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New Revelation: Previous US Administration Facilitated Christian Genocide in Nigeria

by Raymond Ibrahim for Gatestone Institute —

  • “On March 23, 2015, President Obama himself took the unusual step of releasing a video message directly to Nigerians all but telling them how to vote. In that video, Obama urged Nigerians to open the ‘next chapter’ by their votes.” — Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria, in his new book, My Transition Hours.
  • “Christianity is on the brink of extinction in Nigeria.” — Bosun Emmanuel, the secretary of the National Christian Elders Forum,June 23, 2018.
  • “Hundreds of indigenous Numan Christians in Adamawa state were attacked and killed by jihadist Fulani herdsmen. When they tried to defend themselves the Buhari govt. sent in the Airforce to bomb hundreds of them and protect the Fulani aggressors.” — Femi Fani-Kayode, Nigerian lawyer, author and former Minister of Aviation, Daily Post, December 6, 2017.
  • In March 2014, after the United States Institute for Peace invited the governors of Nigeria’s northern states for a conference in the U.S., the State Department blocked the visa of the region’s only Christian governor, Jonah David Jang, an ordained minister.

In a bombshell revelation, Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s former president (2010-2015), has accused the Obama administration of meddling with his nation’s politics in order to replace him with its current president, Muhammadu Buhari — whom many blame for facilitating the persecution of Christians. In his new book, My Transition Hours, Jonathan writes:

“On March 23, 2015, President Obama himself took the unusual step of releasing a video message directly to Nigerians all but telling them how to vote… In that video, Obama urged Nigerians to open the ‘next chapter’ by their votes. Those who understood subliminal language deciphered that he was prodding the electorate to vote for the [Muslim-led] opposition to form a new government.”

A 2011 ABC News report provides context:

The current wave of [Muslim] riots was triggered by the Independent National Election Commission’s (INEC) announcement on Monday [April 18, 2011] that the incumbent President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, won in the initial round of ballot counts. That there were riots in the largely Muslim inhabited northern states where the defeat of the Muslim candidate Muhammadu Buhari was intolerable, was unsurprising. Northerners [Muslims] felt they were entitled to the presidency for the declared winner, President Jonathan, [who] assumed leadership after the Muslim president, Umaru Yar’Adua died in office last year and radical groups in the north [Boko Haram] had seen his [Jonathan’s] ascent as a temporary matter to be corrected at this year’s election. Now they are angry despite experts and observers concurring that this is the fairest and most independent election in recent Nigerian history.

That the Obama administration may have imposed its will on a foreign country’s politics and elections is hardly unprecedented. Recall the administration’s partiality for the Muslim Brotherhood during and after 2012 presidential elections in Egypt; or its unsuccessful efforts to oust Israeli prime minister Netanyahu with U.S. taxpayers’ money; or its efforts — with an admittedly unverified “dossier” (herehere and here) — to prevent then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump from being elected, or by discussing an “insurance policy” in the event that Trump won. Moreover, texts by Peter Strzok revealed that Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing.”

So in Nigeria, the Obama administration, it seems, sought to right the apparently intolerable wrong of having a duly elected Christian president in a more than 50% Christian nation.

Two questions arise: 1) Is there any outside evidence to corroborate Jonathan’s allegations against the Obama administration? 2) Is Buhari truly facilitating the jihad on his Christian countrymen?

The Obama Administration’s Pro-Islamic/Anti-Christian Policy

Former Nigerian President Jonathan’s newly published accusations appear to correspond with the former U.S. administration’s policy concerning Muslims and Christians in Nigeria.

To begin with, the Obama administration insisted that violence and bloodshed in Nigeria — almost all of which was committed by Muslims against Christians — had nothing to do with religion. This despite the fact that Boko Haram — which was engaging in ISIS type of atrocities: slaughter, kidnap, rape, plunder, slavery, torture before ISIS was even born — presented its terrorism as a jihad. In one instance it even called on President Jonathan to “repent and forsake Christianity” and convert to Islam as the price for peace. The Obama administration, however, refused to designate Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization until November 2013 — years after increasing pressure from lawmakers, human rights activists, and lobbyists.

For instance, after a Nigerian church was destroyed in an Easter Day 2012 bombing that left 39 worshippers dead — one of many such deadly church bombings over the years in Nigeria — Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, said, “I want to take this opportunity to stress one key point and that is that religion is not driving extremist violence” in Nigeria.

Instead, “inequality” and “poverty” — to quote Bill Clinton — are “what’s fueling all this stuff” (a reference to the jihadi massacre of thousands of Christians).

Apparently to prove that it believed what it was saying, the Obama administration even agreed to allocate $600 million in a USAID initiative to ascertain the “true causes” of unrest and violence in Nigeria, which supposedly lay in the socio-economic, never the religious, realm.

Also telling is that, although the Obama administration offered only generic regrets whenever Christians were slaughtered by the dozens — without acknowledging the religious identity of persecutor or victim — it loudly protested whenever Islamic terrorists were targeted. When, for instance, Nigerian forces under Jonathan’s presidency killed 30 Boko Haram terrorists in an offensive in May 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (who is also mentioned in unflattering terms in Jonathan’s memoirs) “issued a strongly worded statement” to Jonathan, reported Reuters: “We are … deeply concerned by credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations,” Kerry warned the Nigerian president.

In March 2014, after the United States Institute for Peace invited the governors of Nigeria’s northern states for a conference in the U.S., the State Department blocked the visa of the region’s only Christian governor, Jonah David Jang, an ordained minister. According to human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe:

“After the [Christian governor] told them that they were ignoring the 12 Shariah states who institutionalized persecution … he suddenly developed visa problems… The question remains – why is the U.S. downplaying or denying the attacks against Christians?”

More recently, Ogebe, of the U.S. Nigeria Law Group based in Washington, told Gatestone in an interview that the Obama administration “State Department actually said they preferred a ‘Muslim majority’ country to explain why Obama chose to visit Senegal instead of Nigeria. Ironically, Jonathan sided with the US on Israel in the UN while Buhari voted against the US/Israel in the UN.”

Muhammadu Buhari’s Role in the Jihad on Christians

Indicators that Muhammadu Buhari — whom the Obama administration helped make president of Nigeria, according to Jonathan — is empowering the genocide of Christians follow.

After Goodluck Jonathan became president, thousands of Christians living near Muslim centers in Nigeria were killed. Since getting what they want — a Muslim president, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015 — Muslims have attacked Christians in ways that are being characterized as a “pure genocide.”

As the Christian Association of Nigeria, an umbrella group of various Christian denominations, said in a recent statement:

“There is no doubt that the sole purpose of these attacks is aimed at ethnic cleansing, land grabbing and forceful ejection of the Christian natives from their ancestral land and heritage.”

To begin with, significantly more Christians have been massacred under Muhammadu Buhari than his Christian predecessor — mostly by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, who regularly launch raids on Christian villages. In just the first six months of this year, 6,000 Christians were slaughtered in the name of jihad. It took three times as long for the Fulani to kill only 1,484 Christians under Jonathan’s presidency.

Any number of prominent Nigerians have accused Buhari of turning a blind eye to Fulani atrocities. He “is himself from the jihadists’ Fulani tribe,” Ogebe told Gatestone.

According to Rev. Musa Asake, the General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria:

“Under President Buhari, the murderous Fulani herdsmen enjoyed unprecedented protection and favoritism… Rather than arrest and prosecute the Fulani herdsmen, security forces usually manned by Muslims from the North offer them protection as they unleash terror with impunity on the Nigerian people.”

Similarly, according to prominent Nigerian lawyer, author and former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode:

“… the Muslim president [Buhari] has only awarded the murderers with impunity rather than justice and has staffed his government with Islamic officials, while doing essentially nothing to give the nation’s Christians, who make up half the population, due representation.”

Like the Obama administration, Buhari also attributes Fulani persecution of Christians to “poverty, injustice and the lack of job opportunities.” As the Christian Association of Nigeria retorts, however:

“How can it be a [secular or economic] clash when one group [Muslims] is persistently attacking, killing, maiming, destroying, and the other group [Christians] is persistently being killed, maimed and their places of worship destroyed?”

The National Christian Elders Forum is more direct concerning the source of violence:

“JIHAD has been launched in Nigeria by the Islamists of northern Nigeria led by the Fulani ethnic group. This Jihad is based on the Doctrine of Hate taught in Mosques and Islamic Madrasas in northern Nigeria as well as the supremacist ideology of the Fulani. Using both conventional (violent) Jihad, and stealth (civilization) Jihad, the Islamists of northern Nigeria seem determined to turn Nigeria into an Islamic Sultanate and replace Liberal Democracy with Sharia as the National Ideology. … We want a Nigeria, where citizens are treated equally before the law at all levels….”

The Buhari government has even been accused of participating in the jihad. For example, one especially savage Fulani “attack razed several [Christian] villages in the southern part of the state [leaving 100 dead], and a military jet bombed a Lutheran church and other targets,” says one report, before adding: “Some people suspect the jets were deployed in collaboration with the terrorists because their bombs hit villagers.”

Fani-Kyode has been even more direct in his accusation against Buhari:

“Hundreds of indigenous Numan Christians in Adamawa state were attacked and killed by jihadist Fulani herdsmen. When they tried to defend themselves the Buhari govt. sent in the Airforce to bomb hundreds of them and protect the Fulani aggressors. Is this fair? WORLD TAKE NOTE!”

It is also worth noting that, although Christians were only recently the majority of Nigeria’s population, the ongoing genocide against them has caused their population to drop — to the point that Christianity in Nigeria “is on the brink of extinction,” warns Bosun Emmanuel, the secretary of the National Christian Elders Forum. Last summer he said that Muhammadu Buhari “is openly pursuing an anti-Christian agenda that has resulted in countless murders of Christians all over the nation and destruction of vulnerable Christian communities.” Accordingly, “the Church has been weakened and unable to stand before its enemies. Realistically speaking, Christianity is on the brink of extinction in Nigeria. The ascendancy of Sharia ideology in Nigeria rings the death toll for the Nigerian Church.”

Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Goodluck Jonathon

U.S. Rep. Smith Statement on Reports of Obama Administration’s Plans to Exclude Christians from Genocide Designation

Iraq Attack Michigan Rally

Obama Administration to Overlook Christians in Iraq?

Washington, Nov 13 – News reports that the Obama administration is considering excluding Christians from its potential designation of ISIS genocide victims, and only including the Iraqi religious minority Yazidis, have left U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House congressional panel that oversees global human rights issues, “shocked and dismayed.”

ISIS has also committed genocide against Christians,” Smith said. “They have been systematically targeted for murder, torture, rape, displacement – extermination – the President should acknowledge this. I am shocked and dismayed that President would even think to exclude the present day genocide of Christians.”

Earlier this year, Pope Francis stated “Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus. This too needs to be denounced: in this third world war, waged peacemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide – I insist on the word – is taking place, and it must end.”

Ignoring Christians, and the full range of religious and ethnic groups who have been victims of the ISIS genocide, would continue the President’s policy of silence and weak response,” Smith said. “When will the President actually implement his own Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities and National Security Strategy?”

The “Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities” (Presidential Directive 10, August 4, 2011) states that “Preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States.” The 2015 “National Security Strategy of the United States” states that “The mass killing of civilians is an affront to our common humanity and a threat to our common security…We have a strong interest in leading an international response to genocide and mass atrocities when they arise, recognizing options are more extensive and less costly when we act preventively before situations reach crisis proportions… we will continue to mobilize allies and partners to strengthen our collective efforts to prevent and respond to mass atrocities using all our instruments of national power.”

Smith co-chaired a 2014 Congressional hearing on the “Genocidal Attacks against Christian and Other Religious Minorities in Syria and Iraq” and has been a long-time champion of preventing genocide, mass atrocities, and war crimes in many parts of the world and holding perpetrators accountable. chrissmith.house.gov

U.S. Senate unanimously votes in favor of a resolution to secure the release of Americans in Iran

The American government should not be rewarding Iran for it’s human rights abuses.

The U.S. Senate sent a strong message to Iran and the Obama Administration this afternoon by unanimously voting in favor of a resolution calling on the Obama Administration to, in the words of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “use the tools it has in pursuit of what should be a bipartisan goal: securing the release of American citizens being held as hostages by the regime in Iran.”

Majority Leader McConnell continued when speaking in favor of the resolution:

One of those Americans, Saeed Abedini, has reportedly been held prisoner for what would appear to be the supposed ‘crime’ of attempting to build and operate an orphanage. Beaten, denied access to medical care, and locked away in solitary confinement — that’s apparently how the Iranian regime deals with those who dare to show love and compassion to others.

No American should find this acceptable. Just as no American should find it acceptable to unjustly imprison a reporter, or a grandson coming to see his grandmother.I think we can all agree that, at the very least, the American government should not be rewarding Iran for its disgraceful human-rights abuses — that we should not be granting Iran access to the funding it desires to further its nuclear weapons program and terrorist proxies while this exploitation continues.

So I call on every Senator to join us in standing up for human rights. Let’s pass Senator Risch’s legislation later this afternoon.

The resolution, sponsored by Senator James Risch of Idaho—the home state of Pastor Saeed Abedini and where his wife, Naghmeh, and two young children still live—shows that Congress has not forgotten about Pastor Saeed and the other Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Iran.

In light of the upcoming Senate review of any nuclear deal with Iran, today was an important statement that Senators are prioritizing the freedom of Pastor Saeed and the other U.S. citizens imprisoned in Iran.

These are the same U.S. Senators who will review and vote on any finalized nuclear deal reached with Iran.

As the United States and Iran return to the negotiating table this week, it is vitally important that our leaders, regardless of party, do all they can to secure the release of Saeed and the other Americans before any deal is finalized and approved by Congress.

Join the ACLJ as we thank Senator Risch and the other members of the U.S. Senate taking the lead to stand up for Saeed. Sign the latest petition demanding no deal with Iran without Pastor Saeed.


Senator Vitter: ISIS Persecuting Christians in Iraq is Deplorable


In a press release on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La) made the following statement regarding ISIS militant’s persecution of Christians in Iraq who won’t convert to Islam. Many Christians have been fleeing Iraq, especially in areas that have been taken over by ISIS. He called on Obama to develop strategies to be more effective in protecting the Christian minority and their communities.

Vitter’s statement:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Christians standing up for their beliefs in Iraq in this ongoing struggle. People such as Bishop Canon Andrew White, who is in Baghdad, has painted a dire picture of what the Christian minority there are expecting in upcoming weeks should ISIS continue to expand. The thought of ISIS murdering people for being Christians is absolutely deplorable,” Vitter said.

“The Obama Administration hasn’t laid out a coherent overall strategy to effectively attack these terrorists yet. I’ve strongly urged him to do this and to ask Congress for a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force. I think this is constitutionally necessary since we’re in a whole new country — Syria — and it’s the right thing to do in order to properly engage Congress and the American people.”

55 Members of Congress call on Obama Administration to protect Religious Minorities in Iraq


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fifty-five Members of Congress today called on the Obama Administration to do more to help protect religious minorities in Iraq.

In a letter to the president spearheaded by Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), co-chairs of the Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus, the bipartisan group of House Members urged the Obama Administration to actively engage with the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to prioritize additional security support for especially vulnerable populations, notably Iraq’s ancient Christian community and provide emergency humanitarian assistance to those affected communities.

“Absent immediate action, we will most certainly witness the annihilation of an ancient faith community from the lands they’ve inhabited for centuries,” the group wrote.

The group pointed to the rapid fall of multiple cities in Iraq to the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which brings the militant group notably closer to its declared aim of establishing a caliphate that spans the northern sections of Syria and Iraq.

“For years we have witnessed a precipitous decline of Iraq’s Christian community,” the letter said. “Thousands have fled in the face of targeted violence. Many of those that remained relocated to Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. To people of faith, Nineveh is familiar name: the site of a dramatic spiritual revival as told in the biblical book of Jonah. These areas were one of the last remaining havens for this beleaguered community.”

The letter also highlighted the fact that for the first time in 1,600 years there was no Mass in Mosul on Sunday after having fallen to the ISIS last week.

Below is the complete text of the letter:

The Honorable Barack H. Obama

The President

The White House

Washington DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Many Americans have been deeply troubled by the unfolding crisis in Iraq.  The rapid fall of multiple Iraqi cities to the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) brings the militant group notably closer to its declared aim of establishing a caliphate that spans the northern sections of Syria and Iraq.  A June 12 BBC article described ISIS in the following way: “The group has a reputation for brutality. Parts of Syria and Iraq that have previously fallen under its rule have witnessed summary execution, beheadings and even crucifixions.”

It is against this backdrop that we write to you bearing in mind recent reports from Archbishop Bashar M. Warda of the Chaldean Diocese of Erbil.  While his particular diocese is relatively calm at the moment, the picture that he painted, consistent with news reports, of the situation in Mosul and the implications for Iraq’s ancient Christian community and other religious minorities was bleak and sobering.

For years we have witnessed a precipitous decline of Iraq’s Christian community.  Thousands have fled in the face of targeted violence.  Many of those that remained relocated to Mosul and the Nineveh Plain.  To people of faith, Nineveh is familiar name: the site of a dramatic spiritual revival as told in the biblical book of Jonah.  These areas were one of the last remaining havens for this beleaguered community.  In fact Archbishop Warda indicated that this past Sunday, for the first time in 1,600 years, there was no Mass in Mosul. 

For the thousands who have already fled Mosul, they are facing not just displacement and imminent danger but a growing humanitarian nightmare marked by lack of access to clean water, food, fuel and electricity. 

As such, we urge you and your administration to urgently and actively engage with the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to prioritize additional security support for these particularly vulnerable populations and provide emergency humanitarian assistance to those affected communities.  Absent immediate action, we will most certainly witness the annihilation of an ancient faith community from the lands they’ve inhabited for centuries.

Best wishes.

Frank Wolf (R-VA)

Anna Eshoo (D-CA)

Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

Adam Schiff (D-CA)

Gary Peters (D-MI)

Sander Levin (D-MI)

Jack Kingston (R-GA)

Tom Cole (R-OK)

Tom Cotton (R-AR)

Robert Aderholt (R-AL)

Joseph Pitts (R-PA)

Steve Chabot (R-OH)

Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI)

Paul Cook (R-CA)

Michael Grimm (R-NY)

Gregg Harper (R-MS)

Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)

Bill Posey (R-FL)

Steve Stivers (R-OH)

James Lankford (R-OK)

Tim Griffin (R-AR)

Dennis Ross (R-FL)

Christopher Smith (R-NJ)

Duncan Hunter (D-CA)

Jeff Duncan (R-SC)

Jackie Speier (D-CA)

Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

Scott Peters (D-CA)

Gene Green (D-TX)

James McGovern (D-MA)

David Jolly (R-FL)

Andy Harris (R-MD)

Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)

Juan Vargas (D-CA)

Mo Brooks (R-AL)

Patrick Tiberi (R-OH)

John Larson (D-CT)

Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)

David McKinley (R-WV)

Brad Sherman (D-CA)

Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)

Michael Honda (D-CA)

Kevin Yoder (R-KS)

Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)

Christopher Gibson (R-NY)

James Langevin (D-RI)

Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

Trent Franks (R-AZ)

Tom Graves (R-GA)

John Dingell (D-MI)

Grace Meng (D-NY)

Elizabeth Esty (D-CT)

Keith Rothfus (R-PA)

Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)

An Appalling Betrayal of American Pastor Saeed Abedini

The ACLJ reports that on the night of November 23, 2013, the President of the United States left an American pastor, Saeed Abedini, behind.

The “deal” with Iran announced tonight by President Obama, which allegedly halts “part” of Iran’s nuclear program, allows Iran to enrich uranium and allows it to maintain a nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions and humanitarian relief.

It is outrageous that the Obama Administration commenced these negotiations and concluded them without the release of Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen.  In fact, the Administration has just confirmed that he was not even part of the negotiations, stating that “The P5+1 talks focused exclusively on nuclear issues.”

The Obama Administration did not volunteer this information; it was revealed only after a specific inquiry from Fox News.

For more than a year, Pastor Saeed has undergone torture at the hands of his Iranian captors, most recently being transferred to one of the most deadly prisons in the world.  Yet instead of demanding the release of this innocent U.S. citizen as a precondition to any negotiations with Iran, the Obama Administration is relaxing sanctions and providing humanitarian relief, while getting nothing but more meaningless promises in return.

Humanitarian relief?

Iran has been in a state of armed conflict against the U.S. since 1979. It has taken American hostages, killed Americans directly through terror attacks, and has been a principal supplier of arms to our jihadist enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In other words, Iran has American blood on its hands.

Iran has been our enemy since the jihadist takeover in 1979, and it remains our enemy. It holds an American pastor — torturing him in horrific prison conditions — merely because it hates his Christian faith.

Pastor Saeed entered Iran with the permission of the Iranian government to help construct an orphanage, a mission to help the most vulnerable in Iranian society.  Once there, he was arrested, tried without even being allowed to be present for his entire trial, convicted of nothing more than his Christian faith, and held in appalling conditions.

And we’re giving Iran humanitarian relief?

It is difficult to comprehend the level of betrayal.  We have made “deals” with tyrants before.  One of former President Bill Clinton’s gifts to the world was the 1994 “agreed framework” that provided U.S. aid in exchange for an alleged halt in North Korea’s nuclear program.  The result? North Korea is now not only a nuclear power but also a nuclear proliferator that has worked with Iran.

We have left Pastor Saeed behind in the vain hope that we can trust Iran.

It is a dark, cold night in America.


Military Guide Lumps Christians, Jews with ‘Extremists’



The Department of Defense classified Catholics, evangelicals, Jews and Mormons as religious “extremists” in military training materials, according to the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.

More than 1,500 pages of documents were just released to the chaplain group under the Freedom of Information Act.

“Many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place,” Newsmax quotes the study guide.

Trainees are warned that involvement with “extremist” organizations is “incompatible with military service and is, therefore, prohibited.”

The documents also show that the military considered the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate group” list as a “reliable source.”

“The U.S. military violated its appropriate apolitical stance and engaged in a dishonorable mischaracterization of multiple faith groups,” Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance, told Fox News.

Tom Fitton, president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, shared Crews’ sentiments.

“It’s disturbing insight into what’s happening inside Obama’s Pentagon,” Fitton said. “The Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism.”


Franks Calls for Release of Pastor Saeed Abedini, Criticizes Administration’s Silence


Congressman Trent Franks Calls for the Release of Saeed Abedini and criticizes the Administration’s silence!

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, an appeals court in Tehran rejected the appeal of Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen, and refused to reduce his 8-year prison sentence. Congressman Trent Franks, R-AZ, co-chairman of the International Religious Freedom Caucus today released the following statement:

“Iran has once again demonstrated an utter disregard for fundamental human rights by continuing to insist that Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, be unjustly imprisoned in Iran.  I will continue to exhaust every available avenue to continue to advocate for Pastor Abedini’s immediate and unconditional release.
“The American people would be outraged to truly know how our own State Department has responded with such deafening and cowardly silence when an American father, husband, and pastor is thrown into a harsh prison under an oppressive regime for having the “nerve” to practice his Christian faith.  The U.S. State Department, under John Kerry, should be utterly ashamed of its failure to speak out on behalf of Saeed Abedini and his precious family. No wonder the oppressive Iranian government holds the Obama Administration in such total derision as it proceeds to build nuclear weapons with which to threaten the peace and security of the entire free world.
“I hope that the American people will hold the Obama Administration and State Department accountable for its absolutely criminal silence in the face of such a heartless injustice forced upon this beloved American pastor, his innocent family, and so many others.”



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