An American pastor who is imprisoned in his homeland of Iran for planting house churches in the country over a decade ago is suffering with increasing pain, reports state.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has been fighting for the release of Saeed Abedini, a 32-year old pastor who has been incarcerated in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison since last September, says that they have received word that Abedini recently fainted from the agony.
As previously reported, Abedini has been suffering with internal injuries sustained from beatings while in prison. He had been denied treatment for several months due to his Christian faith, but recently was transported to a local hospital to receive assistance.
“Suffering from an internal injury in his stomach, Pastor Saeed has been in need of medical attention for quite some time,” the Christian legal organization outlined in a news release. “On July 20, 2013, he was taken to a private hospital in Tehran for treatment and, for the first time, he was examined by a physician and prescribed medication for injuries he sustained from the beatings he endured by prison guards.”
However, now the ACLJ says that while Abedini has been taking medication for his pain, he is suffering more than ever.
“This is a disturbing turn of events,” it wrote in an update this week. “It serves as a renewed reminder of the dangerous conditions Pastor Saeed faces in one of the world’s worst prisons.”
Abedini, who resides in Idaho with his wife Naghmeh and their two children, was arrested last year for allegedly threatening the national security of Iran by planting house churches, 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.
The ACLJ states that it is important to highlight that Christians in the country continue to be persecuted and imprisoned like Abedini.
“There are reports that three more Christians were just recently arrested without charge in Iran. Reportedly, they have been beaten, one to the point of being hospitalized,” the legal organization explained. “Another was recently convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison (by the same notorious judge who convicted and sentenced Saeed) for, among other things, membership in an ‘anti-security organization,’ i.e. a Christian church. Court documents obtained by an Iranian Christian media source show that he had previously been found guilty of ‘apostasy’ (converting to Christianity).”
“Pastor Saeed is the face of Christian persecution in Iran, but he is far from the only one,” it continued. “The ACLJ is preparing to launch new initiatives to highlight the persecuted church around the world and the work to expose their human rights abusers and shine light into the darkest corners of the globe.”
In the meantime, the organization asks for supporters to visit SaveSaeed.org to learn more about a prayer vigil scheduled for next month on behalf of Abedini and his family.