Back in February, I told BreakPoint listeners about Saeed Abedini, an Iranian pastor and American citizen sentenced to eight years in prison for supposedly threatening Iran’s national security.
He did no such thing. His actual “crime” was converting to Christianity, which in Iran is regarded as a crime against Islam and the Islamist regime, that is, treason.
His conversion, along with his ties to Iranian house churches, caused Iran’s rulers to make an example of him.
Since that first broadcast, there have been two developments in his case, one good and one bad.
The good news is that, in late March, Secretary of State John Kerry called on the Iranian government to release Abedini. He said that he was “deeply concerned” and “troubled” about Abedini’s treatment by Iranian authorities and the “lack of due process” in his case.
The bad news is that Iran has demonstrated no inclination to relent in either its detention or mistreatment of Abedini. On the contrary, the American Center for Law & Justice is reporting that the Iranian pastor “has been severely beaten in Evin Prison in Tehran, denied proper medical care, and experiencing fainting spells.”