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US Pastor Jailed in Iran Tells Family of Death Threat
ICC Note: Saeed Abedin, an Iranian pastor with American citizenship who was arrested during a trip to Iran in July, is facing severe torture and abuse, he recently wrote in a letter to the Assemblies of God church. “I always wanted God to make me a godly man,” he said. “I did not realize that in order to become a godly man we need to become like steel under pressure.” The US State Department has done little to help Saeed, the American Center for Law and Justice reports.
By Anugrah Kumar
01/12/13 Iran (CP) -Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen imprisoned for his Christian faith in his native country Iran, has told his wife in a letter that he is being tortured and might be sentenced to death by hanging.
In his letter, written from the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran and addressed to his wife Naghmeh, the 32-year-old pastor said he was uncertain about his fate.
“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,” Abedini wrote. “One day there are intense pains after beatings in interrogations, the next day they are nice to you and offer you candy.”
However, the pastor sees God’s hand in the midst of persecution. “I always wanted God to make me a godly man. I did not realize that in order to become a godly man we need to become like steel under pressure. It is a hard process of warm and cold to make steel,” he said, referring to the mixed responses he is receiving in prison. “These hot and colds only make you a man of steel for moving forward in expanding His Kingdom.”
“When for 120 days you are asleep in a room with one big light that is constantly lit and does not separate day or night and when you can only see true sunlight for a few minutes a week, that’s when you are becoming His Workmanship and you can be a vessel in bringing His Kingdom in a dark place and you are able to share the Gospel of Peace and Life to the dying world,” wrote the pastor “in chains for our Lord Jesus Christ.” “And this is where you learn you can love your enemies with all of your heart.”
The American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing Abedini’s family in the U.S., has also said the pastor’s life is “in grave danger,” as he is facing one of Iran’s notorious “hanging judges,” Pir-Abassi, known for issuing death sentences.
“And now facing one of Iran’s most notorious judges, Pastor Saeed is in a real sense an American abandoned in Iran. The U.S. State Department has done very little to help this U.S. citizen,” ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow said in a report shared with The Christian Post. “When you read Pastor Saeed’s own words, you understand that Iran has absolutely no regard for human rights and religious freedom.”
Abedini’s case has been transferred to Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, and he is now in the hands of Judge Pir-Abassi, who was named in 2011 by the European Union as an individual subject to sanctions for human rights violations. The judge has reportedly presided over a number of cases against human rights activists, often handing down long prison sentences and even several death penalties.
Despite the hardships he is facing, Abedini remains strong in his faith.

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