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Group: U.S. pastor's family was told he has been moved within Iranian prison
Saeed Abedini is shown here with his 4-year-old son.
January 26th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

Group: U.S. pastor's family was told he has been moved within Iranian prison

The family of an American Christian pastor being tried in Iran for his religious activities were told Saturday that he had been moved to a different ward in the prison where he is being held, a U.S. religious group said.

Saeed Abedini "reportedly was moved to (another) ward to receive better medical treatment, although it is impossible to confirm his health status or if he is receiving treatment," the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) said in a statement. They were turned away because visitation hours for the ward are on Monday, according to the statement.

Neither Abedini nor his attorney has not been present at his trial since January 21. His family became concerned when they attempted to visit him on Thursday and were told by prison guards that he wasn't there, said the group, a right-leaning nonprofit founded by television evangelist Pat Robertson.

Abedini, who was born in Iran and now lives in Idaho, has been jailed since September. He is being tried in a Revolutionary Guard Court to address charges of attempting to undermine the Iranian government, the ACLJ said. The group contends that charges stem from Abedini's conversion to Christianity from Islam 13 years ago and his activities with home churches in Iran.

On Friday, the U.S. State Department released a statement saying it is "deeply concerned about the fairness and the transparency of his trial."

"We condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal rights of freedom of religion and we call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini's human rights and to release him," the statement said.

At a news conference Friday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also called on Iran to release the pastor, and he referred questions about the family's concerns over Abedini's whereabouts to the State Department.

A lay church leader testified in court Tuesday about his connection to Abedini, said the center. He was "specifically questioned about converting to Christianity and whether Saeed encouraged the conversion to Christianity, which he did," the center said. "Additionally, the court asked for details about how Pastor Saeed has financed his multiple trips back to Iran to work on establishing an orphanage for children in need and whether any foreign funds were involved."

The judge told the lay leader to expect another summons within a month to return to court, said the pastor's wife, Naghmeh Abedini.

Naghmed Abedini said her husband had earlier told her that he will likely be held "in prison for a long time," she said earlier this week in a statement through the center.

"We need to continue exposing Iran's violations of Saeed's human rights until my husband is safely back in my arms," the statement quoted her as saying.

On Monday, the pastor gave the judge a written statement and was questioned by prosecutors and his defense lawyer, whom he only met that day.

The judge in the case has faced sanctions by the European Union "because of his harsh sentences for those on trial for exercising a fundamental human right," the center said.

Naghmeh Abedini said this week that "a few" laymen with the Christian church in Iran told her husband's attorney that they have been called to testify in the case.

Tiffany Barrans, the legal director for the ACLJ, said this week that the church leaders in Iran were faced with a dilemma: They could avoid being witnesses, or they could testify in court and possibly face similar charges.

"They are all very fearful to have to show up," she said on a conference call with Naghmeh Abedini and ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow. The nonprofit organization provides legal counsel and litigates cases involving freedom and liberty issues around the world.

Naghmeh Abedini said that when she last spoke with her husband on January 9, he was resigned to a fate of remaining in prison.

The Iranian state-run news agency INSA reported Monday that the pastor would soon be released on bail - which Naghmeh Abedini charged Tuesday was "clearly a lie."

Saeed Abedini has been arrested nearly 10 times in the past by the Iranian authorities, his wife said. The last time he had been held was in 2009, when he agreed to stop supporting home churches. He had taken nine trips to Iran, where he was born and where his parents live, since then.

His wife said he felt like he was OK to go back repeatedly because he had no dealings with the authorities since he promised to no longer work with Christian home services.

Once he even went with his wife and two children. He and Naghmeh are both converts to Christianity from Islam, and they received threats during the most recent family visit so she took the children home. He returned to their home in Boise, Idaho, later.

Last summer, the pastor was on a bus that was crossing from Turkey into Iran. Immigration officials took away his passport and he was later put on house arrest. In September he was jailed, in the notorious Evin prison, while he awaited trial.

CNN's Michael Martinez and Eric Ferrell contributed to this report.

- pgastjrcnn

Filed under: Iran • Religious liberty

soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    MY MOHAMMAD NEEDS A FAIR TRIAL TOO. DON'T CALL HIM TERRORIST UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Reality

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
      o
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012
      U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
      Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

      January 27, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
  2. empresstrudy

    CNN liberal types would happily albeit quietly approve of his execution at the hands of the Iranian regime.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  3. RICHARD

    PASTOR SAEED SHOULD HAVE A FAIR TRIAL AND BE ABLE TO ATTEND HIS OWN TRAIL ALONG WITH HIS LAWYER.
    AND BE TREATED FAIRLY UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.
    AND NOT BE FALSELY CHARGED.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:17 am |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Pray without ceasing in 2013
    Prayer changes things

    January 27, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your repeated assertions regarding atheism are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL". Perhaps the following book can help you cope with the problem of repeating unfounded assertions:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      January 27, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      January 27, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  5. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    MOHAMMAD WAS AN ID THIEF TOO.

    January 27, 2013 at 12:21 am |
  6. Reality

    Putting the kibosh/”google” on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    January 27, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • Reality

      In Persian, the official language of Iran (Google Translate)

      قرار دادن kibosh / "گوگل" در تمام دین در کمتر از ده ثانیه: بی بها!

      • تا آنجا که می داند و یا می توانید بگویید، هیچ یعنی ابراهیم پایه های یهودیت، مسیحیت و اسلام، غیر موجود وجود دارد.

      • تا آنجا که می داند و یا می توانید بگویید، هیچ موسی یعنی ستون از یهودیت، مسیحیت و اسلام وجود دارد هیچ قدرت هدف است.

      • هیچ گابریل یعنی اسلام به عنوان یک دین با شکست مواجه وجود دارد. مسیحیت تا حدودی با شکست مواجه است.

      • هیچ عید پاک به عنوان مثال مسیحیت وجود دارد به طور کامل به عنوان یک دین می افتد.

      • هیچ مورمونها مورونی یعنی چیزی بیش از یک فرقه کسب و کار وجود دارد.

      • مقدس / احترام گاو، خدایان میمون، طبقات، مسئله تناسخ و در نتیجه با شکست مواجه هندوئیسم به عنوان یک دین است.

      • چربی بودا در اینجا، لاغر بودا وجود دارد، استاد / دوباره متولد بودا در همه جا برای هیچ در بودیسم می سازد.

      اضافه شده جزئیات موجود بر درخواست کتبی.

      جستجو سریع kibosh در هیچ گروه دیگری که خود را دین قرار داده است.

      به عنوان مثال پیروی از طریقت چینی

      "ریشه های تائویسم نامشخص است. به طور سنتی، لائو تزو که در قرن ششم زندگی می کردند به عنوان موسس آن در نظر گرفته شده است. اولیه آن مبانی فلسفی و باورهای آن و آیین دو راه کاملا متفاوت از زندگی هستند. امروز (1982) تائویسم ادعا می کند 31،286،000 پیروان.

      افسانه می گوید که لائوتزه immaculately توسط یک ستاره عکسبرداری درک در رحم مادر خود را برای هشتاد و دو سال انجام شده، به دنیا آمده و رشد کامل مرد سالخورده دانا. "

      January 27, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      YO RE A LITY DON'T ABUSE MY PAKISTANI LANGUAGE.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:11 am |
  7. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    YOU KNOW ME !!! I DON'T LIKE TROUBLES. I MIND MY OWN BUSINESS. FACE DOWN ASS UP. I JUST CANCELED MY TRIP TO IRAN.

    January 26, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Good, hindu ID thief, your hindu filthy hind would have ended up, same as his hindu filthy hind face down, hind up, face down and hindu sanatan filthy goon on top of you to perform hindu filthy custom of blessing, hindu filthy way.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • YOUR HINDU DAD

      ASK YOUR MOTHER SHE DOES FACE DOWN EXERCISE FOR ME.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  8. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    hindu crook asked for it, and he deserves what ever is coming to him, A hindu crook needs not to play, if he does not like to pay.

    January 26, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • FREEMASONRY FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION BUG IN THE ASS OF ISLAM

      Shut the fuck up, wog-ism.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
  9. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    I AM GOING IRAN TOO. I AM SUNNI AND I HOPE THEY DON'T LOCK ME UP. MAY BE I SHOULD DECLARE MYSELF 'NONE' ON PAPER

    January 26, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Speak for your self hindu, ID thief, your hinduism absurdity is representation of hinduism illegality, a hindu filthy lives by his hinduism, filthiness as his faith.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • YOUR HINDU DAD

      YO WHERE IS YOUR MOTHER? IT'S 2AM IN MORNING.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
  10. Brampt

    "Saeed Abedini has been arrested nearly 10 times in the past by the Iranian authorities, his wife said. The last time he had been held was in 2009, when he agreed to stop supporting home churches. He had taken nine trips to Iran, where he was born and where his parents live, since then."
    With this said it seems hes abusive, and on top of that hes putting in risk the safety of other people that are meeting secretly.

    January 26, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • Akira

      It seems he's abusive? In what way?

      January 26, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Brampt

      Akira – he agreed to stop supporting house churches, but he continues to do so.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • Akira

      That doesn't make him abusive; it does make him a liar, though.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:06 am |
  11. Cathy

    Should America not allow them to their Muslim beliefs in our country? If another country is going to put a person in prison, murder them, why should we respect them in America? We are letting an innocent man in Iran be in prision for his faith in Christianity. We let all faiths be here in America, maybe it is time to change how Muslims can pratice their faith? What about the mother with 7 children in Egypt who have all been sentenced to 15 years in prision for changing from the Islamic faith to Christianity? We have Obama who gives 2 billion to this new president to start thier country over? Wow. Something is messed up there. If our people can't be treated decent there, why are we helping them with money?I voted for you Mr. Obama and if you don't take care of our people in these other country's it will look back on you as the President of the United States. There needs to be a better law when it comes to the different faiths of all people. We give money to all country's to help, that's good , but don't forget the people that are begging for help from you. Some can say the pastor should of known better, but he believes for his cause it was worth it. What about mercy? Mercy? Mercy is part of being human and we All do contain this.

    January 26, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • Big Shiz

      First of all the Obama administration has been more tough on Iran than any other one in our history. Second of all America stands for freedom,freedom of religion,freedom no matter what race or culture you come from,freedom to be with who ever your in love with. The moment we give up on those principles we become just as bad as those we point finger at. People like you represent the prejudice and bigotry that used to be a blight on this country. It's time to wake up and come into the 21 century.

      January 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  12. Bob

    Why did this dimwit go to Iran in the first place? I have no sympathy for him. He knew what could happen to him as a convert going to Iran. Sure the laws and the regime are corrupt and wrong, but it's not like it's a state secret. Everyone knows what to expect from the authorities in Iran. This guy was asking for it.

    January 25, 2013 at 1:51 am |
    • Yolla

      Christians just love to pretend they are persecuted, when they really haven't been for almost two millenia, so a few go to strange places to make it happen.

      When he gets back, there is a lot of money to be made on books and the lecture circuit. Christian fall all over themselves to hear this cliche again and again. The repentant atheist and the coverted gay also plays big time with them. Great way to make money fast, if you can stand the company.

      January 25, 2013 at 2:02 am |
    • Dave8582

      @Bob

      I totally agree with you. He knew the risk when he went.

      Cheers!

      January 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  13. RICHARD

    I hope this Man is united with his Wife and Children soon.

    January 24, 2013 at 4:30 am |
    • Frank

      I hope you learn capitalization rules so that you stop writing like an illiterate

      January 25, 2013 at 2:22 am |
  14. Reality

    As good students, you have read the reiterations of the "fems" (flaws, errors, muck and stench) of religion. Therefore the seeds have been planted in rich soil. Go therefore and preach the truth to all nations, reiterating as you go amongst the lost, bred, born and brainwashed souls of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as Rational Thinking makes its triumphant return all because of you!!!!

    January 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • niknak

      Are you auditioning to take over from cowardlylion as the boards rambling fundie?
      If so, you have a ways to go.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  15. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:

    Putting the kibosh/”google” on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    January 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • NII

      There goes all reality in insanity.

      January 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • dwright

      okay proove your claims

      January 23, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • W247

      "Only for new members of this blog"

      because everyone else is tired of the rhetoric...

      January 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Reality

      As a good student, you have read the reiterations of the "fems" (flaws, errors, muck and stench) of religion. Therefore the seeds have been planted in rich soil. Go therefore and preach the truth to all nations, reiterating as you go amongst the lost, bred, born and brainwashed souls of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as Reality makes its triumphant return all because of you!!!!

      Only for the good students:

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

      The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      Added "kiboshing religion" details are available upon written request.

      January 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Your Momma

      Ur an idiot! Go watch paint dry.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Reality

      More information for the good students out there:

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel

      January 25, 2013 at 8:01 am |
  16. niknak

    He is lucky it was not xtian fundies that got ahold of him, or they would have tied a stone around him and thrown him in the river to see if he floated, proving he was in fact a witch.

    January 23, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      It depends. I'd rather get on the wrong side of Christian fundamentalists if it were in America as laws exist preventing them from exacting their Biblical vengeance. However, if we were in Uganda, it would be a different story as Christians there have free reign to commit any horrific deeds they like, particularly against gay people.

      January 23, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • W247

      You two fit together... way to spread propaganda and lies.

      January 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      W247

      But does the Caped Crusader fit in a paper sandwich? Sure bat tastes like an itinerant house-coat in spring but does that necessarily leave one at the behest of marauding pirate ghosts.

      January 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Rat Lib is totally infatuated with Jill

      January 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  17. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Who really cares about this guy? He broke the law in Iran, let the Iranians deal with him using their laws.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I care about the fact that the expression of one's beliefs can be a criminal offence, regardless of the location of expression.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Different cultures have different social norms. Are you saying that your norms are better than theirs?

      January 23, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Apatheist

      Not sure about RL, but I would say yes.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Saraswati

      I've got to agree with RL (a rare event). I care because I care what's happening in the world. I think it's important to know as part of our understanding of social science and of what governments can do when given the power. As someone who travels and has a relative on whom birthright Iranian citizenship was bestowed (causing some practical difficulties) I find this important to know, and as a person living in the world that has a growing Islamic population, I think tracking these activities is important. What if this were here, and we had either a Christian or Islamic theocracy?

      That said, the Iranian legal case is poorly represnted here, but the end either way is that this is a religious action.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Saraswati

      "Different cultures have different social norms. Are you saying that your norms are better than theirs?"

      Ummm...yes...

      If you want to live where slavery or human sacrifice are the norm, be my guest. We all (mentally healthy people) have absolute ethical standards. Yours may be that "all cultures are equal and we shouldn't judge" but that's an absolute standard. And one which doesn't make a lot of sense since you have to tolerate my intolerance. Maybe you believe "all cultures are equal except those that don't think all are equal"? In that case, you should be disapproving of the Iranian government.

      January 23, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      NO, we don’t all have absolute ethical standards. Ethics and morals are social norms. If your statement was true then everyone would have the same laws and norms.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Yes Honey Badger, that's exactly what I'm saying. Some cultures are barbaric and the Islamic culture of most of North Africa and the Middle East is barbaric.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      No, we don't all have absolute ethical moral standards, but that doesn't deny us the ability to criticize the horrific actions of regions with different social norms.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • dwright

      what law did this human break? being human myself i do care. but for the grace of God there go i.

      January 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      RL,

      And the American culture of corporate greed and warfare for profit is better? You do know that we went into Iraq on known faulty information and are responsible for the deaths of tens, if not thousands, of people right?

      January 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I have no opposition to corporate greed but I do warfare, which is why I and many others were critical of the war. No culture is perfect and we must criticize the imperfections. Islamic society is mired in imperfection and must be criticized for it. Not allowing for the free expression of one's beliefs is a major imperfection to be criticized.

      January 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Ang

      He's an american citizen......you idiot.....not to mention a life!! What the heck is wrong with people like you!

      January 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Honey Bear is actually making the correct argument according to atheistic materialism. If there are in fact gradients of moral standards then some one must hold the absolute. Hmmm wonder who that could be?

      January 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Akira

      Bill, if you think materialism is an atheistic attribute only, you really need to open your eyes...I think you'd find that it cuts both ways.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  18. Science

    New science standards for 2013 (stem)

    Thank you to the National Centre For Science Education (NCSE) for providing this information.

    For years to come, the lessons from Dover will continue to have a profound impact on how science is viewed in our society and how it is taught in the classroom

    .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hTZ5AYzs8o

    January 23, 2013 at 6:50 am |
    • It is Called

      Evolution WINS big time !!!
      Not the creation from the bible FACT !
      NEW see date .

      Evolution at its best !

      Published on Jan 15, 2013
      Over 60,000 years ago, the first modern humans—people physically identical to us today—left their African homeland and entered Europe, then a bleak and inhospitable continent in the grip of the Ice Age. But when they arrived, they were not alone: the stocky, powerfully built Neanderthals had already been living there for hundred of thousands of years. So what happened when the first modern humans encountered the Neanderthals? Did we make love or war? That question has tantalized generations of scholars and seized the popular imagination. Then, in 2010, a team led by geneticist Svante Paabo announced stunning news. Not only had they reconstructed much of the Neanderthal genome—an extraordinary technical feat that would have seemed impossible only a decade ago—but their analysis showed that "we" modern humans had interbred with Neanderthals, leaving a small but consistent signature of Neanderthal genes behind in everyone outside Africa today. In "Decoding Neanderthals," NOVA explores the implications of this exciting discovery. In the traditional view, Neanderthals differed from "us" in behavior and capabilities as well as anatomy. But were they really mentally inferior, as inexpressive and clumsy as the cartoon caveman they inspired? NOVA explores a range of intriguing new evidence for Neanderthal self-expression and language, all pointing to the fact that we may have seriously underestimated our mysterious, long-vanished human cousins.
      CategoryEducation
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R00ZT_1JU1g

      Education works BEST !
      So does your DNA, take a blood test and figure it out !
      Simple to do OK !
      To many Adams and Eves in gene pool for the bible's creation story.
      Courts have ruled can't teach creation as fact in public shools in the US.
      Means evolution WINS hands dfown, it is time for god(s) religion to get tghe HELL out of the way OK
      Peace

      January 23, 2013 at 6:56 am |
    • New Athiest

      Quick reality check here friend,
      Science has changed over the years. What we once thought was 'fact' has been proven wrong. You seem to be expecting people to abandon their religion because you are presenting them with 'facts' that you are sure will stand the test of time. You should explore the social sciences, since that is the realm you are dealing with when you want to change people's minds. Religion is a large part of how people see themselves, the world around them, and provides great comfort in many difficult situations. You will have to do better than "why won't people accept these facts" to convince people to abandon their faith.

      January 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  19. PNESSWRINKLE

    Is there an audience that is applauding for you in your head? I picture you writing this stuffing your face with the food you see in front of you. Is this LL's alter ego? I'd definitely be audience to you and LL conversing. (so long as I was stoned out of my mind of course)

    January 23, 2013 at 2:34 am |
    • PNESSWRINKLE

      Is there an audience that is applauding for you in your head? I picture you writing this stuffing your face with the food you see in front of you. Is this LL's alter ego? I'd definitely be audience to you and LL conversing. (so long as I was stoned out of my mind of course)

      January 23, 2013 at 2:34 am |
    • ZIngo

      Groundhog Day is a bit early this year.

      January 23, 2013 at 2:56 am |
    • PNESSWRINKLE

      wanna go outside and play

      January 23, 2013 at 3:33 am |
  20. Jill

    Robert Brown, the primordial soup may have left you over but that is no reason to resort to market studies. Gobble the fertile gravel. There is no caveat to the Klein bottle, and there will be no gold watch for the unspoken zero. The primordial soup may have left you over but that is no reason to resort to market studies.

    Focus your nose on the test tube. Stay succulently upon your velodrome and fear not the coming of the essential kangaroo. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. Expand quietly but do not relish.

    Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners while it's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64. 1112. Welcome to the new sandwich lumberyard. Bus stops follow movement, or do they?

    The impediment to your posterior is large but can be dissected with chestnuts. Obermeyer. Glasnost and shallot cookies will do the main job when a steamshovel is too distant for pomegranate. Hold your scrambled eggs close to your chest, for tomorrow might be at large.

    And remember, never ever miss an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

    January 23, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • PNESSWRINKLE

      wow....you really like food.

      January 23, 2013 at 2:25 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.