Pastor Saeed Abedini, the American minister who was jailed in Iran for three and a half years for his Christian faith, has said Islam is not a peaceful religion.
The American pastor's statement was made in response to the Easter Sunday attacks that recently rocked Pakistan's Christian community. For Pastor Saeed Abedini, the declaration that Islam is a peaceful religion is a "lie".
On Monday, Saeed Abedini wrote a Facebook post saying the Qur'an teaches Muslims to engage in jihad and to kill unbelievers.
"If Muslims say: we are peaceful, 'it's a lie.' The Qur'an teaches that Muslims must fight and kill (Jihad) unbelievers," said Abedini in his Facebook post. "'Wherever you overtake them' until 'religion is Allah's,' i.e. Islamic law rules all societies (2.Sura Al _Baqarah(Cow) 2:190-193)."
Abedini said ISIS, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and the Islamic Republic of Iran are demonstrating the real form of Islam by persecuting Christians, slaughtering them, and destroying churches. He observed that modern Muslims defend Islam by saying those who practice violence and bloodshed are not real followers of their religion. However, the pastor also pointed out that even Muslims in Shia or Sunni countries give the same explanation.
"So, where is the place which the most completest religion of the world known as Islam (as Muslims say) and Muslims believe that works peacefully in the entire world?!" Abedini asked. "The answer is 'NO WHERE.'"
Abedini was sentenced to eight years in jail for establishing Christian home churches in Iran. In January, he was freed from prison and spoke to 6 On Your Side about his experience in Iran.
In his interview, he said he was initially scared about what would happen to him, especially since he was unable to recall the face of his wife and children during his jail sentence. He endured intensive and repeated threats, abuses, and even was pressured to reject his Christian faith and turn to Islam.
Pastor Saeed Abedini said he was only able to endure all the sufferings in prison by comparing his situation with the struggles that Jesus Christ endured on the cross. With that, he was able to see that what he was going through was nothing compared to what Christ experienced.