"Persecuted" filmmakers are raising money to help purchase a home for the family of Pastor Saeed Abedini, a Muslim convert to Christianity who is serving an eight-year sentence in Iran for practicing his faith.
The fundraiser for the Abedini family will be held at a prescreening event of "Persecuted" at Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel in Rancho Mirage, California, where attendees will be asked to pay $10 each Tuesday night to watch the film.
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"Persecuted," which will be released in some 600 theaters nationwide on July 18, is a religious-themed political thriller that revolves around a fictitious evangelist, John Luther, who is abducted and framed for murdering a girl because of the threat he poses to the powers that be. As IMDB writes
, Luther's on "a mission that brings him face-to-face with the coming storm of persecution that will threaten the entire American Christian community."
The fundraising effort is being led by "Persecuted" producer Gray Frederickson, the Oscar-winning producer of "The Godfather Part II," and the film's writer and director Daniel Lusko, according to The Hollywood Reporter
"We're honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with such a courageous family," Lusko told ChristianPost.com
. "Movies come and go and filmmakers like me don't face much persecution. But men and women like the Abedinis face persecution and death every single day. I hope the news of our standing with Pastor Abedini and his wife and children reaches him in his prison cell and gives him strength and courage to keep fighting for truth and freedom."
To date, Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel has raised more than $190,000 to buy a house for the Abedini family, who are living with Naghmeh's parents in Boise, Idaho.
The Iranian-born Abedini, who was granted U.S. citizenship in 2010, has so far served one year of an eight-year sentence for "crimes against the security of Iran" after he was accused of undermining Iranian national security with his Christian evangelical activities.
In addition to his incarceration, Abedini has reportedly been severely beaten on several occasions by his captors, according to his family.
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