Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen imprisoned for his Christian faith in Iran, spent his 33rd birthday in solitary confinement, Morning Star News reports. Abedini has spent six months in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison and is serving an eight year prison term. Abedini’s health is worsening as a result of continued beatings by fellow inmates and prison guards. 
5/7/2013 Iran (Morning Star News) – An Iranian-American pastor spent his 33rd birthday in solitary confinement today, suffering from untreated injuries from beatings by prisoners and officials in an Iranian prison.
Saeed Abedini has spent six months in Tehran’s harsh Evin Prison, known for housing political dissidents and government protestors, where he is serving an eight-year sentence for planting house churches from 2000 to 2005. Although there is no law against house churches, the government termed his involvement a threat to “national security,” even though he had ceased such work after agreeing in 2009 to limit his ministry to humanitarian work.
An international letter-writing campaign for his birthday resulted in more than 52,000 letters arriving at the maximum-security prison. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), an advocacy group that represents his family, worked with intermediaries to send the notes to Evin Prison.
The large number of letters also serves to let Iranian officials know that the international community is still fighting for his release, said Tiffany Barrans, international legal director of the ACLJ.
“We know from former prisoners that letters are a source of encouragement, that the guards are required to translate every incoming mail, and that these letters put the government of Iran on notice that it is being watched,” Barrans told Morning Star News.
Abedini was sentenced on Jan. 27 for threatening “national security,” a catch-all phrase often used by Iranian courts to imprison converts from Islam for various sorts of evangelistic activities.
In late April he was put into solitary confinement following a “peaceful, silent protest” in an outside courtyard with other prisoners over the lack of medical care and threats against visiting family members, according to Mohabat News Agency.
He and nine others were placed into solitary confinement. Abedini suffers severe internal bleeding from beatings.
His wife, Naghmeh Abedini, released a statement today describing her feelings.
“There is a deep piercing pain in my heart knowing that you will spend your birthday in solitary confinement, constrained to a small room, not knowing when it is day or night,” she stated. “Under constant torture and abuse by radicals who are trying to break you and have you deny your faith in Jesus.
“With tightness in my throat, pain in my heart, and tears streaming down my face … so very weak, I promise to stand strong in the strength of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ fighting with every strength of my being until you are united to our family again.”

[Full Story]