Iran has sentenced Iranian-American Christian minister Saeed Abedini to eight years in prison, prompting the U.S. State Department to issue a strong condemnation of that action. Abedini was born in Iran and converted from Islam to Christianity, then came to the U.S. and became an American citizen. He has gone back to Iran many times to evangelize and to build an orphanage, but was arrested last year on his last visit.
The U.S. State Department on Sunday condemned an Iranian court for sentencing an Iranian-American Christian pastor to eight years in prison.The State Department said it had confirmed reports of Saeed Abedini’s sentencing with the family’s attorney and called for his release.
“We condemn Iran’s continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion and we call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini’s human rights and release him,” State Department spokesperson Darby Holladay said.
I suspect that this was only done to give Iran a bargaining chip with the United States. It’s the equivalent of a hostage taking.