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The popularity of the Assemblies of God Centennial services, held August 5-10, were unprecedented for any U.S. Assemblies of God event. Through broadcast, live-stream and simulcast, millions of people tuned in to view the services.

According to Africa's LMTV, more than 40 million viewers tuned in to watch its Centennial broadcasts, while the Spanish network, Unsión, broadcast reached viewers throughout Central and South America. The viewership of the Centennial special on TBN is not known, but TBN reaches millions of viewers each week.

In an effort to join AG churches thorughout the U.S. to the Sunday evening celebration, the Centennial finale featured a live simulcast. 

"We had more than 1,000 simulcast sites signed up to participate in Sunday evening's celebration service," Dr. George O. Wood, AG general superintendent, says. "This represented an estimated 50,000 participants in addition to the thousands in attendance and those watching by live-stream online."

And the popularity of the services continues. Since the conclusion of the Centennial, thousands of people have viewed or downloaded the services from the archived collection found on the 100.ag.org website.

"There has been a great interest in the archived messages," states Lucas Cornwell, media technology analyst at the AG national offices. "If people want to watch or share these videos, they can do so via the 100.ag.org website." 

Cornwell says that a few of the messages receiving strong interest include Sunday evening's concluding service with Dick Brogden, the presentation of The Human Right movement, and the message from South Korea General Superintendent Yong Mok Cho.

For news stories, in both English and Spanish, see the Centennial website and click on the "News" tab or click on "Español" at the top of the page for the news tab in Spanish. In addition, the Jason Frenn and Juan Carlos Escobar services, feature translation, in Spanish and English.


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From the depths of an Iranian prison

Fri, 11 Jan 2013 - 1:39 PM CST

Abedini letter

The letter, carried out from Iran's notorious Evin Prison, tells of beatings and interrogations, around-the-clock bright lights and ongoing lies designed to create hope - in order to crush it. The remarkable letter also reveals a depth of faith and compassion that could only be granted by God.

Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. minister, has been imprisoned in Evin Prison in Tehran for his faith since Iranian authorities removed him from a bus in September 2012 while he was visiting his homeland. 

Recently, Naghmeh, Abedini's wife, received a letter from her husband through family members who were able to visit him in prison. Naghmeh passed the letter on to AG General Superintendent George O. Wood, with the encouragement to share the letter with everyone.

"Saeed's letter is nothing short of a modern-day Pauline epistle," states AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. "As I read his letter through several times, I could only marvel at how God's faithfulness transcends time as the same Holy Spirit that was with Paul in his times of desperation is fully evident in the words of our brother Saeed."

"I always wanted God to make me a godly man," Saeed writes in his letter. "I did not realize that in order to become a godly man we need to become like steel under pressure. It is a hard process of warm and cold to make steel. The process in my life today is one day I was told I will be freed on bail to see my family and kids on Christmas (they are all lies) and the next day I am told I will hang for my faith in Jesus."

"It's amazing to me how this letter, from an imprisoned pastor, inspires and ministers to me when he - it would seem - is the one who needs our prayers," Wood states. "I encourage believers to allow this letter to inspire them to greater things, to pass it on to friends and to continue to uplift Saeed, Naghmeh and their two young children to God in prayer."

To read the letter, which is less than 500 words, click here. To read the original "AG News" story about the imprisonment of Pastor Abedini, click here.

Authors: Dan Van Veen

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