Saeed Abidini, an American citizen and pastor in the great state of Idaho, has been held prisoner by Iran since September 2012 in one of their most notoriously gruesome prisons. While Fox News has recently provided some coverage of this situation, most of the media has been relatively quiet. In Idaho, though, people are concerned and paying attention. I live in a small town about 40 minutes east of Boise called Mountain Home. As I was driving to church on Sunday, I noticed another local church was speaking out about Pastor Saeed.
The American Center for Law and Justice has been leading the charge pressuring political leaders to demand Pastor Saeed’s release. I’ve signed their petition, and I encourage everyone–whether you’re a Christian or not–who cares about religious liberty to sign it as well.
While Iran’s depravity is not surprising, our State Department’s total lack of interest Pastor Saeed’s plight is. Jordan Sekulow with the ACLJ details this passivity and notes that even the EU is ahead of the curve. Amazing. Fortunately, some members of Congress are speaking out. I’ll grant that I don’t know what might be happening behind the scenes outside of the limelight of the media and blogosphere. And there may have been an initial concern that the US government’s calling media attention to this situation might have politically boxed in the Iranians so that they had no choice but to let the worse happen to Pastor Saeed to save face at home with their Islamic constituency. But at this point the cat’s out of the bag.
Pastor Saeed’s case stands for more than just a man in a prison cell. He represents how fragile true freedom really is, and how little the Obama administration cares for it.