U.S. Secretary of State Kerry spoke about the plight of American Pastor Saeed Abedini on Monday as he presented the State Department's annual report on international religious freedom
"In Iran, U.S.-Iranian citizen Pastor Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned. The Iranian authorities sentenced him to eight years behind bars simply because of his religious beliefs," Kerry explained.
"We will continue to call for his release and we will continue to work for it," he continued.
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, says the ACLJ is thankful for Kerry's commitment to work for Abedini's release.
This edition of the State Department's annual religious freedom report focused heavily on discrimination, impunity and the displacement of religious minorities.
"In 2013, the world witnessed the largest displacement of religious communities in recent memory," the report said.
"In almost every corner of the globe, millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and others representing a range of faiths were forced from their homes on account of their religious beliefs," the report read. "Communities are disappearing from their traditional and historic homes and dispersing across the geographic map. In conflict zones, in particular, this mass displacement has become a pernicious norm."
According to the ACLJ, nearly 290,000 people worldwide have signed the BeHeard Project petition in an effort to get him released.
Let your voice be heard, sign the petition.