US asked to intervene for Christian citizen jailed in Iran
Washington D.C., Jan 16, 2013 / 04:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith could face execution if the government is not pressured to release him, warned an international religious freedom advocacy group.
“As more individuals and governments around the world take notice of Pastor Saeed’s case, the pressure on Iran to release him and stop violating religious liberty will increase,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the Washington, D.C. – based American Center for Law and Justice.In a Jan. 14 post on the law center’s website, Sekulow explained that immediate action is essential “as the Iranian regime is clearly bent on rushing through a sham trial that leaves counsel unprepared and in the dark about the nature of the charges against their client.”
Pastor Saeed Abedini, 32, is a U.S. citizen who initially invoked the anger of the Iranian government by helping start house churches after converting from Islam to Christianity.
However, the two parties arrived at an agreement in 2009 allowing the pastor to travel freely in the country if he stopped working with the underground churches. He instead turned his focus toward humanitarian efforts with non-religious orphanages.
Nevertheless, the pastor was arrested in September during a trip to work with those orphanages and visit family, the American Center for Law and Justice said, and he has been imprisoned illegally for more than three months.
Now, Sekulow warned, Abedini is scheduled to go on trial before one of Iran’s most notorious “hanging judges.” (Read more here.)