Saeed Abedini, a 33-year-old Iranian-American pastor, is serving an eight-year sentence for threatening the national security of Iran because of prior involvement in Christian home churches. His family says he was in Iran last year to work on a new orphanage.
Supporters in dozens of cities from Sacramento to San Juan, Puerto Rico, including about 600 in Boise, gathered to pray on the anniversary of Abedinis imprisonment. In a full-page ad in the New York Times Thursday, evangelist Billy Graham wrote an open letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, respectfully calling for Abedinis release. Rouhani spoke about tolerance and understanding Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly.