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Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, an American imprisoned in Iran on charges of evangelising, was sentenced on Sunday 27 January to eight years in prison. He will serve the time in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, known as one of the most brutal.

Pastor Abedini’s trial was held without public access to the courtroom, in branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran and judged by Mr Pir-Abbasi. As a Fox News report says, Mr Pir-Abbasi has been sanctioned many times by the European Union for his court actions and sentences.

During the hearing, Pastor Abedini’s charges were announced as ‘creating house-churches aimed to undermine national security and conspiring to commit crime’.

Pastor Abedini was arrested during this trip to Iran to ‘visit his family and continue efforts to establish an orphanage in Iran’. He has been in Evin Prison since 26 September 2012. After his arrest, his wife had said, ‘When he became a Christian, the Islamic regime considered him a criminal in his own country.’  There will be an appeal against the sentence. Sources: Fox News, Assist News Service