Boise Pastor Sentenced In Iran


By Stephanie Smith, KBOI

Iran (KBOI-TV) On an empty promise that pastor Saeed Abedini might be released, the Boise father of two is sentenced to eight years in what's known as one of the most brutal prisons in the country.

Saeed Abedini was a pastor in Iran before moving to Boise and becoming an American citizen.

In an interview with his wife, Naghmeh, earlier this month, she said when Saeed went back to visit family and complete the building of an orphanage there last summer, he was arrested.

"I wanted to tell him we're fighting for him here, but I couldn't I didn't know if it was safe, knew his phone was being listened to."

He has been in prison since early fall and last Monday in Iran, his trial started.

On Saturday, a judge known for harsh sentencing handed him eight years for "threatening the national security of Iran through his leadership in Christian house churches."

The American Center for Law and Justice continues to try and help free Saeed and is planning on appealing the judgement.

Saeed's wife released a statement through the organization: "The promise of his release was a lie. False hopes amount to psychological torture. With today's development I am devastated for my husband and my family. We must now pursue every effort, turn every rock, and not stop until saeed is safely on American soil."

During Sunday morning's services, church members prayed for Abedini and his family.

Caldwell says, "so many of the people here at church have been just with naghmeh through all of Saeed's arrest."

More than one hundred people attended a vigil last Sunday at Calvary Chapel.

Cathy Caldwell says the news of Saeed's sentence was devistating.

Caldwell– "our hearts are sad but at the same time we are just able to rejoice as we just continue to believe and pray for Saeed's release."

Caldwell says they will continue to spread the word about Abedini's plight.

And church members remain hopeful that saeed will return home soon.

Caldwell– "we are not going to stop praying, we are not going to stop believing, and we are just going to continue to fight and believe and trust god for his release."

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