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Saeed Abedini, Christian Pastor Freed From Iranian Prison, Says He Prayed 20 Hours a Day

( [email protected] ) Jan 25, 2016 08:38 PM EST
Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American who converted to Christianity and was just freed from Iranian imprisonment after years of captivity there under accusations that his faith undermined the Iran government, granted his first and only interview to Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Monday.
The Christian pastor who was jailed in Iran, Pastor Saeed Abedini, talks about his imprisonment for the first time with Greta Van Susteren on Monday via On the Record. Fox News Screen grab

Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American who converted to Christianity and was just freed from Iranian imprisonment after years of captivity there under accusations that his faith undermined the Iran government, granted his first and only interview to Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Monday.

She went to North Carolina to interview him, where he is resting at the Billy Graham Training Center.

He said one of his most distinct memories was when he was put in front of an Iranian judge, who asked him if he knew why he was there. "I said, ya, it was because of my Christian faith." The judge told Abedini he was there because he wanted to "use Christianity to remove government." In reality, Abedini had gone to Iran to start a secular, government-operated orphanage.

Abedini said the most difficult part of being in jail was finding how to pass the countless hours.

"When they sent me to the other solitary, which Amir Hekmati, the Marine, was over there," Abedini said. "They bound my eyes, they took me to his room, and up in there, I think, for almost 60 days with Amir."

"First, when I removed my eye band, and I saw Amir, I got very heart-broken to see what they did to our Marine," Abedini said, explaining that Hekmati had black eyes, and he was very thin and weak.

 

Abedini said he spent much of his confinement in retrospection.

"Mostly I was praying," Abedini said. "The best thing I could do over there was [pray]."

Abedini was interrogated, then physically and psychologically tortured after he refused to sign documents implicating him in crimes that he said he did not commit. He said he saw terrible things happen to other prisoners, such as Sunni Muslims, being publicly executed.

Fox News plans to air additional segments of the interview over the next few weeks.

Tags : Saeed Abedini, Fox News, Greta Van Susteren, Iran, Iranian prison, prisoner swap, #greta, On The Record, #SaeedIsFreed, Freed, Freed Americans