Saeed Abedini wants the U.S. to declare itself a “Christian country” and thinks the reality television star is the man who can make it happen.
Four years ago, while sitting in solitary confinement in Iran, Saeed Abedini had a vision.
“I saw a young man with blue eyes, blond hair. I was sitting with him in a room,” Abedini, an evangelical Christian pastor, told The Huffington Post. “Someone told me, ‘He’s going to be the next president of the United States and you’re going to be friends with him.”
By 2015, there were nineteen candidates vying to be president. Abedini, still in prison in Iran, looked through the potential presidents from a smuggled mobile phone he claims he bought in prison. (HuffPost was unable to independently verify this claim.) He was disappointed to see that all of the candidates were old and didn’t look like the young man from his vision. Maybe in ten or twenty years, he thought.
But one night, while scrolling through Facebook posts, he came across a picture of a young man with blond hair and blue eyes. His whole body started shaking. “Ohmygosh, this is the one that I saw in the dream!” he said. The pastor didn’t immediately know who the man was, but once he clicked on the picture, he realized it was a young Donald Trump.
“I believe that this was a vision from God,” Abedini said in an interview with HuffPost. The reason God showed him a young image of Trump, Abedini explained, is because that was the age Trump was when God decided he would be president. “Because you are not Christian, maybe this does not make sense for you,” the pastor acknowledged. “You need to just read the Bible.”
Abedini was arrested in Iran 2012 and sentenced to eight years imprisonment on charges of evangelizing. Christian conservatives championed him as a symbol of religious freedom. His backers in the U.S., including Trump, advocated for his release and pushed the Obama administration to tie nuclear diplomacy to his freedom. In January, Iran released Abedini and three other Americans in exchange for seven Iranians who were detained in the U.S. But Abedini ― who has described being tortured in prison ― says he didn’t want to be released as part of a prisoner swap and would have preferred to serve the rest of his time.
“Preaching and prison has always been kind of a lifestyle for me. It’s not something that scares me,” Abedini said. “Jesus had the same lifestyle.”
Even now, Abedini is prepared to go back to Iran, even though it would likely result in his imprisonment. “I know one day, God will call me back to Iran again,” he said.
Now back in Idaho, where he relocated in 2005, he’s an enthusiastic Trump supporter.
“I voted early today! I voted for Donald Trump,” Abedini announced to his 20,000 Facebook followers on Oct. 21. “Last year on the same day I was sick in chains for Christ, and now I can choose my next President.”
Trump spoke out in support of Abedini as early as 2013, when he accused the Obama administration of abandoning the pastor by striking an interim nuclear agreement with Tehran without securing Abedini’s release. Trump hosted Naghmeh Abedini, Saeed’s wife at the time, at Trump Tower in New York. According to Saeed, Trump gave her a check for $10,000. The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment and Naghmeh would not confirm whether she received the money.
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SOURCE: The Huffington Post