Photo courtesy ACLJ
American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in Iran on charges of evangelizing, was sentenced this morning to eight years in prison, Fox News reports. According to the American Center for Law and Justice, Abedini was verbally sentenced in Tehran by Iran's infamous "hanging judge" to eight years in prison for threatening the national security of Iran through his leadership in house churches. He will serve the time in Iran's notorious Evin Prison, known as one of the most brutal. The evidence was based on Abedini's activities primarily during the early 2000s, when house churches were not considered a threat in Iran, the ACLJ said. "With today's development I am devastated for my husband and my family," Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, said after learning about the court action. "We must now pursue every effort, turn every rock, and not stop until Saeed is safely on American soil." ACLJ executive director Jordan Sekulow said: "Here's the troubling reality: we have a U.S. citizen, who has been beaten and tortured since his imprisonment last fall, now facing eight years in Evin Prison, one of the must brutal prisons in Iran. A harsh sentence in a notorious prison -- likely facing life-threatening torture and abuse at the hands of the Iranian regime. Simply because of his Christian faith."