Franklin Graham is asking for a renewed prayer effort for American Pastor Saeed Abedini, whose condition has deteriorated in Iran, according to his wife, Naghmeh Abedini.
“Saeed is not doing well,” Naghmeh wrote on her Facebook page. “He collapsed at the hospital after severe beating.”
According to a story on the American Center for Law and Justice website, Saeed, 34, was “removed from the hospital and taken back to Rajai Shahr Prison.
“The transfer came without any advance notice and family members in Iran confirmed that he was severely beaten at the hospital and then forcibly returned to prison.”
The story quotes Naghmeh Abedini: “This is an extremely disappointing development—one that breaks my heart. Our family is deeply saddened and we continue to pray for Saeed—for his safety and his release. We are very grateful that so many people around the world continue to pray for Saeed.”
“When Pastor Saeed was transferred to the hospital in March,” the ACLJ story continued, “he was initially shackled by guards who lashed out violently against him. He was also denied medical treatment at that time and family members were prohibited from seeing him.
“Since then and in the weeks that followed, Pastor Saeed’s situation at the hospital improved. Family members were permitted to visit with him frequently and he was provided with nutritional meals.”
Franklin Graham has been vocal in his support for the Abedini family, asking Christians to pray for Saeed and sign a petition for his release. Billy Graham wrote a letter on Sept. 23, 2013, to Iran President Hassan Rouhani, urging him to release Saeed from imprisonment.
Naghmah Abedini visited the BGEA headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., in March and talked about the “depths of pain” she has endured since Saeed’s detainment in the summer of 2012. She also shared her story with local pastors and asked for prayers.
On Tuesday, she petitioned on Facebook for prayers for her husband: “Without Jesus and your prayers I could not continue. Please keep Saeed and our family in your prayers.”