Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini is brimming with gratitude for one U.S. presidential aspirant: Donald Trump.
In a surprising revelation, Abedini said the Republican presidential nominee helped provide for the needs of his family in Boise, Idaho while he was locked up in an Iranian prison for his faith. The pastor said Trump gave his family $10,000 while he was imprisoned for three and a half years.
"I am finally free in a free country. Last year on the same day I was sick and in chains for Christ, and now I can vote to choose my next president," Abedini said in a post on his Facebook page on Sunday.
"And most amazingly, I can vote for someone that I know fought for me and called my name so many times. He met my family and gave them a $10,000 gift. I think his ideas are more biblical than the other candidates," he added.
In contrast, Abedini said Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton did not do or say anything to help secure his release from Iranian prison. The pastor said Clinton never spoke his name or met his family.
"As a woman who says she stands for women's rights when she was foreign minister, she never contacted my mom, wife, sister or my daughter. She never did anything to help when I was in prison as an American pastor who was detained in Iran as a hostage," he wrote.
Abedini strongly defended Trump from attacks on his character, saying God used flawed men to lead nations in the Old Testament, likening him to King Cyrus of Persia, a figure mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible. According to Bible experts, Cyrus was a great pagan king who ruled Persia from 539 to 530 B.C. Under his rule, Jews were first allowed to return to Israel after 70 years of captivity.
"In the past few months, we have seen how media is attacking Donald Trump's past. I have even heard so many people said he is not a Christian. Of course, only God knows this for sure, but what I see is God is using him and anointed him. It seems to me that he is the Cyrus of our modern day, but like you and me, he is a flawed man, in the process of spiritual growth," Abedini said.
The pastor pointed out that those who are condemning Trump for his past are forgetting that America is also a nation "saved by grace."
"When we hear that this candidate or that candidate is not a strong Christian or has a past that disqualifies him to be the President of the United States, my answer is that we are a nation, a people who are also sinners, saved by grace," he wrote.
Last week, Abedini said he already cast an early vote for Trump in the 2016 presidential election.