On Monday, April 29, prison guards at Tehran’s Evin Prison turned Pastor Saeed Abedini’s family members away when they arrived for their weekly prison visit. They were told he is no longer permitted to have visitors.
Jailed more than 200 days ago
Last June 22 Pastor Saeed Abedini said goodbye to his wife and two young children in Idaho to return to Iran to volunteer his services in helping to build a state-run secular orphanage. It was his 9th trip since 2009. Before he reached the project, the Iranian police yanked him off the bus. He was under house arrest from July to September. On September 26, the Revolutionary Guard showed up at his parents’ home and pulled him from bed during the night and confiscated every document in the house. Since then he’s been in Evin Prison in Tehran, and last January he was sentenced to 8 years in that horrific prison because of his Christian faith.
Abedini had been raised in the Muslim faith, and those who leave that faith at the age of maturity are treated as a traitor or a threat to the country. He has now been imprisoned for more than 200 days where he has suffered extreme abuse. His wife explained in a recent interview what the Iranian government convicted and found him guilty of:
“He’s ‘undermining the Iranian security of government,’ the Iranian government, undermining the actual security, ‘through starting networks of house churches.’ And, what I’ve learned recently is that they said that it’s a ‘soft war.’ That’s what they call it, his Christian activity is a ‘soft war.’” — Naghmeh Abedini interview with International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
Pastor Abedini thrown into solitary confinement following prayer protest
The American pastor has family in Iran who was able to visit him weekly until now, and they have expressed concern over his physical condition. After repeated beatings and torture, medical attention has been withheld for his injuries which include internal bleeding. Iranian born, Pastor Abedini is now a U.S. Citizen. His wife, Naghmeh Abedini, has relentlessly fought for her husband’s release. She recently talked with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran in an interview about her husband’s ill-treatment in prison, as well as the purported “soft war” he and other Christians are accused of waging, and religious freedom in Iran. The President, Senate, and House of Representatives have been petitioned to join her efforts, and she continues to ask Christians around the world to pray for her husband.
According to family members, a peaceful and silent protest was held in the courtyard outside Evin prison where Abedini is being held. He and other prisoners had signed a petition condemning the inhumane treatment of prisoners and harassment of those who visit them. Now he has been moved to solitary confinement
“There will be no more visitations allowed and we will have no way of knowing how Saeed is doing.” — Naghmeh Abedini (Fox News)
Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, who represents Abedini’s U.S.-based family said, “The latest developments underscore the brutality of Iran’s continued violation of human rights – imprisoning, torturing and refusing medical care for Pastor Saeed merely because of his faith. This treatment not only violates international law, but is abhorrent.” (Fox News)
To stay up-to-date and to know how to pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini visit the Pray for Saeed Abedini Facebook page.