Congress to Hold Hearing on American Pastor Being Tortured in Iranian Prison
A congressional hearing set for this week will include testimony on an American pastor serving a sentence of eight years in a notoriously brutal Iranian prison, the Christian News Network reports. According to the American Center for Law and Justice, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress has scheduled a hearing on Friday on the subject of "The Worsening Plight of Religious Minorities in Iran." The hearing will not only discuss religious persecution in general, but will also focus on the plight of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who states that he is being tortured in prison and is enduring "physical violence" and other "horrific pressures" behind bars. The 32-year-old pastor was taken into custody last September while visiting his homeland of Iran to spend time with his parents and continue his charity work of building an orphanage. Last month, he was sentenced to eight years in prison for allegedly threatening the national security of Iran by planting house churches, and for attempting to turn youth in the nation away from Islam. It is estimated he had a role in founding approximately 100 house churches, which yielded 2,000 members combined.