WASHINGTON (AP) — An Iranian court has sentenced an American pastor to eight years in prison, according to a U.S. advocacy group.
The American Center for Law and Justice says Pastor Saeed Abedini was convicted and sentenced Sunday for his past work with Iran's underground house churches, which the court called a threat to Iran's national security.
ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow says an appeal will be made to the revolutionary court. Sekulow says Abedini is in poor health after months of detention and beatings for his Christian faith, so he might not survive an eight-year sentence.
Abedini's wife, who lives with their children in Idaho, responded to the sentence in a statement. Naghmeh Abedine said, "I am devastated for my husband and my family. We must now pursue every effort, turn every rock, and not stop until Saeed is safely on American soil."