Members of the Islamic State (IS) are threatening the life of American pastor Saeed Abedini in an Iranian prison.
Pastor Saeed, 34, is being held in Rajai Shahr Prison in Iran, where he is serving an eight-year sentence for promoting the Christian faith. U.S. authorities have been unable to secure his release. Pastor Saeed told his family members this week that IS terrorists in the prison are threatening to murder him for being Christian. The pastor is expected to spend time in the prison yard with the general population each day, but has recently started hiding in his cell to avoid IS members who walk through his cell block on their way back from the yard.
“This is an extremely dangerous development that puts Pastor Saeed’s life at grave risk,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is trying to secure the pastor’s release on behalf of Saeed’s wife, whom ACLJ represents.
“Not only is Pastor Saeed facing threats from Iranian militants who have imprisoned him because of his Christian faith, he now faces new and perhaps even more dangerous threats from Iraqi IS prisoners who want to murder Pastor Saeed because of his faith,” Sekulow said. “We call on President Obama and Secretary Kerry to intervene immediately to secure Pastor Saeed’s release and to ensure that he is protected during this transfer to freedom.”