Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), members of Congress, and a representative from the State Department joined a prayer vigil on Thursday afternoon in front of the White House to protest Iran’s imprisonment of Saeed Abedini, a Christian pastor and American citizen.
The federal government has not made religious freedom a foreign policy priority in the 15 years since Congress passed the International Religious Freedom Act, congressional testimony Thursday morning revealed.
The Iranian government sentenced American pastor Saeed Abedini to eight years in prison for practicing Christianity, the U.S. State Department announced on Sunday.
President Barack Obama’s inauguration coincided with the beginning of the trial of an American pastor imprisoned in Iran for practicing Christianity.
An American-Iranian pastor imprisoned in Tehran since September may face hanging because of his Christian faith, according to reports. Saeed Abedini sent a letter to his family Jan. 10 detailing his torture and treatment by Iranian authorities.