February 26, 2013
From Iranian Prison, U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini Claims Torture But Defends Faith
International campaign urging his release joined by more than 80 members of Congress.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) continues to ramp up its campaign for the release of Iran-born American pastor Saeed Abedini, who remains in prison after being sentenced to eight years for "threatening national security" with his church planting.
This advocacy effort appears to be gaining even more momentum than the movement to release Church of Iran pastor Youcef Nadarkhani (which CT covered regularly), especially now that 80 members of Congress "from both parties signed a Feb. 12 letter urging Secretary of State John Kerry to 'exhaust every possible option to secure Mr. Abedini's immediate release.'"
Fueling the international campaign for Abedini's release is a letter from Abedini released earlier this week. In the letter, Abedini describes the conditions of the prison, but vows to remain strong in his faith. According to Morning Star News, Abedini wrote:
They are trying to put me under such horrific pressures … so that they can show me that my faith is empty and not real...And after all of these pressures, after all of the nails they have pressed against my hands and feet, they are only waiting for one thing … for me to deny Christ. But they will never get this from me.
CT previously reported on Abedini and his sentencing.