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President Obama, Billy Graham, Others Call for Release of Pastor Saeed Abedini from Iranian Prison

( [email protected] ) Sep 29, 2013 06:21 PM EDT
President Obama, Billy Graham and Rev. Patrick Mahoney are the latest in a chorus of voices calling for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini from a brutal Iranian prison, according to USA Today.President Obama called for the release Pastor Saeed in a recent phone conversation with Iranian President Rouhani.
Pastor Saeed Abedini and his family. He's locked in an Iranian prison, but the likes of President Obama and Billy Graham are calling for his release. ACLJ

President Obama, Billy Graham and Rev. Patrick Mahoney are the latest in a chorus of voices calling for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini from a brutal Iranian prison, according to USA Today.

President Obama called for the release Pastor Saeed in a recent phone conversation with Iranian President Rouhani.

The source stated that President Obama raised Pastor Saeed's case along with two other Americans directly with the Iranian President.  According to the report, President Obama raised concerns about the imprisonment of Pastor Saeed and expressed America's interest in seeing the American pastor returned to his family, according to the American Center for Law and Justice.

While Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Iran to release Pastor Saeed, this is the first time that President Obama has himself spoken out about the wrongfully imprisoned U.S. citizen.

At age 94, the Rev. Billy Graham is dipping a toe in international relations, formally requesting Iran's new president release Pastor Saeed.

Graham sent a letter this week to President Hassan Rouhani, in office for less than two months, calling for the release of Saeed Abedini, an American citizen believed held in Iran. The letter also appeared in The New York Times as a paid advertisement, according to USA Today.

Rev. Mahoney is flying to Turkey and Iran in similar hopes of freeing Pastor Saeed. While in Turkey, Rev. Mahoney will meet with Iranian officials in attempt to secure a meeting in Tehran with new Iranian President Rouhani and Iranian government leaders to discuss Pastor Saeed's potential freedom, according to Christian Newswire.

"The power of faith transcends governments and leaders and can transform nations and societies," said Rev. Mahoney. If I have the opportunity to meet with President Rouhani, I will not be speaking to him on a political level but rather as one faith leader to another."

Pastor Saeed, a 33-year-old pastor, father, and husband from Idaho, is imprisoned in Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran. On July 28, 2012, during a visit to Tehran to visit family and to finalize the board members for an orphanage he was building in Iran, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard detained Saeed, asserting that he must face criminal charges for his Christian faith, reports beheardproject.com.

After intense interrogations, Abedini was placed under house arrest and told to wait for a court summons.

We previously reported Pastor Saeed Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, recently spoke to students at Liberty University about her family's plight. She said in spite of being tortured and asked to deny his faith in Christ and return to Islam, Pastor Saeed has been a light for Jesus in Evin Prison, one of the worst in the world.

"They've told him many times that they would free him and allow him to return to our family, the kids and I, if he would deny his Christian faith, and he's stood strong in that prison. He's led many, many - over 30 people - to Christ in that prison," she told the audience, according to religiontoday.com.

The ACLJ has joined with Pastor Saeed, launching a letter-writing campaign to Iran's president on a new website. It's a critical effort - and they need your response. Take action! Click here to donate, sign a petition, write a letter on his behalf or share related content on social media.