More good news concerning U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini has followed his release from solitary confinement last week, as reports have suggested the global support he has been receiving while in prison in Tehran, Iran, are helping him find joy and peace.
"Despite his suffering, Pastor Saeed's faith continues to keep him alive. Other prisoners reportedly told Saeed's family that when Pastor Saeed was released from solitary confinement, 'he was glowing,' and that miraculously he 'was filled with more joy and peace after solitary' than he was before solitary," the American Center for Law and Justice said in a statement on Tuesday.
The American pastor is said to be suffering from medical problems, including kidney issues, as he serves the eight-year sentence handed to him in January by the Iranian court for "endangering national security." The ACLJ, which represents his wife and two children back in the U.S., has said that Abedini is being unfairly targeted for his Christian faith in the largely Muslim-dominated country, and that he is being denied the medical care he needs.
When Abedini and other prisoners wrote a letter to prison officials complaining about this lack of care, they were punished with solitary confinement – forcing the U.S. pastor to spend his 33rd birthday last week in the "small dark hole" of solitary confinement.
The latest update from the ACLJ reveals, however, that the international support has also served to encourage the pastor and other prisoners inside Evin Prison, which is considered one of the most brutal prisons in Iran.
The law group revealed that the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have stood up and signed a petition in support of Abedini are having a "tremendous impact" in the Muslim country, and are keeping up hope that the American citizen will be released.
"His release from solitary is a direct result of the multitudes praying," said the pastor's wife, Naghmeh Abedini. "I am relieved my husband is out of solitary, but still am deeply concerned about Saeed's health. While this is a small victory, I am still demanding justice be done and that Saeed be released."
She added in the latest update that her husband's improved spirits are due to the thousands of people around the world who continue to pray for him.