President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast today about American Pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned for his Christian faith in Iran, and the need to bring him home.
He talked about his recent meeting with Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children. He described how he promised Pastor Saeed's family that "our country has not forgotten Brother Saeed" and that "we are doing everything we can to bring him home."
Then he talked about receiving what he called "an extraordinary letter" from Pastor Saeed himself, and read from that letter in his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast.
He concluded by promising to "keep up this work for Pastor Abedini and all those around the world who are unjustly held or persecuted because of their faith."
President Obama's full remarks about Pastor Saeed and the video are below:
Last year we prayed together for Pastor Saeed Abedini detained in Iran since 2012. And I was recently in Boise, Idaho, and had the opportunity to meet with Pastor Abedini's beautiful wife and wonderful children and to convey to them that our country has not forgotten Brother Saeed and that we are doing everything we can to bring him home.
Then I received an extraordinary letter from Pastor Abedini. And in it, he describes his captivity and expressed his gratitude for my visit with his family and thanked us all for standing in solidarity with him during his captivity.
And Pastor Abedini wrote: "Nothing is more valuable to the body of Christ than to see how the Lord is in control and moves ahead of countries and leadership through united prayer." And he closed his letter by describing himself as "Prisoner for Christ who is proud to be part of this great nation, the United States of America, that cares for religious freedom across the world."
We're going to keep up this work for Pastor Abedini and all those around the world who are unjustly held or persecuted because of their faith.
Before talking about Pastor Saeed, he mentioned how at the National Prayer Breakfast the year before they had prayed for another imprisoned Christian American, Kenneth Bae, in North Korea and how he is now free. It's an encouraging reminder from the president of the United States about the power of prayer and his commitment to defending religious freedom.
We are thankful for President Obama's public acknowledgement of Pastor Saeed's captivity and the hardship endured each and every day by Pastor Saeed's wife and children. And we are thankful for President Obama's public commitment to "bring him home."
But while we are encouraged that President Obama personally highlighted Pastor Saeed's plight today, there must be no nuclear deal with Iran until Pastor Saeed—a U.S. citize—and other imprisoned Americans are returned home.
Pastor Saeed is still experiencing increased pain from prison beatings. He needs medical treatment and deserves to be home. We must bring him home.
Join with us as we fight for his freedom. Pray and join with hundreds of thousands in signing our petition (below and) and beheardproject.com. Urge President Obama to keep his word and bring this wrongfully imprisoned American husband and father home to his family.
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