Pastor Saeed Abedini of Boise, Idaho remains imprisoned in an Iranian jail. It’s hard to find much written about him other than in religiously affiliated media.
Still, President Obama went out of his way Saturday to issue a statement urging his release, along with the release of Amir Hekmati, a U.S. Marine veteran, and Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter
All three are being held on what appear to be baseless charges. But Abedini is being held because of his religious beliefs, and that makes him somewhat symbolic of a much broader level of injustice sweeping the Middle East — one that deserves more attention.
As the president said, Abedini has spent two and a half years in prison. His crime appears to have been converting to Christianity, then returning to his native Iran to visit family and talk about it.
But despite the online posting, which the president tied to the Islamic springtime holiday Nowruz, critics say Obama’s statement was a little perplexing. Will Hall of the Christian Examiner
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Jay Evensen is the Senior Editorial Columnist of the Deseret News. He has nearly 40 years experience as a reporter, editor and editorial writer in Oklahoma, New York City, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. He also has been an adjunct journalism professor at Brigham Young and Weber State universities.