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The wife of an American pastor locked up in Iran said prison guards have repeatedly threatened to extend the sentence for her husband, who was detained in 2012 over his Christian faith.

Naghmeh Abedini said her husband, 34-year-old Saeed Abedini, lives in constant fear of having his eight-year sentence increased for allegedly preaching his religion inside the Islamic republic.

“The urgency of getting my husband home has never felt so real,” Naghmeh Abedini told FoxNews.com on Monday. “His physical and psychological strength has been greatly weakened throughout his imprisonment. The lack of clean water and good nutrition has taken a toll on Saeed’s physical well-being.”

“Guards have repeatedly told him that the price of his freedom is denying Christ and returning to Islam – and yet, Saeed’s faith in Christ remains strong,” she said.

Abedini, a US citizen and father of two from Idaho, has been held in Iran for two and a half years after being accused of proselytising in the Islamic republic. The American Center for Law and Justice and Abedini’s family have pleaded with the US and UN officials to secure his release — including a meeting between Naghmeh Abedini and President Obama earlier this year in Idaho that renewed hope for the family.

Abedini travelled to his native Iran in the summer of 2012 to visit family and work on the building and opening of an orphanage in the city of Rashit. On 28 July 2012, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard detained Abedini and ordered him to face criminal charges for his Christian faith. He was placed under house arrest and told to wait for a court summons, but on 26 September he was taken from his family’s home to the notorious Evin Prison, where he was placed into solitary confinement and subjected to regular beatings.

Prison doctors refused to treat Abedini for his wounds – calling him “unclean” and an infidel – and he remains in urgent need of medical care, according to the ACLJ.

Sources: International Christian Concern, Fox News

Prayer Points

  • Thank the Lord for the strong faith He has granted Saeed; ask Him to continue to embolden him to preach the Gospel.
  • Ask the Lord to physically strengthen Saeed, to overcome his current condition and treatment by prison officials.
  • Pray Saeed will be released and soon reunited with his family.