An American pastor that is imprisoned in Iran on charges stemming from his work in planting house churches in the country recently told family members that he is praying for those affected by the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Pastor Saeed Abedini stated that he heard about the incident on the radio while incarcerated, and that he is concerned about the matter. He told his parents that he is praying for the victims and their families.
Abedini remains in pain himself as Iranian officials continue to delay medical treatment for the 32-year-old, who is suffering from internal bleeding. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has been fighting for his release, says that Abedini was beaten again after being released from the hospital recently without treatment. The organization states that the pastor has been accused by officials of engaging in a “soft war” against the Iranian regime.
“Pastor Saeed has never been involved in political activities. His heart has been for the people of Iran, and he has always cooperated with Iranian authorities,” it outlines. “He kept his promise to stop working with house churches and worked with Iranian authorities on a non-religious orphanage.”
As previously reported, 32-year-old Abedini, who resides in Idaho with Negmeh and their two children, has been incarcerated in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison since late September for allegedly threatening the national security of Iran by planting house churches in the country a decade ago, and for attempting to turn youth in the nation away from Islam and toward Christianity. He had traveled to Iran to build an orphanage last fall, and was about to return to the states when he was taken into custody.
While incarcerated, Abedini has reported numerous beatings in correspondence to his wife.
“When I saw my family for the first time behind the glass walls, I could see my mom four meters away. As she approached me and saw my face, she broke down and could not get closer. She was crying,” he wrote in a letter released last month. “I understood what she felt because after weeks of being in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, I also got to see my face in the mirror of an elevator that was taking me to the prison hospital. I said hi to the person staring back at me because I did not recognize myself. My hair was shaven, under my eyes were swollen three times what they should have been, my face was swollen, and my beard had grown.”
As his wife Nagmeh continues to plead for the U.S. government to put pressure on Iran to free her husband, the ACLJ is asking for Christians around the world to send a note of encouragement to Abedini while he is incarcerated.
“We must let him know that we will never forget him and will never stop working for his release,” it urges.
Information on the Save Saeed campaign may be found at savesaeed.org