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NEW HEADING 1
Christian Pastor Is Held in Brutal Iranian Prison
February 1, 2013James F Byrnes Freshman Academy
On January 27, 2013, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini was sentenced to eight years in prison in the infamous Evin prison in Iran on charges of evangelizing.
Evin prison, located at the base of the Alborz Mountains, is one of the most brutal jails in Iran holding approximately 15,000 prisoners charged with crimes consisting of rape, murder and theft, but it has also held some journalists and several pastors. It is not against the norm for these people to be tortured, beaten, and brutally interrogated.
On September 26, 2012, Saeed was thrown into the Evin prison in Iran for preaching Christianity, starting Christian house churches, and trying to convert young Iranian youth to Christianity. If someone is convicted of converting Muslim youth in Iran, they can receive a lengthy jail sentence or a death penalty.
Saeed wrote his wife and said, "This is the process in my life today: one day I am told I will be freed and allowed to see my kids on Christmas (which was a lie) and the next day I am told I will hang for my faith in Jesus. One day there are intense pains after beatings in interrogations, [sic] the next day they are nice to you and offer you candy."
Judge Abbas Pir-Abassi, the Iranian court’s infamous “hanging judge,” only allowed Saeed and his attorney one day in trial, but after that the court shut them out. The court offered a bail, which their family was willing to pay, but then told them the court would not accept bail.
Recently, Saeed’s family was told by guards at the Evin prison that he was not there when they went to visit him and would not release information about where he was to them. Fox News said that he was supposedly moved to a different ward where he could receive better medical treatment.
According to Fox News, President Obama has done nothing about the case, even though he knows he would gain more support from the Christian community, who have disagreed with his views on same-sex marriage and abortion. Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh Abedini, said,”Every day counts. He is being tortured. They (State Department) can do so much more. I’ve been so heartbroken. It’s as though we are letting the Iranian government lead with their interpretation of what he’s done wrong instead of protecting our American ideals.”
“We could have people go there and get him if we really needed to and really cared about him,” said BFA student Abigail Rock, “but we still aren’t doing anything about it.”
Mr. Edwards, principal of BFA, said, “I think it is unfortunate for Americans that get in trouble abroad, but they need to understand cultures and customs. In America we have freedom of speech and religion, and we should use good judgment when we exercise those rights.”