Written by Don Byrd
Secretary of State John Kerry last week released a statement calling on Iranian officials to release 3 prisoners including an Iranian-American pastor, Saeed Abedini, who has been detained for nearly a year.

During his nearly 12 months of imprisonment, Abedini has twice been in solitary confinement, and was refused medical treatment for months for internal bleeding that resulted from beatings he received by prison guards trying to force him to deny his faith.

From prison Abedini has penned letters that emphasize his continued faith in Christ in the midst of intense persecution. “The reality of Christian living is that difficulties or problems do arise in our lives,” Abedini wrote in a rare letter allowed out of the country. “Persecution and difficulties are not new occurrences, but are seen often in the Christian life. It is through the suffering and tribulations that we are to enter the Kingdom of God.”

You can read Secretary Kerry’s statement here.