Saturday marks the third anniversary of American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s imprisonment in Iran because of his Christian faith. During the last three years, there have been extensive efforts made to secure his freedom.
But now – in the days ahead – represents perhaps the most unique and important opportunity to raise Pastor Saeed’s plight on a global stage.
As part of his visit to America, Pope Francis – a champion of religious liberty and often a voice for suffering Christians – addresses a joint session of Congress and meets with the United Nations General Assembly.
Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, is attending the pope’s address to Congress as a guest of Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C. There are news reports that President Obama may ask the Pope to intercede with Iranian officials on behalf of Pastor Saeed and the other Americans imprisoned in Iran.
Naghmeh is hopeful that the pope will get involved. “It’s been always my hope that the pope would get involved,” said Naghmeh. “He has a powerful voice to the Iranian government.”
We know that the pope’s words carry great weight. His message of the need to protect religious freedom – and safeguarding the rights of Christians worldwide – is certain to resonate here in this country and we hope in Tehran, as well.
In addition to the pope meeting with world leaders at the U.N., Iranian President Rouhani will speak at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. He’s also expected to hold talks with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and heads of state.
This is the perfect time for Iran to act – to release Pastor Saeed and other Americans held captive. Iran should act now because the world is watching. And there’s no better time for Iran to release Pastor Saeed – to make a statement to the world – a humanitarian gesture of goodwill.
As Naghmeh prepares to join millions in prayer on Saturday, which marks her husband’s third year of imprisonment, she continues to work tirelessly to secure his freedom.
Read more: Fox News