An American pastor has been imprisoned without explanation while visiting his parents and extended family in Iran, Fox News reports
Father Saeed Abedini, a United States citizen who converted to Christianity, is said to be locked up in a “notoriously brutal’’ prison while he awaits prosecution for his work as a Christian leader on a previous trip.
"When he became a Christian, he became a criminal in his own country. His passion was to reach the people of Iran," Abedini’s wife Naghmeh, who lives with him in the United States, told Fox News.
"He comes from a very close-knit family, and he loved evangelizing and passing out Bibles on the streets of Tehran. This was his passion.’’
She is hoping the publicity surrounding her husband’s arrest will put pressure on the Iranian government to free him.
According to Fox, Abedini heads a community of underground parishes for former Muslims who convert to Christianity.
"It was just growing so fast. They see the underground churches as a threat and they see Christianity as a tool from the West to undermine them," Naghmeh told the network.
The American Center for Law and Justice is working with Washington lawmakers and the United Nations leaders in a bid to win his release.
Fox News reached out to the State Department for comment on Abedini's case but has not received a call back yet.
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