TEHRAN, IRAN – At least three evangelical Christians jailed in Iran, including a well-known Iranian American Christian pastor, were recovering from injuries Friday, May 23, after they were mistreated by Iranian security forces, several sources confirmed.
Among those targeted was Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has U.S and Iranian citizenship. The young man was “severely beaten” while being transferred from the hospital, where he spent the last two months, back to Rajai Shahr prison, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) reported.
“This is an extremely disappointing development – one that breaks my heart,” said Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh. “Our family is deeply saddened and we continue to pray for Saeed – for his safety and his release,” in comments monitored by BosNewsLife Friday, May 21.
However, “We are very grateful that so many people around the world continue to pray for Saeed.” The 34-year-old married father of two was sentenced by a Tehran court to eight years imprisonment last year for “threatening the national security of Iran” through his leadership in Christian house churches.
He was also accused of spying for the U.S. government and brainwashing young Iranian Muslims to convert to “Zionist Christianity.” Abedini, who normally lives in Boise, Idaho, has denied the charges saying he only returned to his native country last year to help set-up an orphanage. He renounced Islam and converted to Christianity in 2009 and became an American citizen by marriage a year later.