Pastor Saeed Abedini was released last week after being imprisoned in Iran for over three years. Naghmeh, his wife, worked tirelessly for his release and speaking up for persecuted Christians like her husband.
She expressed her thanks to her Facebook supporters for their prayers. She also thanked President Obama for his role in helping to release her husband. She wrote, “I could see his love and compassion as he spoke last year and again today. I am thankful for our President and all of the hard work by the White House and the State Department in making this happen!”
This video of Saeed reuniting with his parents and sister was celebrated by many.
The family will be healing and reuniting at the Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina. “The kids and I will join him on Monday and will be taking weeks or months healing as a family and going through counseling,” Naghmeh shared.
Franklin Graham said, “None of us in America can begin to understand or appreciate what Saeed has endured after being imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith.”
U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, who also worked for Saeed’s release said, “It was a long journey to get him from an Iranian prison to freedom. But as is the case with all former hostages, it’s a longer journey back to an old life. Here, he’s taking the first step of another long journey. It’s a very challenging recovery.”
“His kids want their daddy back. But their daddy is a different man than he was when he went inside that prison,” Pittenger continued.
The emotional, spiritual, and physical trauma will take many months to heal. “Military doctors say the initial phase of Abedini’s “re-assimilation” may take up to 10 days,” wrote Christian Post.
The Christian Examiner mentioned Naghmeh’s admission of being abused by her husband:
“Missing from Abedini’s North Carolina arrival was his wife, Naghmeh Abedini, and their two children. In a Baptist Press interview with Naghmeh released Jan. 22, the pastor’s wife said she was planning to meet her husband in Germany, where he received medical treatment after his release, but she changed plans after the couple “determined they needed more time to heal psychologically.”
Strains in the relationship began to surface in November of 2015 when she says an email she wrote to close friends asking for prayer was leaked to the media. The email, which then became public, mentioned ongoing “physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse (through Saeed’s addiction to pornography)” since the early days of their marriage.
Naghmeh has since said she regrets sending the email, even to close friends.”
Naghmeh later told Reuters, “I have hope that we can work through all the issues and we can restore our marriage. My Christian faith does give me a lot of hope in that.”
Naghmeh wrote on her Facebook page, “Please pray for us as we will be spending weeks or possibly months healing as a family and going through counseling. I am thankful for Franklin Graham for coming along side our family through this next steps of the difficult journey ahead.”
Franklin Graham shared this update on his Facebook page:
Pray for this family as each person heals, and as they learn to be a family again. Their kids are 9-years-old and 7-years-old. Pray for healing in their marriage and for spiritual protection as they reunite and reconnect.