Imprisoned Boise pastor set to go to trial
Jennifer Auh has the latest on the Boise pastor to face trial in Iran Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
The Boise pastor held captive in Iran may soon face the death penalty. Now his church members in Boise, his wife and state leaders are doing all they can to save Saeed Abedini.
Both church and state leaders said the Iranian government captured Abedini under false pretenses. His arrest stems not on spreading Christianity, but instead, they said he's behind bars for political reasons.
Foreign leaders said he will face the so called "hanging judge." Abedini is set to go on trial on Monday.
Idaho Senate and House Leaders sent letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging quick action to save Abedini.
The Calvary Chapel Church members plan to hold a special prayer gathering for the 32-year-old pastor at the Red Letter Cafe in Boise. It'll take place on Sunday at 5 p.m. "Praying for our friend, our brother," said Lauren Phillips, Calvery Chapel International Outreach Coord.
Iranian leaders arrested Abedini for spreading Christianity, but church leaders in Boise said those are false accusations.
They said Abedini was arrested for promoting the Bible in Iran in 2009. He was released, then he recieved approval from the Iranian government to build an orphanage there.
"They had a bank account gathering funds from well wishers, and the government seized them," said Phillips.
Sen. Jim Risch, who is on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is in Washington D.C. right now. He talked to us over the phone about the issue.
"His arrest is the result of him being an American. The Iranians are mad at us for trying to stop nuclear wepons," he said, "They try to make our lives as miserable as possible, and for that person [Abedini] and their folks at home."
State leaders' letters to Clinton said quote, "We strongly encourage the State Department to exhaust all efforts to secure Mr. Abedini prompt return. Saeed's efforts to provide humantrian relief should be applauded not condemned."
So far, more than 130,000 people signed the petition to free Abedini. Here is a direct link to the petition: aclj.org/iran/save-american-pastor-iranian-abuse-imprisonment