By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
WASHINGTON D.C. (ANS) -- The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which defends human rights and religious freedom, said today more than 50,000 people have sent letters to American Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen, imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith.
The Abedini family.
According to a news release from the ACLJ, the letters of prayer, support, and encouragement come as Abedini spends his 33rd birthday today in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, one of Iran's most brutal and deadly prisons.
In an emotional statement from Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, the ACLJ said she expressed her love and concern for her husband in a note she has written for him.
She wrote in part, "With tightness in my throat, pain in my heart, and tears streaming down my face...so very weak, I promise to stand strong in the strength of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ fighting with every strength of my being until you are united to our family again," Naghmeh wrote.
The ACLJ said in the news release that to date, 52,501 letters have been written to Abedini. The ACLJ said these letters show the impact that Abedini's case is having in people's lives.
"This is a critical time for Pastor Saeed, whose health continues to worsen at the hands of his captors," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the ACLJ, speaking in the news release.
He added, "Pastor Saeed's strength and resolve is remarkable. Through all of the abuse and torment he has endured at the hands of his Iranian captors, he remains resilient in his faith. He concluded, his last letter - his last communication with the outside world: 'Pastor Saeed Abedini, the servant and slave of Jesus Christ in chains, with a lot of joy to see you soon.' His faith is keeping him alive."
Abedini has been imprisoned since last fall, and is serving an eight year prison sentence in Evin Prison, one of Iran's most deadly prisons.
The ACLJ has been working in this country and abroad to secure his freedom, and has heard from more than 580,000 people demanding his release.
The ACLJ represents Abedini's wife, and their two young children, who live in the U.S.
To learn more go to www.SaveSaeed.org.