Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini has urged Americans to vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who he revealed gave his family $10,000 while he was imprisoned for three and a half years in Iran for his Christian faith, and accused Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton of failing to do anything to help.
Abedini, who last week revealed he has already cast an early vote for Trump in the 2016 presidential elections, acknowledged that Trump has faced a great deal of controversy over his past, but said that as God used flawed men to lead nations in the Old Testament, He could be doing the same with the Republican candidate.
"In the past few months, we have seen how media is attacking to Donald Trump's past. I have even heard so many people said he is not a Christian. Of course, only God knows this for sure, but what I see is God is using him and anointed him. It seems to me that he is the Cyrus of our modern day, but like you and me, he is a flawed man, in the process of spiritual growth," Abedini wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
"As a nation, I believe we are in a unfolding process too. History recounts the story of the King Cyrus of Persia, my native country. I believe God raised up this man for His great mission," he added.
The pastor noted that those who want to condemn Trump for his past are forgetting that America is also a nation "saved by grace."
"When we hear that this candidate or that candidate is not a strong Christian or has a past that disqualifies him to be the President of the United States, my answer is that we are a nation, a people who are also sinners, saved by grace," he wrote.
"Instead of worrying about others' spiritual growth, we should humbly come before God in repentance and humility. Then we should trust His providence to raise up leaders who honor Him. Judging is NOT our business; this is God's business and, throughout history, even through leaders like Cyrus, God has demonstrated that He always does His business well," he added.
Abedini was released from prison in January following many petitions and an international campaign for his freedom, before returning back home to Boise, Idaho, where he has continued his ministry.
In a Friday post he revealed that Trump supported his family in the U.S. while the pastor was being held hostage in prison, and at the same time accused Clinton of failing to do anything on his behalf.
"I am finally free in a free country. Last year on the same day I was sick and in chains for Christ, and now I can vote to choose my next president. And most amazingly, I can vote for someone that I know fought for me and called my name so many times. He met my family and gave them a $10,000 gift. I think his ideas are more biblical than the other candidates," Abedini said.
The pastor added that Clinton never spoke his name or met his family.
"As a woman who says she stands for women's rights when she was foreign minister, she never contacted my mom, wife, sister or my daughter. She never did anything to help when I was in prison as an American pastor who was detained in Iran as a hostage," he wrote.