By Heather Clark
WASHINGTON – A United States congressman has chosen to ‘adopt’ the cause of an American pastor imprisoned in Iran as part of a congressional effort to raise awareness of the plight of those persecuted worldwide for their religious beliefs.
Representative Trent Franks (R-Az.), a Christian, spoke briefly on the House floor last week during “Defending Freedoms Project Action Week” to announce his decision.
“It is my privilege to co-chair the International Religious Freedom Caucus here in Congress, and in that capacity, it is also my privilege to participate in the Defending Freedoms Project, a bi-partisan effort for members of Congress to adopt a prisoner of conscience,” he began. “My office has adopted Saeed Abedini, a Christian pastor and an American citizen from Idaho, who is currently imprisoned in Iran for his faith.”
“Iran’s tyrannical attempts to–in the words of Ronald Reagan–stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people, have been exposed again to the world after the imprisonment of Pastor Abedini, who was sentenced to eight years in prison while working to build an orphanage in Iran,” Franks continued.
He then called upon the Iranian government to free Abedini and allow him to return to the states.