Saeed Abedini: U.S. pastor sentenced to 8 years in Iranian prison for preaching Christianity in homes

January 27th, 20139:06 pm @

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By
Daily Mail Reporter

15:45, 27 January 2013


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20:33, 27 January 2013

An American pastor from Idaho has been sentenced to eight years in one of Iran’s harshest prisons for preaching Christianity in Iranian homes, it was revealed today.

Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen who was born in Iran, has been held since September and charged with ‘threatening the national security of Iran.

The 32-year-old father of two says he was in the country only to establish and orphanage and was not preaching Christianity.

Jailed: Pastor Saeed Abedini was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges that he preached Christianity in the Islamic nation

Family man: Mr Abedini, seen here with his wife Naghmeh and their two young children, has a home in Idaho and is a U.S. citizen

Campaign: The American Center for Law and Justice, a legal advocacy group founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, has been working on Mr Abedini’s behalf

The American Center for Law and Justice, which is working with Mr Abedini’s family to free him from Iranian custody, says the pastor led house churches in the Islamic nation in the early 2000s, when the state did not consider such activities a threat.

‘With today’s development I am devastated for my husband and my family.  We must now pursue every effort, turn every rock, and not stop until Saeed is safely on American soil,’ Mr Abedini’s devastated wife Naghmeh, said.

Mr Abedini is being held in Evin Prison in Tehran, the infamous gulag that houses most of the country’s political prisoners.

The ACLJ, a legal advocacy group founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, reports that Revolutionary Court Judge Pir-Abassi convicted and sentenced Mr Abedini after a hastily-called court hearing.

Aid work: Mr Abedini argues that he was in Iran only to establish an orphanage and was not working to convert Muslims to Christianity

Political: The ACLJ says the conviction violates Iran’s own justice system and appears to be manipulated by politics

The group says that the ruling violated Iran’s judicial rules and was motivated purely by politics.

‘We know that with the Iranian Revolutionary Court, Pastor Saeed’s conviction and sentence had to be approved at the very top – The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had to sign off,’ Jordan Sekulow, the director of international operations, wrote.

The ACLJ says that Mr Abedini was beaten and tortured while in Iranian custody.

He and his attorney were allowed to attend just one day of his trial, which began on January 21.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and the State Department have both called for Mr Abedini’s release, thought the Iranian government has clearly ignored the request.

Iranian officials had previously said they were planning to release the pastor, so the news that he was sentenced to eight years in a harsh prison came as a shock to his family and supporters.

The comments below have not been moderated.

I pray that God blesses and frees him and gives him family strength. So sad that in this day and age people still suffer persecution because of their beliefs.

Nicomi
,

London, UK,
27/1/2013 20:48

“Good luck freeing him. He’s lucky he wasn’t sentenced to death. When will Americans learn that they cannot go to Iran and do whatever they want?- The World is a Ghetto, Anywhere, Any Given Time, 27/1/2013 14:14″-
That’s what missionaries do. They don’t do what ‘they want’, they do the wish of God, tell people that don’t know about the gospels, showing kindness, doing good, helping others, not living their own lives just to feel pleasure and satisfy themselves.

Adriana
,

São Paulo,
27/1/2013 20:19

Meanwhile back in the UK……

Johnny
,

Essex,
27/1/2013 20:09

The Apostle Peter now serves as his example. Keep running the race, brother.
- mssc54, Charleston,………….I am sure you meant the apostle Paul

Rick
,

Teesside,
27/1/2013 20:07

What would god say about this? I suppose it depends which god you ask…

PrivateSi
,

WORCS,
27/1/2013 19:58

So where do we stand Mark 13:9

Robyte
,

Opelika,
27/1/2013 19:57

Ban all religious mumbo jumbo. It’s all garbage invented thousands of years ago by intelligent people for the sake of controlling those poor gullible soles, and to take what little money they had. Religion is big business and big money for those ramming it down our throats. 90% of the words troubles, past and present have revolved around religion, and you don’t need to be a religious person to be a good person either.

Meldrew
,

Ex-pat, Canada,
27/1/2013 19:51

How dare they not bow themselves to Papa Nero? Don’t they know he’s the vicar of Christ Zeus!

Partho-ScythianCelt
,

Mississippi, United States,
27/1/2013 19:45

Serves him right! In such a country he should know better!

True British Patriot
,

London, United Kingdom,
27/1/2013 19:43

I agree Religion is made by man. Faith in God is what God wants, not Exalted leaders sitting on thrones, or treated like Royalty that is not what Our Lord taught, nor did he ever live like that when he was here among the people..

Rick
,

Pace, USA,
27/1/2013 19:40

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