Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of Iranian-born American pastor Saeed Abedini, testified before a congressional commission March 15, expressing her disappointment that the U.S. State Department hasn't done more to secure the release of her husband, who was sentenced in January by an Iranian court to eight years in prison for Christian work in his native country.
Abedini told the House of Representatives' bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission that she was “disappointed in our government, that the President and the State Department have not fully engaged in this situation.” She said that her children have been unable to understand what has happened to their father. “They kept saying, 'Does daddy not love us anymore?'” she testified. “And I had to tell them that he was in prison because he loved Jesus.”
As reported by The New American, the 32-year-old Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen through his American-born wife, has been imprisoned in Iran since he was taken into custody last September. He was convicted in late January by Islamic Judge Pir-Abassi of Iran's Revolutionary Court for supposedly threatening Iran's national security via his leadership in the country's underground church movement. Pir-Abassi is known throughout the country as the “hanging judge” for his legal brutality toward non-Muslims who face him, and he quickly sentenced Abedini to eight years in prison. Abedini is being held in Iran's notorious Evin Prison, where in one of his few notes out of Iran he said he has been treated with brutality.
“There are those who are enemies of the Living Bible and do not want to hear,” wrote Abedini in a letter dated February 18. “They are trying to put me under such horrific pressures (that are sometimes unbearable) so that they can show me that my faith is empty and not real. And after all of these pressures, after all of the nails they have pressed against my hands and feet, they are only waiting for one thing … for me to deny Christ. But they will never get this from me. This is why the Bible is Truth and they are in the way of destruction.”
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