BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- -

A human-rights group says an Iranian court has rejected an appeal by an American pastor sentenced to eight years in prison.

The American Center for Law and Justice says the Tehran Court of Appeals on Sunday refused to reduce Saeed Abedini's prison sentence.

Abedini, who is of Iranian origin, but lives in Boise, Idaho, has been in jail since September.

He was charged with attempting to undermine state security by creating a network of Christian churches in private homes. He was tried and sentenced in January.

Saeed was in Iran doing humanitarian work when he was arrested and imprisoned.

The human-rights group is representing Abedini's wife and children in the U.S. His wife, Naghmeh, says the family will continue to fight for her husband's release.