Saeed Abedini

The U.S. Secretary of State has expressed concern for the well being of Saeed Abedini, the Iranian Christian convert, and called for his release from prison.

Reuters reports that John Kerry said on Friday March 22 that he is concerned that Abedini, a dual citizen of Iran and the U.S., has not been allowed access to Swiss diplomats, which represent U.S. interests in Iran.

ISNA reports that Abedini was arrested in September of last year at his father’s home. He reportedly ran congregations inside his home before 2006 and worked as a pastor. He later left the country and currently resides in the U.S. with his wife and two children.

According to his wife, he had travelled back to Tehran “to meet with his family and build an orphanage.”

Abedini was arrested last September and charged with establishing secret churches inside homes for the purpose of disturbing national security.

Abedini is sentenced to eight years in jail but his lawyer has said that he will appeal the sentence.