An American pastor imprisoned in Iran is facing death threats from ISIS militants that are incarcerated in his ward, reports state.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is reporting that Pastor Saeed Abedini is in serious danger after receiving threats from fellow prisoners that are Muslim militants.
“ISIS militants imprisoned in the same ward of Rajai Shahr prison as Pastor Saeed have communicated through other prisoners that they will kill him because of his Christian faith,” Executive Director Jordan Sekulow reported Wednesday. “Pastor Saeed told family members this week that he fears for his life after these terrorists said they would murder him.”
As previously reported, Abedini, a former Muslim turned Christian, left Iran in 2005 and moved to the United States with his wife and children to find religious freedom after facing conflict with authorities for planting house churches in the county. Last fall, he traveled back to Iran to build an orphanage and visit his parents—and was about to return to the states—when he was taken into custody.
Abedini was later charged with threatening the national security of Iran, and for attempting to turn youth in the nation away from Islam and toward Christianity. He was then sentenced to eight years in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, where he has spent nearly two years behind bars.
In November, Abedini was transported to Rajai Shahr Prison, which was believed to pose an even greater threat to Abedini’s health and safety. In May, while obtaining treatment at a local hospital for injuries sustained from beatings, he was likewise beaten and returned to prison.
Now, reports state that Abedini hides in his own prison cell and refuses to go outside for fear that he may be attacked by Muslim terrorists.
“Pastor Saeed has been forced to remain in his cell and refuse to use his allotted time in the prison yard,” Sekulow outlined. “Pastor Saeed could … come face-to-face with these violent terrorists in the prison yard during the prisoners’ one-hour exercise period outdoors. … On past occasions, al Qaeda members have attempted to attack Pastor Saeed in the prison yard, saved only by other prisoners from his section who placed themselves between Pastor Saeed and the extremists.”
The ACLJ is calling upon Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to take immediate action to rescue Abedini from prison and return him safely to the United States. The organization is also asking that Iranian officials ensure the pastor’s safety and absolve him from any crimes.
“Now is the time to release this man, who has done nothing wrong, and allow him to return to the loving arms of his wife and children here in America,” Sekulow said.
As previously reported, just last week, Abedini’s children Rebekka and Jacob were featured in a video pleading with Barack Obama to bring their father home.
“Dear President Obama, please help bring my daddy home,” they state. “Why does Daddy have to be in prison for loving Jesus?”
No word has been issued from the White House in regard to the video plea.