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Persecution

Pastor being held in abusive Iranian prison

Charlie Butts   (OneNewsNow.com) Thursday, December 20, 2012

Work continues to free an American citizen in prison in Iran. The man who has been imprisoned is a Christian pastor and former house church leader there.

Abedini

Saeed Abedini and his wife converted to Christianity from Islam and immigrated to the United States.  He has made frequent trips to his homeland to visit with family who are also Christian converts. According to Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law & Justice, Abedini had been imprisoned before.

"He has had a dust-up before there and agreed to stop his house church movement, which had hundreds of churches around Iran," Sekulow tells OneNewsNow, "but Saeed Abedini has been in prison now in Iran since September." Abedini's wife and two children remain in the U.S.

The United States has had no diplomatic relationship with Iran since the revolution in 1979, and Iran considers Abedini to be an Iranian citizen. The situation is dire, says Sekulow.

Sekulow, Jordan (ACLJ)"He is in a prison cell. He's been beaten and tortured. His family in Iran is under house arrest," he describes. "He was placed in a cell with individuals who are saying they are al-Qaeda, and they're in jail in Iran for being extremists there and they're beating him because they found out he was a convert [and] a pastor."

The 32-year-old pastor is charged with national security crimes. Abedini has made nine trips to Iran since coming to the U.S. because he is setting up a non-sectarian orphanage in Iran.

Sekulow urges Christians to circulate the story, sign an online petition, and generate prayer as ACLJ works to free Abedini. (Listen to ACLJ interview with Abedini's wife)

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