Idaho Pastor Sentenced in Iran to 8 Years in Prison 

Saeed Abedini, of Boise's Calvary Chapel Church, was accused of trying to convert someone to Christianity

Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini

Courtesy ACLJ

Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini

According to the American Center for Law and Justice, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in Iran on charges of evangelizing, was sentenced early Sunday to eight years in prison.

The ACLJ said Abedini, 32, was sentenced by Judge Pir-Abassi, known as Iran's "hanging judge" for "threatening the national security of Iran" and will serve the time in Iran's notorious Evin Prison, known as one of the nation's most brutal facilities.

“This is a real travesty – a mockery of justice,” Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ, who represents Pastor Saeed’s wife and children living in the U.S., said in a statement. “From the very beginning, Iranian authorities have lied about all aspects of this case, even releasing rumors of his expected release. Iran has not only abused its own laws, it has trampled on the fundamentals of human rights. We call on the citizens of the world to rise up in protest. We call on governments around the world to stand and defend Pastor Saeed.”

Abedini was born in Iran but lives in Idaho with his wife Naghmeh and their children.

“This is all a lie by the Iranian media," Naghmeh Abedini said. "This has been a repeated promise by the Iranian regime since Saeed was first thrown in prison on Sept. 26, 2012. We have presented bail. After the judge told Saeed’s lawyer that bail was back on the table, the family in Tehran ran around in circles today to make sure Saeed was let out on bail. But again the bail officer rejected bail."

Abedini traveled to Iran to visit family and help build an orphanage but was put under house arrest in June, 2012,, then imprisoned in September 2012.

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