BOISE -- Members of a Boise church gathered Sunday outside their regular services to pray for one of their own -- a pastor who is being held in an Iranian prison.

Pastor Saeed Abedini was taken prisoner last summer, during a visit to his homeland. Abedini is due to go before a judge Monday, so members of his church joined with his wife Sunday to pray for his safe return.

Saeed's wife, Naghmeh Abedini, grew up in Boise. She met her husband during a visit to Iran and the couple have lived in Boise together for several years.

Naghmeh says Saeed's imprisonment has been hard on their family.

One of our most difficult times was Christmas and New Year because it was just so obvious he was missing, and he was not part of the tradition, said Naghmeh.

Naghmeh said it's been particularly difficult for their six-year-old daughter.

There's certain songs he would sing to her at night, and he would do the bedtime routines, said Naghmeh. And she'll play those songs and just, most nights just crying, 'mom why isn't he coming home? I just miss him.'

Naghmeh said she was touched by everyone reaching out and showing support.

It's just powerful how many people have showed up and are being so encouraging and praying for us, she said.

Saeed was raised Muslim, but converted to Christianity in his 20's. In a letter he wrote to Naghmeh in prison, he said people are cruel to him because of his beliefs. But his legal team said neither Saeed nor his lawyers know exactly what he's being charged with.

Still, people here at home are trying to help the family.

People have been so nice, so supportive, so encouraging, from all different churches and different beliefs even, said Naghmeh.

Naghmeh expects they will find out what happened in court early Monday morning.

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