Wednesday, July 31, 2013

365 Days in Detention for American Pastor in Iran


7/28/2013 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) continues to call for the release of American-Iranian national Saeed Abedini. July 28th marks one year since Saeed was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. 365 days later Pastor Saeed remains in Tehran’s Evin prison serving a sentence of eight years for no reason other than his faith in Christ.

Since his arrest Saeed has endured abuse and harassment, including both physical and psychological torture. In a letter Saeed was able to send to his wife in March he wrote, “After weeks of being in solitary confinement in Evin prison, I also got to see my face in the mirror of an elevator. […] I said hi to the person staring back at me because I did not even recognize myself.” It was not until the past few days that Saeed received medical care for the injuries he has received while incarcerated.

Pastor Saeed, who was born in Iran and became a believer in 2000, had worked among the Iranian evangelical church in the early 2000s. He was detained while in Iran in 2009 and only released on the condition that he no longer worked with the house churches. He was encouraged by the government to engage in humanitarian work. Saeed had returned to Iran to work on a government approved project to build orphanages. It was while doing this work that he was detained on July 28, 2012 while at his parents’ house in Iran. Saeed had his passport confiscated, was placed under house arrest, and forbidden from leaving the country.

Saeed did not attempt to flee the country because, “he believed in obeying the law of the land as long it didn’t interfere with him sharing Christ,” Saeed’s wife Naghmeh said in a recent interview with ICC. He told the government that he would not do anything illegal, but would stay and stand up for his beliefs(Continue reading). 

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