Colorado Springs, Jan. 28 (World Watch Monitor) — The wife of an American citizen sentenced to an Iranian prison for eight years expects she won’t hear from her husband until 2021, unless U.S. pressure is able to pry him free.
Naghmeh Shariat Panahi told World Watch Monitor that the last time she heard Saeed Abedini’s voice was Jan. 9, during a 3-minute cell phone call between Boise, Idaho and Tehran, Iran. Abedini’s family in Iran held two cell phones together — one linked to Panahi in America, the other to Abedeni in a holding cell — so the two could exchange words.
“He wanted to hear the kids’ voices,” Panahi said Tuesday from her Idaho home. The couple has a 6-year-old girl, Rebekkah, and a son, 4-year-old Jacob. After the 3 minutes were up, “we heard there will be no more phone calls,” she said.
Abedini, 32, was sentenced Sunday by a Revolutionary Court judge who concluded that Abedini’s work to establish Christian churches threatened Iran’s national security. A native of Iran and born Muslim, Abedini converted to Christianity in 2000 and spent several years establishing small “house churches. Continue reading “World Watch Monitor – U.S. authorities not hopeful Saeed Abedini will be released from Iranian prison”
Colorado Springs, Jan. 20 (World Watch Monitor) — Iran on Monday accused an Idaho man of trying to entice young people to Christianity and away from the country’s official religion, Islam, the man’s American-based legal team says.
The trial of Saeed Abedini, 32, of Boise, began Monday in the Tehran courtroom of Abbas Pir-Abbassi, a Revolutionary Court judge notorious for harsh sentences. Abedini faces a lengthy prison sentence and possibly the death penalty for the alleged crime of attempting to undermine the Iranian government through the spread of Christianity.
The American Center for Law and Justice said prosecutors presented evidence that Abedini created “a network of Christian house churches” starting in 2000, the year he left Islam for Christianity.
“The regime alleged that Pastor Saeed intentionally sought to sway the minds of Iranian youth by turning the youth toward Christianity and against Islam, the official religion of Iran,” the center said in a prepared statement.
Abedini’s wife, Nagmeh, posted this account of Monday’s courtroom proceedings on the “Pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini” Facebook page:
Saeed was able to share from the Bible to the Judge and say that he was not a political person and had no political intentions, but he was a follower of His Lord Jesus Christ. There will be no more hearings and the formal charges and sentences will most likely be announced next week according to his lawyer in Iran.
There seemed to have been moments when the judge was moved by Saeed’s testimony. Please continue to pray for the Judge and Saeed’s release and his return back to our family. Continue reading “World Watch Monitor: Iran says American tried to turn children against Islam”
Iranian pastor Saeed Abedini
Colorado Springs, Colo., Jan. 18 (World Watch Monitor) — Stepping up the urgency of American response, the White House on Friday called on Iran to release a jailed American pastor facing a trial that could send him to the gallows.
Saeed Abedini, a native of Iran and a naturalized American citizen, is expected to enter one of Iran’s revolutionary courts Monday to face accusations that he is a threat to national security. His lawyers say he faces a lengthy prison term and even the death penalty at the hands of one of Iran’s most notoriously severe judges.
On Friday, U.S. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor issued a statement demanding Abedini’s release.
“We remain troubled by the case of U.S. citizen Saeed Abedini, who was arrested by Iranian officials more than three months ago on charges relating to his religious beliefs,” Vietor said in the statement. “We call upon Iranian authorities to release him immediately.”
It’s not known what precise charges Abedini will face, said Tiffany Barrans, international legal director for the American Center for Law and Justice, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney group that uses litigation to press for religious and speech freedom. But Barrans said it was Abedini’s background as an organizer of house churches in Iran that has angered the government, and for which he will be tried.
Earlier this week, 49 members of Congress sent letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging the U.S. to apply diplomatic pressure on Iran to force Abedini’s release. The U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with Iran. Continue reading “U.S. demands release of American pastor from Iranian prison”
Saeed Abedini and his family
You probably know that we rarely send emails unless we have a very urgent prayer request we would like to share with you. This is such a time.
A dear personal friend of mine is in trouble for no reason except that he loves and obeys Jesus Christ. His name is Saeed Abedini. He was born in Iran, but is now a US citizen. His wife Naghmeh is also a US citizen and they live with their two children in the US state of Idaho.
Saeed, despite being just 32 years old, has been instrumental in bringing many Iranian Muslims to the Lord, and has established numerous house churches throughout Iran.
He asked me to write his biography, and I was working on it when Saeed made one last trip back to Iran to say goodbye to his family. He knew that when his book came out it would be impossible for him to travel back to the country of his birth. Continue reading “Urgent Prayer Request for Saeed Abedini”