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Iran sentences U.S. pastor to 8 years in prison, group says
Saeed Abedini is shown here with his 4-year-old son.
January 27th, 2013
12:02 PM ET

Iran sentences U.S. pastor to 8 years in prison, group says

By the CNN staff

(CNN) - An Iranian judge has sentenced an American Christian pastor to eight years in prison after he was tried for his religious beliefs, a U.S.-based religious group said Sunday.

Saeed Abedini was swiftly sentenced by a member of the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Court, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, an organization founded by television evangelist Pat Robertson.

CNN was not immediately able to confirm what went on in the court proceedings.

Abedini, who was born in Iran and now lives in Idaho, has been jailed in Iran since September, the group said.

"This is a real travesty - a mockery of justice," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the ACLJ, in a statement. "From the very beginning, Iranian authorities have lied about all aspects of this case, even releasing rumors of his expected release."

"Iran has not only abused its own laws, it has trampled on the fundamentals of human rights," added Sekulow, who represents Abedini's wife and children, who are in the U.S. "We call on the citizens of the world to rise up in protest. We call on governments around the world to stand and defend Pastor Saeed."

Abedini's trial began Monday when he and his attorney appeared in a Revolutionary Guard Court to address charges of attempting to undermine the Iranian government, the center said. His attorney apparently was shut out of some proceedings.

"We condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion and we call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini's human rights and release him," U.S. State Department spokesman Darby Holladay said in written statement.

The group contends that charges stem from Abedini's conversion to Christianity from Islam 13 years ago and his activities with home churches in Iran.

On Monday, the pastor gave the judge a written statement and was questioned by prosecutors and his defense lawyer, whom he met for the first time that day.

The judge in the case has faced sanctions by the European Union "because of his harsh sentences for those on trial for exercising a fundamental human right," the center said.

Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor's wife, said last week that a few laymen with the Christian church in Iran told her husband's attorney that they had been called to testify in the case.

She said that when she last spoke with her husband on January 9, he was resigned to a fate of remaining in prison.

The Iranian state-run news agency ISNA reported Monday that the pastor would soon be released on bail - which Naghmeh Abedini charged Tuesday was "clearly a lie."

Saeed Abedini has been arrested nearly 10 times in the past by the Iranian authorities, his wife said. The last time he had been held was in 2009, when he agreed to stop supporting home churches. He has taken nine trips to Iran, where he was born and where his parents live, since then.

His wife said he felt that it was safe to go back repeatedly because he had had no dealings with the authorities since he promised to stop working with Christian home services.

Once he even went with his wife and two children. He and Naghmeh are both converts to Christianity from Islam, and they received threats during the most recent family visit, so she took the children home. He returned to their home in Boise, Idaho, later.

Last summer, the pastor was on a bus that was crossing from Turkey into Iran. Immigration officials took away his passport and he was later put under house arrest. In September he was jailed, in the notorious Evin prison, while he awaited trial.

- kramsaycnn

Filed under: Iran

soundoff (1,210 Responses)
  1. sasss31

    There is something called the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS which some of you appeasers to evil seem to forget about. Regardless if he put himself into a risky situation, he committed no crime. All of us who value human dignity, human freedom and human free thought must stand against the heinous actions of the Islamic Republic and not only stand with this man but with all the prisoners of conscience inside of prisons inside of Iran. The only reason that this man did not get the noose is because he is an American. Free this man, free Iran. We must stand for the values of humanity and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights..

    January 28, 2013 at 4:20 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Even though I'm fully supportive of Saeed Abedini, some of the 'rights' in the Universal Declaration are non-enforcable and some really shouldn't be there.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:29 am |
  2. Rex

    You gotta love CNN......
    It can't "confirm what went on in the court proceedings".......but then goes on to give us a long, one-sided account anyway.
    That's almost as good as opening by telling us he was "tried for his religious beliefs" (according to whom?), but further down saying he was charged with "attempting to undermine the Iranian government".
    Doesn't anybody at CNN's editorial office go to journalism school anymore?
    Shoddy work, folks.
    With stories like this, no wonder this network (and website) has long since lost all journalistic credibility........

    January 28, 2013 at 3:49 am |
    • DP

      Wouldnt be surprised about cnn but im also not surprised if it is indeed the truth. sharia law subjugates jews and christians. If your a polytheis your killed. If your a jew or christian you pay jizya... Atleast until the islam version of jesus comes back.. Then its convert to islam or die

      January 28, 2013 at 3:53 am |
    • Rex

      Sure. But nonetheless, being "tried" for proselytising or other religous "activity" is not the same as being "tried" for a specific religious "belief". CNN ought at least clarify the nature of the charge, it seems to me, before writing a purely sensationalist and inflammatory opening line to this article. Again, if they can't "confirm" the details, perhaps they ought only publish when they can. Journalism 101. (Besides, I give the claims of Robertson's outfit about as much credibility as I would give to an Iranian religious court!)

      January 28, 2013 at 4:11 am |
    • DP

      True but we cant judge how this man feels in his heart about what he is doing

      January 28, 2013 at 4:17 am |
    • Rex

      Indeed. But the basic question remains. Was he "tried" for his "beliefs" or for his "actions"? And note that I am not claiming that prosecuting people for acting upon or spreading their religious beliefs is "just" or proper, merely that it is not the same as prosecuting someone for merely "believing" something......I can believe that my personal Snake God wants me to offer human sacrfices to it, for example, and I have a "fundamental human right" to believe that if I wish....but not I don't necessarily have a "fundamental human right" to act on it. 😉

      January 28, 2013 at 4:27 am |
  3. RICHARD

    Justice has been denied.

    January 28, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • DP

      Its nothing new. John the baptist who is prophet Elijah was the first martyr for this cause 2000 years ago. People who are persecuted for their belief at heart are promissed great reward in the hereafter

      January 28, 2013 at 3:44 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Judas was also the evil Bathsheba, in drag. He is also getting a sack of candy, oops, no I mean a sucker, as his reward in the here-after. Of course you have not a shred of evidence for that little fairy story, but it sounds al nice and fuzzy-wuzzy..

      January 28, 2013 at 4:25 am |
  4. Melchizadek

    I have looked back at some posts from Khaled and Mohammud and am very proud to see that they base their misguided assumptions that Isaac and Jacob were muslim,on their misguided assumption that " God has a son" and that makes Christianity polytheistic. the are right along with the misguided Jehovah witnesses mormons in this misunderstanding. the father son and holy spirit, are the same God in three forms. Christ as creator is clearly revealed, and in the end. Christ is the essence of God that became human, who humbled himself to be a man and hang on the cross. This was the God. and so is the Holy Ghost. Furthermore, as The angel of the Lord, is the person of Christ, this doesnt meant Christ was just an angel. There is one God. And if muslims reject Christ as the messiah, if they refuse to worship Him as God, they too will be spit out. All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made.

    January 28, 2013 at 3:30 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Don't forget to rim the satchel arm and flagulate the plimp.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:35 am |
    • DP

      As i agree with your statement about muslim ignorance of the covenant givin to abraham through issac. None of the islam rituals existed in that time. Islam came through abrahams disobedience to God. The Gospel came through the covenant. However, Christ NEVER instructed to worship him as God. It is clear about the rules of prayer in worship. The Messiah states that we must pray to God alone and not in public

      January 28, 2013 at 3:36 am |
    • Melchizadek

      correct on prayer. do you have more to support the part about not supposed to worship Christ as God? the angels were repeatedly saying Worth is the Lamb who was slain. I have a feeling we will be worshiping Jesus.

      Rational Libertarian, that went right over my head, and i am glad to see your comments tonight defending this guy.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • Melchizadek

      @ rational libertarian, i went to google that comment and it was already on the google data base hahaha. what the heck does that mean. explain please.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:45 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      My comment was ridiculing how silly you sound but I will fight tooth and nail to protect your right to say silly things and I commend Saeed Abedini's actions in a hostile environment, even if I find his beliefs to be ridiculous.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:46 am |
    • DP

      Yes worthy to open the seals. But all throughout the Gospel jesus message to people was to.believe in the Father.and glorify him. I love jesus alot but the pictures of him, the statues, the crucifix... Its gotta stop. It is blasphemy. Jesus was a believer in the ten commandements and the main instruction he gave us was to love the Father with all mind body ad soul. By venerating christ to the status of God was not his message

      January 28, 2013 at 3:50 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I thought that Christ and God were one and the same in Christian theology.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:53 am |
    • Melchizadek

      rational libertarian, i like you and respect you.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:55 am |
    • DP

      Well not all christian look to jesus as God himself... That is the difference between followong the words of Jesus and believing in the words of Paul. I do believe that jesus is the word of God that became flesh.. But jesus message was not for.people to believe he.is God. But for people to believe and love in the.Most High period

      January 28, 2013 at 3:57 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Melchizadek

      That's the nicest thing anybody has ever said to me on this blog. Thank you, I give my obeisance to your good grace.

      Just beware though, some other night when I'm in a less pleasant mood I'll probably mock your beliefs incessantly. If that happens, know that no matter how vociferous my rants may become, I'll always respect your right to have your beliefs and your right to express them publicly.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:02 am |
    • Melchizadek

      DP thanks for the insight.
      I agree with you about the statues and pictures, those are so disrespectful. I think it is very important to understand of our God, in all 3 persons. being in communion with the Holy Spirit is an act of worship, and praising the Lord God through the spirit is an act of worship. Also, knowing that Christ is our intercessor, the one who bridges the gap, is always on my mind. I just never really imagined leaving Him out of the picture as I worship the father. any comments

      January 28, 2013 at 4:05 am |
    • DP

      Well never leave him out brother it is correct to pray in jesus name. Dont get me wrong i am a sinner myself. But your mind should be focused souly on the Lord when you pray as instructed by jesus himself. The bridge that fills the gap is not persay... Christ as an object of worship. But more in the Word of christ itself that enables us to have a real relationship and instructs to follow. Personally i would have never truly known God if it wasnt for the gospel. i am not a jew and in no way could fully follow the torah. Ive always been confused on who to pray to when i was younger. Praying to God alone always felt like the right way. Jesus confirmed that. It is not by worship Jesus that man will be saved. But by following the Word that became flesh as in following the rules set by him. Following the will of God

      January 28, 2013 at 4:16 am |
    • Alex

      @DP
      I think you're missing the point. The whole Gospel is about Jesus. To say he is not God is blasphemy. That's why it says only through Jesus Christ can we be saved because, as man on earth, he was able to overcome all sin. If God couldn't overcome everything, we couldn't. And like the fellow said above me, He's 3 in 1. So I don't know why you get offended with statues and such, but Jesus is the Gospel.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:19 am |
    • Melchizadek

      Rational Libertarian, i takes someone special to not be upset with our beliefs. I used to think christians were schytzo and totally mentally oppressive and cruel. you would make a good judge. by the way i have been hearing it from you over the last week in the "godless mom's blog". i can understand how people in that blog could get tired of the Christian voice there, but in this blog here its a way different situation and your quality decision of sticking up for the guy, as other people cant for some reason, is a great sign about your character. You are true to your name.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:24 am |
    • DP

      Jesus never said one time to venerate me as God. He gave all the glory to the Most High. Read the gospel again. Jesus never said worship me and you be saved. His messgae was to turn away from sin, help your fellow man and believe in the Most High. His message never talked about salvation for thinking he is God himself... This is the difference between the teachings if Christ himself and the teachings of what came after he died

      January 28, 2013 at 4:26 am |
    • realbuckyball

      There was no Trinity, until the councils cooked that idea up. It's nonsense. "Son" of god was a ti'tle accorded to many. Jebus never claim to be god, and in Hebrew culture there were other divine beings, other than Yahweh. If Jebus HAD claimed that he was equal to the father, he would have been stoned. YOU have taken it out of context. Sorry. And as for the rest, show us any evidence. It's all a conco'c'ked system, by people who had nothing better to do. Yahweh was the 40th son of El Elyon. They were all polytheists until well after the Exile. Take a history course, and learn about your cult.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:31 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      realbuckyball

      You're correct, although you could have been so in a more diplomatic manner. One thing people really do either forget or ignore was Jewish polytheism. It wasn't until Saul unified Israel that Yahweh became the deity of choice for the Jews.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:35 am |
    • Alex

      @realbuckyball
      Haha. I'll just ignore what you said. No point in debating in something we all have made up our minds about.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:38 am |
    • DP

      Yes and this is exactly why God of Abraham.. The Most High sent all those prophets. In the OT. The last one being elijah...to turn the jews away from worshiping false gods

      January 28, 2013 at 4:47 am |
    • Alex

      @DP
      So you're saying Jesus only deserves worship in heaven? Because in Revelations it says the angels day and night worship the Lamb that was slain. If you believe in Jesus Christ, why wouldn't you worship Him? It seems like you're describing worship as an act, while its actually our relationship and life walk with God. When he was on earth, it says Jesus said numerous times to people "Your sins are forgiven". And the pharisees were bewildered and asked "Who is this man that has the power to forgive sin?". I don't see how you can say he wasn't God.

      The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

      January 28, 2013 at 4:51 am |
    • DP

      No it actually says they worship the Most High day and night

      January 28, 2013 at 4:53 am |
    • DP

      I get what your trying to say alex but the fact of the matter is by jesus words alone he instructed us to pray and worship God. He did.not say "worship me after i die"

      January 28, 2013 at 4:57 am |
  5. Caiha

    At first I thought this was bad, then it mentioned he's part of Pat Robertson's group? No wonder he ended up getting arrested.

    January 28, 2013 at 3:06 am |
    • DP

      Really wow.i didnt know.that. But it is not wise to judge an individuals heart

      January 28, 2013 at 3:10 am |
  6. bankrupt1

    We have islam/muslim home churches here. Seems odd that they would be scared of them. (Does that mean that bad things are happening in them???)

    January 28, 2013 at 3:00 am |
  7. Truth Hurts, Doesn't it?

    Saeed is a Muslim name, which mean descendant of Muhammad (P.B.U.H). Why is he a Pastor?

    January 28, 2013 at 2:57 am |
    • DP

      Like most true converts from islam they have the truth in the old testement and the words of The Messiah. The Messiah who muslims claim to respect is the uncorruptable word of God that became flesh. Muhammad came 600 years later and contridict alot of The Messiahs moral.teachings. None of islam rituals came from christianity or judiasm.. They came from paganism. Muhammads so.called.revelation from God is causing millions of people to violate the ten commandmemts simply by praying towards the quibla

      January 28, 2013 at 3:14 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      DP

      Do you ever listen to yourself and realize how crazy you sound?

      January 28, 2013 at 3:20 am |
    • DP

      Ah yes that doesnt surprise me. Im just comparing the word of Jesus vs the word of Muhammad

      January 28, 2013 at 3:22 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Both are equally nonsensical and irrelevant to the modern world.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • DP

      Well that is your opinion

      January 28, 2013 at 3:29 am |
    • DP

      Stastically most people on earth still believe in a higher power

      January 28, 2013 at 3:30 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Yep, and people listen to Coldplay and voted for the Nazis. You can't trust people.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:33 am |
    • DP

      LOL true but still. God is the finak judge so i pray that we all are in his graces

      January 28, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • sam stone

      DP: Many of us do not believe in (your) god and cannot fear it's judgement

      January 28, 2013 at 5:18 am |
  8. DP

    This man is following what in his heart. You dont see real bible following christians persecuting muslims... Because these.actions are condemed by the gospel. The catholic church is a false church. Also you see the true fruits of muhammads so called revelation from "God". You think christian persecution is bad now? Ha just wait. May the Most High be with us. All of us.

    January 28, 2013 at 2:56 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The Old Testament has some pretty violent things to say against non-believers and apostates. Let's also not forget Moses' fondness for violence against non-Jews.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:58 am |
    • bankrupt1

      rational: nobody reads the old testament.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:01 am |
    • DP

      Yeah well the gospel is after the old testement. We all know that violence will condemn you. I always hear the arguement that the old testment had violent things in it i get that. But the word of The Messiah must be followed if you are a believer in the Most High. Not muhammad, the man who contridicted a number or Yeshuas moral teachings

      January 28, 2013 at 3:06 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Well, when people want to show the hippy, flowery Christianity, it's all about the NT. But when it comes to gays, etc. OT all the way.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:06 am |
    • Caiha

      Dude, the only reasons christians aren't burning people at the stake any more is because it's illegal. A lot of them would go back to it in a snap of the fingers if they thought they'd get away with it (especially Pat Robertson and his toadies).

      January 28, 2013 at 3:08 am |
    • DP

      Your missing the point.. Read the book of matthew sometime. The image of modern christendom that is portrayed is much different from what is in the heart of believers

      January 28, 2013 at 3:09 am |
    • DP

      Well it would be wise for you to know that anyone who kills in the name of God after the Gospel was.delievered unto mankind will be judged accordingly by the scriptures. Any "christian" who killed in the name of God was certainly not.following.the.message of.christ. Also becareful not to.confuse the catholic.history with true believers in the gospel.. Millions of true.believers died under the papacy because they would not conform to their babylonian practices

      January 28, 2013 at 3:18 am |
    • realbuckyball

      You haven't been to the South. They presecute Mulims all the time, and deny them places to worship.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:32 am |
  9. Redhawk

    When will people learn, if you plan on going to a country that doesn't tolerate your particular religion, stay OUT of that country! This man's "plight" was brought on by his own actions. True, he's a human being and should be afforded the freedom to believe what he wishes, but, you also need to understand that, in a nation such as Iran, Saudi, Pakistan or any other country that is primarily Islam, christianity is not really your best bet. In America, he would be good to go. In Iran, not so much. I feel sorry for him and his family...it's not fair, it's not true justice, but, again, he should have stayed away from Iran.

    January 28, 2013 at 2:25 am |
    • ted

      you are all assuming that he was not complying with the guidelines that Iran set., The story i heard, said he amended his procedure to comply with their demands. is that wrong?

      January 28, 2013 at 2:38 am |
    • ted

      how many other iranian stories of imprisoning or hanging women do we need to hear, or hikers going to prison, before we realize that this isnt the perfect example to pin the tail on the donkey for the sake of religious resentment.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:45 am |
    • Mike

      He "should" have stayed away from Iran? Really?

      No doubt that would have been the safer course for him personally, but I don't agree with "should". He (presumably) believes that what he was doing was important and necessary. I have to admire him for doing that at personal cost.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:17 am |
  10. freakshows

    bob, you are a sorry coward. you just urinated on service mens graves because you hate religion.? i cant explain to you what you deserve for a comment like that.

    January 28, 2013 at 2:24 am |
    • Keith

      How in the name of sanity did BOB "urinate on service mens graves", He said some harsh things but basically he is RIGHT. the guy was born in Iran so he should have been fully aware of the dangers he faced, he chose to ignore those dangers which makes him a stupid idiot. His family will suffer for his arrogance.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:54 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Some people see the expression of one's beliefs in a hostile environment as idiotic. Others consider it commendable.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:56 am |
  11. freakshows

    @tallulh what about the "other type" of people who are harassed in iran, are THEY responsible for their own actions too. ?

    your comment is clearly out of hatred for Christianity. dont lie. thats the truth. you are a SORRY example of an american, and all of your big mouth friends are in the same boat.

    January 28, 2013 at 2:18 am |
    • tallulah13

      Oh do grow up. This person entered another country and broke their laws. Are you tolerant of visitors to our country who break the law?

      January 28, 2013 at 2:37 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The law is an ass. Persecution is persecution.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:40 am |
    • freakshows

      are their laws just?

      January 28, 2013 at 2:40 am |
    • ted

      tallulah, the guy doesnt deserve eight years in prison for something he thinks. If you are involved in a church in iran they put you in jail and beat you. He is from Iran. do you visit your relatives? are you jailed and beaten for speaking out against "abrahamic myths"?

      January 28, 2013 at 2:48 am |
    • tallulah13

      Does it matter? We do not get to choose the laws other nations follow.

      Iran is not a christian nation, and in fact, is an islamic theocracy. I suspect that the majority of it's citizens are okay with that. Should they grow tired of this type of governance, they are free to fight their own revolution. It is not your place to decide their laws.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      But it is our place to criticize them.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:52 am |
    • Keith

      I'm an atheist thank god so as far as I am concerned A pox on all religion. But when some christian fanatic complains that some one makes derogatory remarks about his religion I just fall on the floor laughing. The vile hatred of christians against ANYONE who either believes in another god or who believes in no god at all is sickening.
      As I said A POX ON ALL RELIGIONS.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      Are you so tolerant when people come to the U.S. and do things that are legal in their country but illegal in ours?

      January 28, 2013 at 3:02 am |
  12. fekt

    You play with fire and you get burned. He's a christian, he should feel proud to be persecuted for his faith. I've read the book they hold it in high regard. This can be actual persecution as well, not the pretend persecution they whine about in this country with a church every other block in any given town with who only knows how many television stations and shows and radio stations dedicated to nothing but their propaganda.

    January 28, 2013 at 1:54 am |
    • JACK

      Propaganda?... Oh wise one.... one of great insight and true knowledge. Reveal unto all the chapter or chapters within the New Testament... the book of the Christian which are incorrect... historically inaccurate. Then support it with more than your personal feelings. You will find a few questionable events, and everyone has a reasonable solution if you investigate with a sincere heart. May God spare us from these street corner philosophers that seek to spread their propaganda on the internet.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:30 am |
  13. Just a Though

    One of my favorite Americans; Benjamin Franklin –

    At his death in 1790, Ben Franklin was buried in Christ Church Burial
    Ground. A crowd of twenty thousand people came, the largest Philadelphia
    had ever seen. In one of his last letters - to David Hartley, a
    British friend, Ben wrote:

    "God grant that not only the love of liberty,
    but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man, may pervade all the
    nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on
    its surface, and say, 'This is my country'."

    January 28, 2013 at 1:25 am |
  14. sasss31

    I am an Iranian-American atheist and I care for the plight of this innocent man. His only crime was exercising his universal human right of freedom of conscience and freedom of thought. And all of us who value human freedom and human dignity care about the plight of this man and about the plight of all prisoners of conscience locked up in Iran. May this man be freed, may the Iranian people be freed by the tyranny and terror of the Islamic Republic.

    January 28, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • JACK

      Well said... may freedom of thought and religion be realized everywhere.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:34 am |
    • Keith

      Oh come on this guy wasn't just exercising his right to believe what he wanted to believe in, he can do that back in his home in Idaho he does not have to go to Iran to do it. He just wanted to be in the face of the Iranian authorities, to prance up and down and show off his contempt for Islam. Personally I couldn't care less, religion is for brain dead morons, but don't try to tell me he was just exercising his human rights. He wanted to provoke the Iranians into doing something stupid. Well guess what HE SUCCEEDED and now he crying that the Iranians are punishing him unfairly. Rot in jail you moron, I'm so sorry for his family for whom this idiot showed as much contempt as he has for the Iranians.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:14 am |
  15. Moon

    If you've been arrested multiple times on religious charges in an unstable country known for it's highly unfair justice system, YOU DON'T GO BACK. Guess he'll have to sit it out for 8 years. Isn't religion great!! Wish I was born a few generations from now when the only thing religion will be is a joke.

    January 28, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • donnylone

      A few years from now will be crying for jesus to help you...I promise u that

      January 28, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • tallulah13

      Donny, you can make no such promise. All you are doing is lying. Why are the christians on this blog some of the biggest liars I have ever encountered?

      January 28, 2013 at 2:41 am |
    • Keith

      Wow, well said I agree totally.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:16 am |
  16. Matthew

    I'd like to see God break him out of jail.

    January 28, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • Jenny

      This comment bears much similarity to one spoken at Golgotha (Matthew 27:42). But Christ can forgive (Luke 23:34) You need only ask (Matthew 7:7-11).

      January 28, 2013 at 2:35 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Christ will forgive Luke if I talk to Matthew? I dunno, it was a really big argument. They do make a cute couple though.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:39 am |
    • Keith

      Well that isn't going to happen because --–
      This where all the brain dead believers come out with a million reasons as to why god CANNOT do that.
      Have you ever noticed when someone asks a pertinent but awkward question the sheep all rush to defend god and castigate those who dare to ask the question. The excuses are always preceded by "well it doesn't work that way".

      January 28, 2013 at 3:21 am |
  17. Steve

    Maybe Pat Robertson could do his own dirty work.

    Ok, so starting an orphanage sounds like a noble sentiment ,but whats really going on is that the Christian church is praying on innocent children's fears and hopes, in an effort to perpetuate the Christian church.. not to mention, how will these people be perceived by their people after Pat gets through with them. They will be viewed as criminals/social outcasts in their own society. Pat you are not helping these pour kids by brain washing them with Christian dogma. Why don't you send a friend who is an Islamist....oh wait.

    If Pat was really your buddy, he would have told you to spend more time with your family.

    January 28, 2013 at 1:07 am |
  18. doyle

    wow. Iranians come to our country. get free food, housing, etc. build your mosque as you please. dare we have anyone from the us in your country doing there what you do here. what if the us treated other nations like the other nations treated us.

    January 28, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • SHrUb...gOd wIlls iT,,,,

      Actually much of the mosque construction is funded mostly by our Saudi friends...the ones that take an even tougher stance against other faiths intruding into their country. and if you openly state you re an atheist...theres going to be a vacancy in your apartment building shortly thereafter......

      January 28, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • sasss31

      The VAST majority of Iranians are not a religious people and are in fact pro-west and completely secular. We must differentiate between the fascist apocalyptic regime of the Islamic Republic and the freedom loving Iranian people.

      January 28, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • SHrUb...gOd wIlls iT,,,,

      secular is the ways to go...... Government is supposed to oversee infrastructure development, oversee the monetary system, look out for public safety, defend the nation against military threats....

      Religion is a social issue, to be decided by individuals ...religion should stay out of government, government should stay out of religion.

      January 28, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • Keith

      Hold on there Doyle, I am a citizen of this country but because I am an atheist I have to tread very carefully around the holy rollers. I can imagine the outrage if I tried to build a church devoted to atheism. I guarantee it would be fire bombed by a bunch of loving caring christians. The christian religion is responsible for more genocide in the history of the world than all the other religions put together.
      Your remarks are known as HYPOCRISY.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:28 am |
  19. pi_boson

    Organized religion will kill you every time.

    January 28, 2013 at 12:56 am |
  20. Bob

    Who cares? This guy repeatedly tempted fate. He can claim the superiority of his religion all he wants. Bottom line is he broke the law in this country and they went after him. All you Christians, stop wailing, and also, stop calling for a religious based government in the U.S.

    January 28, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • sasss31

      I am an Iranian-American atheist and I care. All of us who value human freedom and human dignity care. Shame on you.

      January 28, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • donnylone

      Wow, no wonder this country is almost done...

      January 28, 2013 at 1:51 am |
    • tallulah13

      I believe in human rights, but I am also a realist. There are places in this world where human rights are not guaranteed, and only a fool or a fanatic would enter such a place and deliberately break a law. He is responsible for his own actions.

      January 28, 2013 at 1:57 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Or an idealist. I think he should be commended for his actions.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:20 am |
    • tallulah13

      Why commend a man who abandoned his family to commit a crime in a nation not known for human rights? There's idealism, and then there's stupidity. Stupidity should never be rewarded.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:39 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      It's only a crime because a bunch of intolerant ass-hats say it is. Free expression should be championed.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:45 am |
    • tallulah13

      Then you go on ahead and champion, lib. Please, go over there and protest and see what it gets you.

      But it is not our government's place to bully another nation for enforcing it's own laws on it's own soil. We can't afford another war, especially not a holy war caused by one man's foolish actions.

      January 28, 2013 at 2:57 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Who's saying anything about war or government action? I also wouldn't protest over there because I lack this man's bravery.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      So in other words, all you want to do is shake your little fists, jump up and down and say "it's not fair!"

      Human rights are hard-won, and in fact we are still fighting for them in this country. They are certainly not universal. One has to be very careful when navigating this world. I guess you see a martyr and I see a fool.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:08 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      That's exactly what I want to do, although I'd say my fists are medium sized.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:11 am |
    • DP

      If attempting to your fellow human in need and attempting to turn people to the words.of.the gospel, which basically says stay away from immorality and turn to God... Is foolish? Sounds like one of the hardest most honorable tasks there is. Dont be a coward. Death is the beginning

      January 28, 2013 at 4:09 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Or it's the end and all that awaits is eternal nothingness.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:12 am |
    • DP

      Personally that is a really.depressing way to think. Sure ive thought of that. But id rather live my life like there is something better after here.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:35 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'd rather stick it in Miley Cyrus tonight but it ain't gonna happen. We can't live our lives by what we'd rather want, we have to accept reality.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:43 am |
    • DP

      I respect your opinion but your reality isnt definitive for everyone else bro

      January 28, 2013 at 4:59 am |
    • Science

      Human death = deplited carbon the end .
      Peace

      January 28, 2013 at 6:47 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.