HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Iranian-American Pastor Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison

Iranian-American Pastor Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison

Pastor Abedini SaeedSaeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor who has been imprisoned since September for threatening the national security of Iran through his leadership in Christian house churches, was convicted for his “crime” on Sunday and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Pastor Saeed's attorney told the Agence France-Presse that he is pursuing an appeal in Saeed's case. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), however, says an appeal in Iran’s judicial system “means virtually nothing.”

ACLJ, which is representing Pastor Saeed’s wife and two children, says the best way to free Pastor Saeed is to pressure Iran into releasing him, as was done in the case of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.

“For Pastor Saeed, eight years in Evin Prison could very well be a death sentence,” noted Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of ACLJ. “That's why it is so critical to continue to generate support for him – in this country and around the world – [and to] put pressure on Iran to free him.”

ACLJ is currently circulating a petition to the United Nations, European Union and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. Other supporters of Pastor Saeed, including syndicated talk-show host Janet Parshall, are also mobilizing concerned Americans to encourage our new Secretary of State, Sen. John Kerry, to do all he can to release Pastor Saeed.

In a letter Wednesday, NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright asked Secretary Kerry to intervene on Pastor Saeed’s behalf, stating that it is “unconscionable that the Iranian government would violate its own law and international covenants by treating any individual, never mind an American citizen, with such enmity and abuse because of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“NRB respectfully asks that the U.S. State Department work for the immediate release of Pastor Saeed Abedini and his safe passage back home to the United States,” Dr. Wright stated.

Sekulow, meanwhile, concluded, “The world is watching. The world must engage. Pastor Saeed's life is at stake.”

  • To sign ACLJ's petition and to get the latest updates from ACLJ, click here.
  • Read Dr. Wright's letter to Secretary of State John Kerry here.

Published: January 31, 2013

Latest News

National Religious Broadcasters Marks 70th Anniversary

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the National Religious Broadcasters, which was established with the focus of defending and expanding access to electronic media platforms for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

FCC Chairman Engages on Future of Broadcasting

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler offered his thoughts this week on what the future of broadcasting could...

Supreme Court Turns Down First Amendment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court this week decided not to take up Elane Photography v. Willock, a case in which a professional photographer...

Nearly Half of House Publicly Oppose Performance Tax

Nearly half of all Members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives now publicly support the Local Radio Freedom Act...

NRB Chairman Bill Blount Meets, Greets NAB Leaders

Newly elected NRB Chairman Bill Blount had the opportunity this week to meet and speak briefly with the President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters as well as its Chairman.

Cornerstone Network Celebrates 35 Years of Broadcasting

Cornerstone Network will mark its 35th anniversary on Tuesday, April 15, and plans to celebrate its history and future with an array of activities, including an on-air celebration, the release of a new book, and the launch of new television programs.

Irreplaceable: Focus on the Family's First-Ever Movie Event on May 6

Irreplaceable, one of the largest initiatives that Focus on the Family has ever undertaken, will be presented one night only in more than 700 select movie theaters around the country.

In Memoriam: Norma Pederson, Wife of Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson

Norma Pederson, the wife of Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson, passed away Thursday, April 3, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Walking with the Enemy: Mark Schmidt Adapts True Decades-Old Story from Nazi-Occupied Hungary

Last week, the Rev. Mark Jenkins, NRB President's Council Member and Minister of Media at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, VA, invited several NRB staff to attend a screening of Director Mark Schmidt's Walking with the Enemy, produced by Liberty Studios.

CIN Study Highlighted at Senate Hearing

Following up on a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, members of the Senate Commerce Committee began their review of the...

More News