce their faith.”


Al Shabaab Murders 147, Separates Muslims from Christians

On April 2 in Kenya, gunmen from the Somali Islamic group, Al Shabaab—“the [Islamic] youth”—stormed Garissa University, singled out Christian students, and murdered them, some beheaded.  A total of 147 people were killed in the attack—making this jihad more spectacular than the 2013 Al Shabaab attack on the Nairobi mall, which left 67 people dead (then, Islamic gunmen also singled out Christians for slaughter).

Islamic gunmen were careful to separate Christians from Muslims before beginning the carnage said eyewitnesses.  (While Kenya is 83% Christian, it still has an 11% Muslim minority the jihadis are careful not to kill.)  Collins Wetangula, vice chairman of the student union, said he could hear from inside his room where he was hiding the gunmen opening doors and inquiring if the people inside were Muslims or Christians: “If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot.  With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.”

Al Shabaab has a long history of singling Christians out from among Muslims for slaughter (here are four examples).  Other jihadi groups—including Boko Haram and the Islamic State—also make it a point to distinguish between Christians and Muslims before slaughtering the former, a fact often omitted from “mainstream media” reports.


Egyptian Churches under Attack
  • On Sunday, April 5, as Coptic Christians were celebrating Palm Sunday, a church was attacked in Alexandria, Egypt.   Gunmen in a vehicle opened fire on the church during the night injuring a police officer and two civilians.
  • On April 12, Easter Sunday according to the Orthodox calendar, two explosions targeting churches took place in Zagazig vicinity.  One car explosion took place near a Coptic Orthodox church and another bomb exploded near the Evangelical Church in the same area.  Although no casualties were reported, large numbers could have easily resulted, based on precedent.  For example, on January 1, 2011, as Egypt’s Christians ushered in the New Year, car bombs went off near the Two Saints Church in Alexandria, resulting in 23 dead worshippers and dozens critically injured.
  • Muslims rioted because President Sisi had agreed for Copts to build a church in Al-Our, where 13 of the 21 Christians who were beheaded by the Islamic State grew up and where their families still live.  Local Muslims rose in violence soon after Islamic prayers Friday, April 3.  They yelled that they would never allow a church to be built, that “Egypt is Islamic!” By night time, Molotov cocktails and stones were thrown at another Coptic church, cars were set ablaze—including one belonging to a relative of one of the those decapitated by the Islamic State—and several people were injured.[i]
  • A day later, on Saturday, April 4, Muslims rioted and attacked the Christians of the village of Gala’, Samalout district.  After waiting for years to repair their dilapidated church (see pictures here) Coptic locals finally received all the proper permits to begin restoration.  Soon Coptic homes, businesses, and persons, were attacked including by hurled stones.  Christian owned wheat farms were destroyed and their potato crops uprooted.  Islamic slogans were constantly yelled, including “There is no god but Allah” and “Islamic! Islamic!”
  • After waiting for 44 years, the Christians of Nag Shenouda, in Sohag City, finally got the necessary permit to build a new church.  Muslims again rioted and even burned down the tent the Christians had erected to worship under.  Denied, the Christians of Nag Shenouda celebrated Easter in the street (picture here).  And when one of them tried to hold worship service in his home, he and his household were attacked by a Muslim mob.

More Islamic Attacks on Christian Churches

Syria: The Islamic State destroyed at least three churches under its jurisdiction:
  • On Easter Sunday, the Islamic State destroyed the Virgin Mary Church in Tel Nasri, northeast Syria.  The Assyrian church was built and consecrated in 1934.  Loosely translated as “Christian Hill,” Tel Nasri is an ancient Assyrian Christian village.  It is one of the dozens of Christian villages along the Khabur river that were attacked and occupied by the Islamic State in late February (more here and here).
  • On April 28, the St. Odisho Assyrian Church in Tel Tal and the St. Rita Tilel Armenian Church in Aleppo, were also destroyed.
Nigeria: A Muslim mob set fire to a church in a Christian village in Nigeria’s northern Kano State on April 1.  Muslims were searching for a young man who had renounced Islam and re-converted to Christianity in order to kill him. They also attacked Christian villagers with machetes and torched the home of a pastor, killing one of his daughters.  According to General Dikko, a local official,

The church and all the properties were burnt down in the presence of the Christian community despite all pleadings for them to stop the destruction. The arsonists gathered cornstalks and put them inside the church in order to cause greater damage….  We have the right to belong to any religion of our choice and live anywhere in this country. We call on the authorities at all levels to rise up to their responsibilities of protecting lives and properties of every citizen in this country.

Pakistan: Two assailants on motorbikes opened fire on the main gates of a church and Christian school in Lahore.  The school had just closed half an hour earlier and several students were present outdoors.  Police were present, causing the attackers to ride off.  Two passersby were injured in the crossfire.

Malaysia: On Sunday, April 19, a Muslim mob of approximately 50 people rioted and protested against a small Protestant church in Kuala Lumpur, the capital.  The object of their wrath was the cross atop the building of worship—which was removed during the Islamic protest.  Rioters exclaimed that the cross, the central symbol of Christianity, represented “a challenge to Islam” and could “influence the faith of young people.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke

Learning of and becoming inspired by the accounts of the neo-martyrs of the Orthodox Church is essential for our time, in which Muslim persecution of Christians is a truly global phenomenon, and in which pressure against traditional, orthodox Christians in the West generally and the United States in particular is mounting by fits and spasms.

by Fr. Alexey Young (Schema-Hieromonk Ambrose in monastic tonsure)

via Orthodox America, (The following article is condensed from a lecture delivered at the St. Herman Summer Pilgrimage, August, 1982)

On May 29, 1453, the troops of the Moslem leader, Mohammed II , took the great city of Constantinople. For more than 1000 years Orthodox Christians had assumed that the Byzantine Christian Empire would stand until the Second Coming of Christ. They had always called their city the "God-protected City," and indeed, until now it had been protected by Heaven. But when their Emperor, Constantine XI , fell in battle, the holy city of Byzantium became the capital of a new empire, the Ottoman Empire, ruled by a pagan people, enemies of Christ and Christianity, the Moslems. It was a dark, dark time for Orthodox Christians in that part of the world.

In their violent hatred of Christianity, the Moslem Turks embarked on a course of persecution designed to effectively muzzle the flock of Christ. Their strategy was no less cruel than that of atheist communists in the Soviet Union today; the parallels are striking. 

Most of the churches of Constantinople (whose name was changed to Istanbul, just as years later Petersburg was changed to Leningrad) were converted to mosques. Their movable icons were destroyed and whole walls of inspiring and radiantly beautiful mosaics were covered with paint or plaster. Crosses were torn off domes and broken off the roofs of churches. 

The Moslems guaranteed Christians a definite place in Turkish society; but it was a place of guaranteed inferiority. Orthodox Christians were required to pay an annual head tax, like cattle. To the Turks they were unbelievers, and they had absolutely no rights of citizenship. They even had to wear distinctive dress. They could not marry Moslems, nor could they engage in missionary work of any kind; in fact, it was a crime, usually punishable by death, to convert a Moslem to the Christian Faith.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Christians in Philippines Fear Creation of Muslim Sub-State, Sharia Law, Increased Persecution


"If Bangsamoro, or 'Moro Country' with Moro being colloquial for 'Muslim', were ruled under sharia, non-Muslims would become second-class citizens with drastically reduced rights." Muslim separatist groups have increased their deadly jihad attacks in recent years...

Scroll down for map and link to report on Muslim Persecution of Christians in Philippines...

Morning Star News — June 26, 2015

MINDANAO, Philippines (Morning Star News) – Christians and others in the southern Philippines have expressed strong fears that legislation creating an Islamic sub-state on Mindanao Island will exacerbate religious tensions rather than resolve them.

The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), proposed by President Benigno Aquino III last September with the aim of ending decades of Islamist rebel violence in Mindanao, was approved by a House Ad Hoc Committee on May 20 with 50 members voting yes, 17 voting no and one abstaining. The area, comprising five provinces with sizeable non-Muslim populations, already enjoys a measure of autonomy as the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and the proposed BBL would give leaders sufficient independence to impose sharia (Islamic law).

“What President Aquino is doing is treasonous to Christian communities in Mindanao,” Rolly Pelinggon, national convener of Mindanaoans for Mindanao (M4M), told Morning Star News.

If Bangsamoro, or “Moro Country” with Moro being colloquial for “Muslim,” were ruled under sharia, non-Muslims would become second-class citizens with drastically reduced rights. Critics of the bill say it would render the federal government powerless to redress human rights abuses under Islamic law.

Monday, June 29, 2015

'Islamic State in Palestine' tells Christians to leave by Ramadan’s end or be killed

Many Palestinian Christians stand in solidarity with their Muslims neighbors, yet this report from East Jerusalem, together with threats against Christians throughout the Palestinian territories, make it clear that Islamic supremacism is overwhelming whatever tolerant attitudes local Muslims used to hold for their Christian neighbors.

See also: Muslim Persecution of Christians worsens in Israel & Palestinian Territories; Influence of Islamic State grows

A Chilling Message Was Sent to Christians from the ‘Islamic State in Palestine’
by Sharona Schwartz, The Blaze, June 28, 2015 (via Jihad Watch):

A group calling itself the “Islamic State in Palestine” spread fliers in east Jerusalem warning Christians who live there to brace themselves for “revenge,” an Israeli television station reported.

Israel’s Channel 10 television reported Thursday that it was the first time such a leaflet attributed to the Islamic State group was distributed threatening Christian residents of Jerusalem. The text of the message vowed to take “revenge” on “heretics.”

According to the Jewish Press, the flier threatened Christians that they would be killed if they did not leave by the end of the current Muslim holiday month of Ramadan.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Confederate Flag and the Flag of Jihad

Even Southerners are calling for the retiring of the Confederate Flag. Where are the Muslim protests to ban the Black Flag of Islam?

by Ralph H. Sidway


Over at The American Conservative, Rod Dreher has a really stirring piece in which he grapples with the complexity and pain of the guerre du jour, the movement to finally banish forever the Confederate Flag (a movement so sweeping that the classic film ‘Gone With The Wind’ may itself soon be gone with the wind). Dreher is a born and raised Southerner, and shares his inner struggle over the issue:

From the time I was old enough to realize what slavery and the ideology of white supremacy that sustained it, and that remained after slavery died, I have had a troubled conscience about the South. I found it so difficult to reconcile the place and the culture into which I was born, and which I loved, and do love, with the hideous facts of our history.

That is the tone of honesty grappling with reality. There’s much more, for Dreher strives to place himself (and his readers) in the shoes of any and all who have dark shadows in their cultural and societal and ideological history. To wit: 

Even though your people may have thought and behaved wrongly in a particular instance, you may try to explain the context in which the sin was committed, and to point out the complexity of the situation — not to excuse it, necessarily, but to shed light on the broken humanity of the phenomenon...

I would assert that such issues of situational “complexity” and “context” won’t wash when it comes to Islam and Muslims, because in Islam, it’s not about what Dreher calls “a few bad actors” in “particular instances.” It’s about a lot of bad actors — beginning with one in particular — consistently acting badly over fourteen centuries, under the black flag of divine sanction and command.

Indeed, if anyone has dark shadows in their history, it is Muslims. Yet we rarely if ever see from them any self-examination or troubled conscience such as Rod Dreher and other Southern progeny are displaying now. President el-Sisi of Egypt comes to mind, but most Muslim critics of Islam are ex-Muslims (think Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq). 

The darker side of Islam — jihad, genocide, sharia, apostasy and blasphemy laws, honor killings, abuse of women, child marriage, FGM, and that whole supremacist culture which eternally demands for Islam to reign supreme — is analogous neither to the white-supremacist side of Southern Culture, nor to other examples Dreher uses, such as the challenges within Black America or the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandals, all of which derive from the flaws of human nature in each person, extended at times to the mob.

As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, “The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”

Yet this is precisely why the case of Islam and American Muslims is radically unlike that of any other cultural, racial or religious group. The evils being perpetrated by the “bad actors” of Islam do not merely stem from the human heart of darkness, “the line dividing good and evil [which] cuts through the heart of every human being.” 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Raymond Ibrahim: 'Where’s the Pope’s Encyclical on Christian Persecution?'

Our beloved Orthodox hierarchs also might wish to consider Raymond Ibrahim's analysis here. Mr. Ibrahim, whom I know personally, is a Coptic Orthodox Christian. We were both presenters (along with Archimandrite Daniel Byantoro) at a conference on Orthodoxy, Islam and Muslim Persecution of Christians, held at an Orthodox Church in Ohio in 2011. His is a sober and informed voice we would do well to heed.

"The Christian worldview is not about 'saving the earth'—'where moth and rust do corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal'—but in saving souls, both in the now and hereafter. The Lord questioned Saul of Tarsus as to why he was persecuting his flock, not about the environment."

by Raymond Ibrahim — June 25, 2015


Pope Francis recently released a new encyclical.  Portions of it deal with environmentalism, global warming, and climate change.  Naturally, this has prompted controversy.

It’s noteworthy that Francis didn’t merely make a passing comment on global warming during this or that sermon, but that he issued a papal encyclical on the matter.  Encyclicals are much more formal and significant than remarks made during mass.  They are letters written by a pope and sent to bishops all around the world.  In turn, the bishops are meant to disseminate the encyclical’s ideas to all the priests and churches in their jurisdiction, so that the pope’s teaching reaches every church-attending Catholic.

All this leads to the following question: Where is Pope Francis’ encyclical concerning the rampant persecution that Christians—including many Catholics—are experiencing around the world in general, the Islamic world in particular?

To be sure, the pope has acknowledged it.  On April 21, during mass held at Casa Santa Marta, Francis said that today’s church is a “church of martyrs.” He even referenced several of the recent attacks on Christians by Muslims (without of course mentioned the latter’s religious identity).
Said Pope Francis:

In these days how many Stephens [early Christian martyred in Book of Acts] there are in the world! Let us think of our brothers whose throats were slit on the beach in Libya [by the Islamic State]; let’s think of the young boy who was burnt alive by his [Pakistani Muslim] companions because he was a Christian; let us think of those migrants thrown from their boat into the open sea by other [African Muslim] migrants because they were Christians; let us think – just the day before yesterday – of those Ethiopians assassinated because they were Christians… and of many others. Many others of whom we do not even know and who are suffering in jails because they are Christians… The Church today is a Church of martyrs: they suffer, they give their lives and we receive the blessing of God for their witness.

The pope is acquainted with the reality of Christian persecution around the world.  So why isn’t he issuing an encyclical about it?  Such an encyclical would be very useful.

The pope could instruct bishops to acknowledge the truth about Christian persecution and to have this news spread to every Catholic church.  Perhaps a weekly prayer for the persecuted church could be institutionalized—keeping the plight of those hapless Christians in the spotlight, so Western Catholics and others always remember them, talk about them, and, perhaps most importantly, understand why they are being persecuted.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fr. Daniel Byantoro and the Future of Orthodoxy in Indonesia

"Despite the presence of Islam in Indonesia, there is great hope for Orthodoxy there... We are seeing in the world today a rising culture of hatred and death, and the only way to defeat it is with the culture of love and life—that is, the culture of the Gospel, the culture of Orthodoxy."

See also these feature articles:


via 'I Believe in the Future of Orthodoxy in Indonesia' — A Conversation with Archimandrite Daniel (Byantoro)
Pravoslavie — June 23, 2015 (Thanks to Bill)

Fr. Daniel at Sretensky Monastery, Moscow
On Monday June 15, Archimandrite Daniel Byantoro arrived in Moscow with his fellow priest Fr. Alexios. Fr. Daniel is the first Indonesian convert to Orthodoxy and the founder and heart of the struggling Orthodox Church there. He came to Russia for several days to visit holy sites, hierarchs and friends, and to spread the word of his mission to his spiritual brothers and sisters in Russia. On Wednesday he sat down for an interview with Pravoslavie.ru in which he spoke about his country and its Christian history.

At a public lecture the night before given at the Fund of Slavic Culture Fr. Daniel spoke more about his own conversion experience. Raised in an entirely Islamic village, all that he knew of Christianity came from the Koran: as Christians worship three Gods, turned a prophet into God and made God weak, unable to save His prophet from crucifixion, they are going to hell. Islam denies that Christ is the Son of God; they deny the Trinity as well as the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, and therefore, as Fr. Daniel noted, they deny the entirety of Christian teaching (see Koran 5:72, 73, 98:6 which Fr. Daniel referenced easily from memory).

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

ISIS Jihadist converts to Christianity after seeing Jesus in his dreams

In a word, YES!
There are numerous instances of Muslims throughout the Islamic world being converted to Christ through dreams and visions. Fr. Daniel Byantoro, head of the Indonesian Orthodox Mission, was himself strongly moved to follow Christ by a dream. 

The story below about an ISIS jihadi converting to Christ serves as a sign for hope, that the Lord Himself can and does reach out to touch the hearts of Muslims, even among the most bloodthirsty zealots, and leads them to repentance. It proves the Lord's love truly extends to all people. 

But this does not absolve Christians from doing all we can, both by presenting a vibrant witness through our grace-filled lives, as well as by sharing the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our Muslim neighbors.

Notice how, in the story of this jihadi's conversion, it was not only the dreams, but it was also the witness of the Christian whom he killed, who gave him a Bible moments before he was martyred, which proved the truth of the Gospel to the ISIS jihadi.

Another powerful witness certainly having an effect on Muslims is how families of Christians martyred by Muslims are forgiving their attackers and praying for them to come to know Jesus Christ and be saved from hell. The witness, the prayers, and the dreams and visions are all combining to draw many to the Lord.

Fr. Daniel Byantoro provides some very helpful thoughts on how one may go about sharing the Gospel with Muslims in an excellent interview conducted with him by Road To Emmaus. We should also keep in mind the fervent example of New Priest-Martyr Daniel Sysoev of Moscow, who publicly debated Muslims and was eventually killed by an extremist Muslim group, because he had led over 80 Muslims into the Orthodox Church, including several hard-core Wahhabis.

Let us therefore have hope!


via REPORT: ISIS Jihadist converts to Christianity after seeing Jesus in his dreams
by Mary Chastain, Breitbart News — June 15, 2015

ISIS slaughters Christians and destroys churches while they establish their caliphate in Syria and Iraq. But one militant reportedly converted to Christianity after “a man in white” appeared in his dreams.

Gina Fadely, the director of Youth With A Mission Frontier Missions (YWAM), told The Voice of the Martyrs Radio Network one of their workers met a former ISIS fighter who murdered Christians, but converted after a dream:

“He told this YWAM leader that he had begun having dreams of this man in white who came to him and said, ‘You are killing my people.’ And he started to feel really sick and uneasy about what he was doing,” Fadely continued. “The fighter said just before he killed one Christian, the man said, ‘I know you will kill me, but I give to you my Bible.’ The Christian was killed and this ISIS fighter actually took the Bible and began to read it. In another dream, Jesus asked him to follow him and he was now asking to become a follower of Christ and to be discipled.”

“So who knows. Perhaps this man will be like Saul in the Bible that persecuted Christians and he turned from that persecution of the early church to become the Apostle Paul who led it,” Fadely added. “God can turn it around.”

Raymond Ibrahim: Islam’s ‘Baby Jihad’

Islamic aspirations to dominate the world are set to happen—if not through might of arms, then apparently through sheer numbers.

by Raymond Ibrahim — June 15, 2015



In 1900, the Muslim population of the world was less than 200 million.  Conversely, the Christian population of the world was almost 560 million—almost three times the number of Muslims.
Times have changed.  According to the findings of a Pew Research Center in America:

The number of Muslims will increase at more than double the rate of the world’s population, which is expected to rise by 35 per cent in the next four decades. 
There will be more Muslims than Christians in the world in less than sixty years, new research revealed. 
The [Islamic] religion’s share of the world’s population will equal the Christian share – at roughly 32 per cent each – in 2070, analysis by the Pew Research Center showed. 
[…] 
By 2050 Muslims will make up around ten per cent of Europe’s population.

For a better idea of what is in store for Europe, simply look to the UK’s “Londonistan”—the apt name for London and other regions with a notable Islamic presence: Already with a 10 percent Muslim population, Londonistan is a reflection of Europe 35 years from now when it too is projected to be ten percent Muslim (and by which time the UK will likely have an even much larger Muslim population).

The same sorts of anti-infidel violence and sexual abuse that is a daily fixture in Muslim majority nations is already a normal feature of Londonistan with its mere 10 percent Muslim minority.

Put differently, if “ISIS” and other Islamic groups regularly behead “infidel” men and sexually enslave “infidel” women in the Middle East—so are “average” Muslims doing so in the UK:

Recall how in 2013, two Muslim men shouting “Allahu Akbar” beheaded a British soldier with a cleaver—in a busy intersection and in broad daylight no less.  They even boasted in front of passersby and asked to be videotaped.

Or recall how Muslims were recently busted for running a sex ring in Rotherham, England: 1,400 British children as young as 11 were plied with drugs before being passed around and sexually abused in cabs and kabob shops.

It was at least at least the fifth sex abuse ring led by Muslims to be uncovered in England—Muslims who only make 10 percent.

Pastor Saeed Abedini 'Viciously Beaten' in Iranian Prison, Told His Only Way Out Is to Deny Jesus Christ

"Abedini has been repeatedly told his prison sentence will be increased unless he denies his Christian faith — something his wife insists her husband will not do."

Pastor Saeed is one of the great Christian confessors of our time. His wife, Naghmeh, labors unceasingly on his behalf, trying to raise American awareness of his plight and that of other Christians imprisoned in Iran, but the Obama administration negates her efforts. 

Spineless and deceptive U.S. officials will have much to answer for at the judgment, as they aid Muslim persecution of Christians in the Middle East and all around the globe.

Related: Iran Sentences 18 Christians to Prison in New Crackdown on Christianity

via "Pastor Saeed Abedini 'Viciously Beaten' in Iranian Prison, Told His Only Way Out Is to Deny Jesus Christ"
by Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post, June 11, 2015

Pastor Saeed and his family, before he was imprisoned
by the Iranian regime for his faith in Jesus Christ.
American pastor Saeed Abedini has reportedly been "viciously beaten" by fellow prisoners in an unprovoked attack in the Iranian prison where he's being held. The pastor was punched in the face, leaving his eyes beaten black and blue, but prison guards intervened and prevented further injury.

The American Center for Law and Justice, the law group which represents his wife, Naghmeh Abedini, and the couple's two children in the U.S., said that the prisoners also demolished a small table that the pastor had used to study and read during the beating that he endured last week.

Abedini was allowed to see a prison doctor, who determined that he does not have any broken bones. On Wednesday, he was able to see a family member who came to visit him and see his injuries first hand.

"It is heartbreaking to me and my family that Saeed was again beaten in prison. Saeed's life is continuously threatened not only because he is an American, but also because he is a convert from Islam to Christianity. It's time to get Saeed home before it is too late," Naghmeh Abedini said in response to the news.

Back in May, Abedini marked his 35th birthday in prison, where he has spent over two and a half years for his Christian faith. He was arrested in Iran in 2012 while working on an orphanage for children, and later sentenced to eight years in prison.