American pastor Saeed Abedini has been “viciously beaten” by other prisoners, according to The Christian Post. Abedini was punched in the face in what appears to be an unprovoked attack in the Iranian prison where he is being held.
The American Center for Law and Justice said the prisoners also destroyed a small table that Abedini had been using to study and read.
“As he was attacked, Pastor Saeed called out for help,” said ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow. “Iranian prison guards did intervene and prevent further injury. However, Pastor Saeed suffered injuries to his face—his eyes beaten black and blue. He was able to be seen briefly by a prison doctor, and thankfully he did not receive any broken bones.”
A family member also visited Abedini this week; that family member told Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, about the beating.
“It is heartbreaking to me and my family that Saeed was again beaten in prison. Saeed’s life is continuously threatened not only because he is an American, but also because he is a convert from Islam to Christianity. It’s time to get Saeed home before it is too late,” Naghmeh Abedini said.
Saeed Abedini faces increased persecution because he refuses to deny his faith in Jesus Christ.
Naghmeh Abedini said, “The times they have moved him out of solitary [confinement] and the times they have threatened him, they said ‘You will stay here longer than the eight years and your only key to freedom is if you deny your Christian faith and you return to Islam.”
Abedini, a former Iranian Muslim turned Christian, left Iran in 2005 and moved to the United States with his family. In 2012, he traveled back to Iran to build an orphanage when he was taken into custody.
Authorities charged Abedini with threatening national security and trying to turn youth away from Islam. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. So far, he has already been imprisoned for two years.