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Iran sentences US pastor to 8 years in prison for missionary activity

Catholic World News - January 29, 2013

An Iranian judge has sentenced Saeed Abedini, a 34-year-old American citizen who was born in Iran, to eight years in the notorious Evin prison for engaging in evangelization.

Abedini, a convert from Islam, is a Protestant pastor who was involved in the Iranian house-church movement. He returns to Iran frequently to visit his parents and was arrested upon entry to Iran in August.

“This trial apparently is focused on 13 years ago, when Pastor Saeed converted from Islam to Christianity,” said Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice.

“We condemn Iran’s continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion and we call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini's human rights and release him,” said a US State Department spokesman.

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