Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Wife Halts Public Advocacy, Citing Marital Woes and Abuse
Image: Van Payne
Naghmeh Abedini accepts an award on her husband's behalf at the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.

Update (Feb. 1): In his first public comments, Saeed Abedini told the Idaho Statesman that "much of what I have read in Naghmeh's posts and subsequent media reports is not true," but he plans to work on rebuilding their marriage in private because "personal issues are best dealt with personally."

“The God I serve today is the same God I served while being interrogated and beaten in some of the harshest prison conditions in the world and He is capable of restoring a marriage that has withstood unbelievable pressure," he wrote. "I ask for prayer for another victory.”

The Statesman has posted Abedini's full, five-point statement.


Update (Jan. 27): Saeed Abedini returned to Idaho and met with his children on Tuesday. In the wake of Iran finally freeing Saeed on January 16, his wife Naghmeh told supporters she was "believing in a miracle" for their marriage. "One battle has been won of Saeed's freedom," she wrote on Facebook. "There are many more difficult battles and a hard road ahead. Our family still needs your prayers."

On Wednesday, Naghmeh explained to her Facebook supporters why she has "taken temporary legal action" while the couple "work through reconciliation."

"I do deeply regret that I hid from the public the abuse that I have lived with for most of our marriage and I ask your forgiveness. I sincerely had hoped that this horrible situation Saeed has had to go through would bring about the spiritual change needed in both of us to bring healing to our marriage," she wrote. "Tragically, the opposite has occurred. Three months ago Saeed told me things he demanded I must do to promote him in the eyes of the public that I simply could not do any longer. He threatened that if I did not the results would be the end of our marriage and the resulting pain this would bring to our children."

She continued:

I long more than anyone for reconciliation for our family and to be united as a family. Since Saeed's freedom I have wanted nothing more than to run to him and welcome him home It is something I dreamed about the last 3.5 years. But unfortunately things did not work out that way and our family has to work through reconciliation. I want our reconciliation to be strictly based on God’s Word. I want us to go through counseling, which must first deal with the abuse. Then we can deal with the changes my husband and I must both make moving forward in the process of healing our marriage.

In very difficult situations sometimes you have to establish boundaries while you work toward healing. I have taken temporary legal action to make sure our children will stay in Idaho until this situation has been resolved. I love my husband, but as some might understand, there are times when love must stop enabling something that has become a growing cancer. We cannot go on the way it has been. I hope and pray our marriage can be healed. I believe in a God who freed Saeed from the worst prisons can hear our plea and bring spiritual freedom.

Prior to Wednesday's statement, Naghmeh told Reuters that her Christian faith gives her "hope that we can work through all the issues and we can restore our marriage.” In an interview with Baptist Press, she had expressed hope that God would use their situation to minister to others. "That's how God works. The worst things in our life turn out to be the best blessing."

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