In 2009, Pastor Saeed Abedini was held captive for running a house church movement in Iran. At that time he made an agreement with the police that he would cease all activity as the leader of this underground church movement. Since then, Pastor Abedini said he has honored the agreement and has returned to Iran eight times. In 2012 he was visiting family and working on an orphanage when regime went back on it’s 2009 promise and decided to imprison Saeed, bringing him back up on the charges related to the 2009 detainment. Pastor Saeed, 32, was granted U.S. citizenship in 2010 through marriage to his American wife, Naghmeh. They have two children, a 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son. In 2008, Saeed became an ordained minister with the American Evangelistic Association. The Iranian government does not recognize his U.S. citizenship and for 3 years he travelled back and forth from Iran until this summer when he was put under house arrest. He was imprisoned in September and the Iranian government has refused to notify Pastor Saeed, his attorney, or his family about what’s included in the charges. What’s clear is that Pastor Saeed is in prison because of his Christian faith and his desire to share the Gospel with others.
Abedini is being held in what said to be a notoriously brutal Evin Prison, in Tehran. Now his case has been assigned to the 26th Branch of the Revolutionary Court. Judge Pierre Abbasi who heads that branch,” is known specifically to be notorious for his brutal sentences. He’s been nicknamed the ‘hanging judge’ by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom and as one of three Islamic Revolutionary Court judges “responsible for particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”
Tiffany Barrans, who works on Saeed’s legal team with the ACLJ says, they are worried, but they’re not done fighting. “I think we have a lot of work ahead of us. I think it could be very detrimental for Saeed. We have cause for concern. Hopefully, we get our government more involved and get governments around the world speak up against Iran’s violation of human rights.”
Iran is refusing to release him, and subjecting him to unspeakable abuse, including death threats. At the ACLJ, they are launching an international campaign to free Pastor Saeed, and need Americans to mobilize for religious liberty. There is a petition you can sign to urge the President, the State Department, and every Member of Congress to take a stand for an American Christian. To sign this petition please click here!
US Department of State made a statement about Saeed at their briefing today:
“MS. NULAND(Victoria Nuland): We have serious concerns about the fate of two U.S. citizens detained in Iran, Amir Hekmati and Saeed Abedini. Let me start with Mr. Abedini…. He was arrested by Iranian officials more than three months ago on charges related to his religious beliefs. We understand that a hearing will be held soon, and we call on Iranian officials to respect Iran’s own laws and provide Mr. Abedini access to an attorney.”
Help get Idaho Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini home. Saeed has been detained by the Iranian government for his faith.
We petition the Obama Administration to help get American Pastor Saeed Abedini from Boise, Idaho home safely to his wife and children. Saeed has been imprisoned by the Iranian government because he is a Christian. President Obama, we ask you to work with the U.S. Department of State, the Iranian Government and the Swiss Embassy to help get Saeed home soon. Saeed is still in prison and his condition continues to deteriorate. Please help.
The petition that still needs 25,000 signatures by February 10, 2013. Please click the link below, sign and share to get the word out. Thank you!