Abedini Threatened With More Jail Time Over Fruitful Gospel Witness In Prison, Wife Says, by David Roach, Baptist Press
"Iranian authorities are threatening to extend the prison sentence of jailed U.S. pastor Saeed Abedini because he leads people to faith in Christ everywhere he is detained, Abedini's wife Naghmeh told Baptist Press.
"'I don't see him [witnessing] as an act of defiance," Naghmeh Abedini said. "Knowing Saeed's heart as a pastor, he's seeing people in such a dark place ... on death row for murders and rapes, and just seeing people who are in prison whose future is so dark. Knowing Saeed's heart, I know that his heart was to give them the hope that he's found in Christ that no one can take away, even in prison."
"Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen of Iranian descent, was sentenced in early 2013 to eight years in prison for his involvement in Iran's house church movement. Abedini used to live in Iran and was a leader of house churches before moving to America in 2005. He was arrested almost two years ago while on a trip to build an orphanage in the city of Rasht. Though the Iranian constitution officially recognizes Christianity as a minority religion, Christian converts from Islam have suffered brutal persecution at the hands of Muslim authorities.
"Naghmeh Abedini and the couple's two young children live in Idaho. They have not been allowed to speak with Saeed since he was arrested but have communicated through his family in Iran, who are permitted to visit him in prison for 20 minutes weekly.
"The American Center for Law and Justice reported May 20 that Saeed had been returned to prison after spending two months in a hospital to receive treatment for injuries inflicted by prison officials. He was severely beaten at the hospital before being returned to prison, ACLJ reported.
"Prison guards have told Abedini that they can and will increase his jail sentence unless he stops telling fellow prisoners about Jesus, Naghmeh told BP. She said some former Muslim prisoners who placed their faith in Christ through Saeed's witness have already received extended sentences..."