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Billy Graham Asks Iran's President To Release Pastor Saeed Abedini

Famed evangelist tries political logic; meanwhile, wife of imprisoned Iranian-American pastor meets Hassan Rouhani in NYC hotel.
Billy Graham Asks Iran's President To Release Pastor Saeed Abedini
Image: Jecelyn1322/Flickr

In a personal letter to new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, Billy Graham addressed the growing tensions between the United States and Iran, arguing that Saeed Abedini's release after a nearly year-long imprisonment would greatly improve American perceptions of the Muslim nation.

Graham recognized Iran's recent release of 80 political prisoners as "very encouraging;" however, he said he feared "the current publicity surrounding the continued imprisonment of Pastor Abedini, an American citizen, may further harm the already fragile relationship that presently exists between our two nations."

Iran recently released two Christians, Mitra Rahmati and Maryam Jalili, from Evin prison where Abedini is held, reported World Watch Monitor on the eve of Rouhani's debut at the United Nations. However, 20 more Christians have recently been arrested. Among these prisoners are pastor Benham Irani, who must serve a remaining four years in prison unless he recants ...

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