The American pastor jailed in Iran for his Christian faith told family members this week that he is praying for America in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. Though 32-year-old Saeed Abedini is being severely abused and psychologically tortured at a brutal Iranian prison, he expressed his concern about the act of terror in America after hearing about it on the prison radio. According to the ACLJ, he said he is ‘praying for the victims and their families during this very challenging time for our nation.’ But what about American concern for Abedini’s plight?
A bipartisan group of 80 members of Congress signed a letter to Sec. Kerry in February urging him to use every diplomatic avenue possible to secure Abedini’s unconditional release.
“Every American citizen traveling or living abroad should have the assurance that the U.S. government will come vigorously to his or her defense if they are unjustly detained or imprisoned,” the statement reads.
More than a decade ago, Abedini worked as a Christian leader and community organizer developing Iran’s underground home church communities for Christian converts who are forbidden from praying in public churches. He was arrested in 2005 but released after pledging never to evangelize in Iran again.
When he left his wife and two kids in Idaho last summer to return to Iran to help build a state-run, secular orphanage, Iranian police pulled him off a bus and imprisoned him.
Sec. Kerry has since called for his release and denounced the Islamic regime’s treatment of Abedini, but 211 days later, the pastor remains imprisoned. “I cannot express in words how concerned I am about Saeed’s physical and mental health,” Abedini’s wife told Fox News.
More than 500,000 people have showed their support by signing a petition to Save Saeed. The ACLJ is also encouraging people to write letters of hope to Abedini for his May 7th birthday, letting him know he’s not forgotten and showing Iranian officials that the world is watching.