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Franklin Graham: Why is Obama Silent While Iran Tortures American Pastor?

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 Jul 26
  • Comments

One of the nation's most prominent evangelical leaders wants to know why President Obama has remained silent as Iran tortures an American pastor held captive in one of the Islamic republic's most notorious prisons, Todd Starnes reports. Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, told Fox News the imprisonment and torture of Pastor Saeed Abedini is a blatant example of religious intolerance. "Many in the international community are expressing outrage over this blatant example of religious intolerance," Graham said. "I ask that our government do the same and demand that Pastor Saeed Abedini be released and allowed to return home to his wife and family in the United States." Graham said Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, was terrified to hear reports of her husband's physical condition. "Naghmeh worries that she and her two young children may never see Saeed again," he said. "She's discouraged by the fact that our own government seems to have abandoned them. ... President Obama has been silent on the issue as an American Christian endures the horrors of Evin Prison." Six months ago, Secretary of State John Kerry called for the Iranians to release Abedini, but since then the Obama administration has been silent. "Sadly ... our government appears to have done little to pressure Iran to release a fellow American citizen," Graham said. Abedini has suffered long stints in solitary confinement, and, according to his family and attorneys in Iran, beatings and torture at the hands of his jailers and fellow inmates. The pastor has been suffering from serious injuries including internal bleeding from beatings. Graham is calling on Americans to join a national prayer vigil on Sept. 26, the one-year anniversary of Abedini's imprisonment. "I also encourage churches and people everywhere to join the hundreds of thousands of others who are showing solidarity with this courageous man of faith," he said. A website has been created to organize support for Abedini at