By BosNewsLife Middle East Service with reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos
TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)– The wife of a jailed Iranian-American pastor has denied Iran’s claims that her husband will be released on bail as an attempt to “silence the international media.”
Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported that Saeed Abedini, who faces death by hanging for “illegal” Christian activities that “threaten” state security, would be freed imminently after posting $116,000.
It quoted lawyer Nasser Sarbazi as saying that the 32-year old husband and father will walk out of prison later this week. Yet, “This is all a lie by the Iranian media…This is a game to silence the international media,” said her his Naghmeh Abedini in published remarks.
She said the “Iranian regime” had repeatedly promised to release him on bail, since his detention began in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison on September 26, last year.
“We have presented bail. After the judge told Saeed’s lawyer that bail was back on the table, the family in Tehran ran around in circles today to make sure Saeed was let out on bail. But again the bail officer rejected bail.”
She confirmed that her husband stood trial on Monday, January 21, at the Revolutionary Court on charges of attempting to undermine state security and the government, by creating a network of Christian churches in private homes.
The alleged related evangelism among Muslims carries the death sentence in Iran.
In a statement, seen by BosNewsLife Tuesday, January 22, Naghmeh Abedini said her husband began the churches in 2000 when he “converted to Christianity.”
She explained that her husband spoke about his faith with the judge, who reportedly sentenced defendants to the gallows.
“Saeed was able to share from the Bible to the Judge and say that he was not a political person and had no political intentions, but he was a follower of His Lord Jesus Christ,” his wife said.
“There seemed to have been moments when the judge was moved by Saeed’s testimony” she added in remarks published on her Facebook website page. Naghmeh Abedini urged Christians to “continue to pray for the judge and Saeed’s release and his return back to our family.”
Saeed Abedini isn’t the only American being held at Evin prison. Amir Hekmati, an ex-U.S. Marine and decorated Iraq war veteran, is imprisoned in Iran on espionage charges.
The trial of Abedeni is seen by Iranian Christians as part of a wider government crackdown on the growing number of Christian converts and house churches in the strict Islamic nation.
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