At Lighthouse Christian School, there are children who pray for Saeed Abedini every day.
They pray the Boise pastor will return safely to his wife, Naghmeh, and his two children Rebekkah and Jacob.
On Friday, members of the community are invited to join Lighthouse students and faculty for a noon prayer vigil that marks Abedini’s second year in Iranian prison. They will be joining hundreds of prayer vigils taking place worldwide.
Abedini, 34, was sentenced to eight years in 2012, after being convicted of trying to establish a Christian church network in private homes.
This week, the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention released a six-page report condemning his detention. The U.N. Working Group also urged his immediate release, the American Center for Law and Justice reported. The ACLJ represents Naghmeh and her two children.
The report also details how Abedini was detained in Iran while finalizing an government approved orphanage in July 2012. The report states that he was subjected to a sham trial on charges related solely to his religious belief and has endured periods of solitary confinement and brutal beatings because of his Christian faith, the ACLJ reported.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also called for Abedini’s release in his remarks in July for the State Department’s 2013 Report on International Religious Freedom, the Christian Post reported.
Pam Fadness, director of missions and women’s ministry at Lighthouse, said the vigil on Friday will also include speakers and music. Not only will they pray for Abedini, but also for other people in the world who are suffering.
“There are a lot of Christians being persecuted for their faith,” Fadness said.
She said the situation with Abedini is becoming even more tense with The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL, sweeping across Syria and northern Iraq for months.
The ACLJ reported Aug. 13 that The Islamic State militants are issuing death threats against Abedini from within the Iranian prison.
“ISIS militants imprisoned in the same ward of Rajai Shahr prison as Pastor Saeed have communicated through other prisoners that they will kill him because of his Christian faith,” the ACLJ reported.
The article states that Abedini told family members he fears for his life.
“We will be praying for the current state of events and the things that are going on in the Middle East. They have definitely increased and intensified for Christians and minority people,” Fadness said. “With Pastor Saeed, we have a face that is a friend. He is someone who is from here.”
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SOURCE: Twin Falls Times-News