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Last week, one of the strongest supporters of American Pastor Saeed Abedini in Congress, Representative Trent Franks (AZ-8), once again spoke out for the imprisoned pastor on the House floor.
Representative Franks is one of a number of Members of Congress who has “adopted” Pastor Saeed through the bipartisan Defending Freedoms Project. This is a similar effort to one we told you about last month on a global scale to have world leaders and elected officials “adopt” a prisoner of conscience.
Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen – has been illegally imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith for over 300 days apart from his wife and two young children.
As Representative Franks noted, “Pastor Abedini’s case is a demonstration to the world of the far-reaching implications of even a single instance of human rights abuse.”
The world is taking notice. In just the last few months we have seen two more significant actions from world nations demanding that Pastor Saeed be released.
Recently, during Canada’s “Iran Accountability Week,” Member of Parliament David Sweet spoke before the House of Commons, urging Pastor Saeed’s release. Likewise, Australia formally passed a motion calling for Pastor Saeed’s release last month.
These recent actions and Iran’s recent steps to provide Pastor Saeed much needed medical care are renewed confirmation of the powerful effect people are having on Pastor Saeed’s case. Continue to pray, share his story, and sign the petition for his release at SaveSaeed.org.
Thank you, Representative Trent Franks! We will keep you in our prayers, as you stand up and give our brother a VOICE!
To all our beautiful friends and prayer warriors,
Here is an update on Saeed Abedini. Saeed had his day at the court with his lawyer. Both Saeed and the lawyer provided their defense. The accusations were that Saeed was undermining the Iranian government by starting underground churches that dated back to the year 2000 (when Saeed converted to Christianity). Saeed was able to share from the Bible to the Judge and say that he was not a political person and had no political intentions, but he was a follower of His Lord Jesus Christ. There will be no more hearings and the formal charges and sentences will most likely be announced next week according to his lawyer in Iran. There seemed to have been moments when the judge was moved by Saeed’s testimony. Please continue to pray for the Judge and Saeed’s release and his return back to our family. We should be hearing some news next week.
Current Update: Pastor Saeed’s Trial: Bail Rejected
Today Pastor Saeed Abedini appeared before Judge Pir-Abassi in Branch 26 of the Iranian Revolutionary Courts. The prosecutor charged Pastor Saeed with attempting to undermine the Iranian government by creating a network of Christian house churches. The court presented evidence that dated back to the year 2000, the year Pastor Saeed converted from Islam to Christianity. The regime alleged that Pastor Saeed intentionally sought to sway the minds of Iranian youth by turning the youth toward Christianity and against Islam, the official religion of Iran.
Pastor Saeed is represented by Dr. Naser Sarbazi, a Muslim lawyer in Iran who is dedicated to preserving human rights and upholding the right for all individuals to practice their faith freely. Less than 24 hours before the trial, Dr. Sarbazi was permitted to meet with Pastor Saeed to prepare a defense. Dr. Sarbazi presented a strong defense as to why Pastor Saeed’s Christian activities were not a threat to the national security of Iran. He presented arguments as to how Pastor Saeed’s Christian activities were motivated solely by his faith and without a political agenda. Pastor Saeed’s father was the only family member allowed in the courtroom. Read more here
Listen to short interview with Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh Abedini on Air1 Radio
Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, is currently on trial in Iran, facing a possible death sentence. He’s charged, essentially, with being a Christian. While under house arrest, Saeed has been able to listen to Air1! His wife, Naghmeh, says he gets tremendous encouragement from being able to listen, even in the midst of what can be a brutal daily life. He writes, now, that he is facing beatings in prison. His trial began today.
Hear Naghmeh’s interview with Air1’s Brant Hansen:
Petition to Free American Pastor Saeed Abedini
Iran is imprisoning and abusing an American pastor because of his faith. Iran, home of one of the world’s most radical Islamic regimes, is holding American Pastor Saeed Abedini because he is a Christian, refusing to release him, and subjecting him to unspeakable abuse.
At the ACLJ, we are launching an international campaign to free Pastor Saeed, and we need Americans to mobilize for religious liberty. Urge the President, the State Department, and every Member of Congress to take a stand for an American Christian.
To: President Obama, the Secretary of State, and the United States Congress
Iran’s radical and violent jihadist regime is persecuting an American pastor for exercising his fundamental right to religious freedom. The United States cannot tolerate such assaults on its own citizens. Take all available diplomatic and legislative action to pressure Iran to respect religious freedom and release Pastor Saeed.
Sign the Petition Here