Billy Graham’s Letter to Iran’s President

By   •   September 24, 2013


President Hassan Rouhani

Islamic Republic of Iran

Sept. 23, 2013

Dear President Rouhani,

I have been watching with great concern about the case of Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen who is currently a prisoner in your country. He was in Iran working to build an orphanage when he was arrested and later sentenced to eight years in prison. His situation has been receiving an increasingly high level of attention in the United States. Unfortunately this publicity has been entirely negative for Iran, with the belief that the primary reason for Pastor Abedini’s imprisonment was because of his Christian faith.

As you may know, as a religious leader I have often spoken (both publicly and also privately with our national leadership) about the need for greater understanding and peace among the nations of the world. As you come to the United States this week for the U.N. General Assembly in New York, it is my sincere hope that ways may be found to reduce the current tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The announcement on Monday that your country has freed 80 political prisoners is very encouraging. I fear, however, that 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.

On September 26, the one-year anniversary of Pastor Abedini’s imprisonment, thousands will attend prayer vigils in more than 70 U.S. cities, calling on your country to release this husband, father and servant of God. I join them by respectfully asking you to release Pastor Saeed Abedini from prison. Such an action would, I believe, have a positive impact in our nation, and might well be perceived by our leadership as a significant step in reducing tensions.

Respectfully yours,

Billy Graham


Mr. Graham’s letter is read into the Congressional Record on September 26, 2013

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  1. Amy says:

    I understand that there is a petition to send to Iran for the Pastors release. I sign my name now for his release. I pray that Iran will experience the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

  2. Sally says:

    GOD bless you Rev. Grahmn. I have grown up listening to you and you have certainly impacted my life and the life of my boys as they had the opportunity to attend your camp, the Cove. I can't wait until we get to heaven so I can meet you.I love you !

  3. Ann says:

    Thank you Reverend Graham for writing this letter and being so concerned about this man so wrongfully treated. I know you and many of your organization are praying for the release of Pastor Abedini. May the LORD answer our prayers.

  4. Karen says:

    Please release Pastor Abedini. He is being held without cause. He is a faithful man and is trying to do good in your country. He needs to be returned to his family. The idea of him being held without cause is hurting your country.

  5. Barbara says:

    Thank you Billy Graham for writing this letter, it came from the heart and I pray that this will touch this President of Iran. God Bless you.

  6. Stephen osunkeye says:

    God will take absolute control,strengthen the faith of Pastor Saeed and open door to freedom of truth and righteousness in Iran. God bless you sir.

  7. Orin says:

    I believe that the tension woul end between us and Iran.

  8. Carol says:

    Praise The Lord!

  9. LUPE says:


  10. Carol says:

    Prayers being said!