Naghmeh Abedini Under Attack From Christians and Muslims

Profile: Saeed Abedini (02) feature

(PHOTO: THE CHRISTIAN POST) The Reverend Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, leads a group in prayer at a vigil for imprisoned Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini in Lafayette Square, Washington, September 25, 2014. Naghmeh Abedini (R), wife of Pastor Saeed, and their two children.

Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of American pastor Saeed Abedini who’s imprisoned in Iran, has said that she’s been receiving personal attacks from people who accuse her of not being a good mother for traveling so much; for her lack of formal Bible education, and for the clothes she wears.

Abedini said, however, that her faith in God has grown despite all the trials, and despite her great worry over her husband’s future. 

“The last three years have been very intense not only because of Saeed’s imprisonment, but also because of the attacks that have come from not only radical Muslims, but at times from those closest to me. I have been told many things of which some have been that I am not a good mom for traveling so much .. that how could I possibly share about Christ when I have not even been to a Bible School,” Abedini wrote in a Facebook message on Sunday.

“I have been criticized from what I wear to what I say to the way I parent. … I use to break to pieces after each attack and criticism, but recently the Lord has been speaking to me through the life of Moses. That I should use the attacks to keep me humble,” she continued.

Abedini reflected on the passages in Numbers 12 in the Bible that speak of Moses asking God to forgive those who cause such strife, and said that they have inspired her to have a “heart of compassion,” instead of a “heart of bitterness.”

Her husband is currently serving an eight year sentence in Iran after he was accused by Iranian authorities of endangering national security. Abedini and law groups, such as the American Center for Law and Justice, have said that the pastor is being punished for his Christian faith, however.

Abedini has been traveling across the country for speaking arrangements, and has shared her testimony before Congress and the U.N., urging world leaders to press Iran on its human rights record, and help free her husband.

The couple have two young children back at their home in Boise, Idaho.

In another Facebook post on Saturday, Abedini recalled the story about the two women who went to the Tomb of Jesus, as read in Mark 16, and said that much like those women, she is filled with worry about her husband.

“As I was reading, it struck me that these women were so worried about how they were going to roll away the stone. And yet when they reached there it was ALREADY ROLLED AWAY!!!” she wrote.

“The Lord spoke to my heart and showed the worries of the future that I am carrying with me … worries of in what condition I will receive Saeed and how our marriage will look like and in what condition the kids will have their father.”

She added that like the women who worried about the stone, people sometimes forget to put God in the formula.

“I have been a believer for almost 30 years, but only recently has the voice of my Shepherd been so clear and so different from all of the so many voices around me. I believe it is because of being in such a broken state and being so desperate for Him that we can be in a position to hear from the Lord,” she said.

Abedini posts regular updates on Facebook about the campaign to free her husband, and back in September held a 21 day fast to raise awareness for the case.

October 19, 2015 | by Stoyan Zaimov | Christian Post Reporter | Source: christianpost.com "Naghmeh Abedini Under Attack From Christians and Muslims"

Wife Testifies to Congress of a Family Torn Apart by Imprisonment in Iran

International Christian Concern (ICC) (01) feature

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Naghmeh Abedini addresses Congress regarding her husband, Saeed Abedini, sentenced to eight years in prison for his faith in Jesus and activities as a Christian

06/02/2015 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern)
International Christian Concern (ICC) continues to call for the release of Iranian American Pastor Saeed Abedini. He has been imprisoned in Iran since September 2012 where he has suffered intense physical and psychological torture. As the United States and other Western countries are negotiating with Iran regarding its nuclear program, the continued confinement of Saeed, along with three other Americans, raises serious concerns about the trustworthiness of Iran’s negotiations. Prior to reaching any final agreement with Iran, the House Foreign Affairs Committee is investigating the continued detention of Aericans in Iran.

On July 28, 2012, Saeed Abedini was taken off a bus in northern Iran and held under house arrest until September 26, 2012 where he was taken to prison. Then, on the morning of January 27, 2013, Pastor Saeed stood before Judge Pir-Abassi in Tehran to receive his verdict from a show trial.He was convicted of “undermining national security” for his work among house churches in Iran from 2000-2005 ” Mr. Abedini’s attorney had only one day (January 21) to present his defense, so we remain deeply concerned about the fairness and transparency of Mr. Abedini’s trial,” State Department representative Darby Holladay reported shortly after the trial.

“My message is to show a glimpse of the pain we go through as a family torn apart,” Naghmeh told ICC prior to her address to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Saeed has now been imprisoned for 980 days in Iran. “My children have lost both their father to a prison in Iran, and also their mother as I travel to advocate on behalf of my husband,” Naghmeh said in her testimony. “It is hard to go back [to] them without solid answers, I hope this will be the time that we can bring Saeed home,” she continued.

What has sustained me through this and what I hope to share before Congress, Naghmeh told ICC, is “the message of the Gospel, of how a relationship with God (not religion) has gotten us through this.”

Saeed has faced intense abuse during his imprisonment. “He has been tortured, especially the first few months he was beaten badly when internal bleeding started,” Naghmeh testified. “He refuses to deny his Christian faith; they are putting him in and out of solitary to break him. I’m not worried just about his physical pain, but his psychological. They want, when they release Saeed, to release a very sick person,” Naghmeh said. “Time is of the essence.”

Also joining Naghmeh Abedini in the hearing were Mr. Ali Rezaian, Brother of Jason Rezaian, Ms. Sarah Hekmati, Sister of Amir Hekmati, and Mr. Daniel Levinson, Son of Robert Levinson, all testifying of the pain that they have experienced as family members of those detained in Iran.

Opening the hearing, Committee Chairman Edward Royce (R-CA), told them, “This Committee stands in solidarity with each of your families. We can’t imagine the living hell that your families are going through. And we share your anger and frustration with the position you have been put in. Immediately after our hearing today, the Committee will be passing a resolution that calls for Iran to release all detained U.S. citizens immediately and provide information it possesses regarding any who have disappeared within its borders.”

In House Resolution 233, sponsored by Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-MI), some 145 members of Congress have cosponsored the resolution calling on Iran to release these U.S. citizens will now proceed out of committee to the full House of Representatives, but even more important is that the Obama Administration and its negotiators take the lives of these citizens into account before pursuing other ends.

Organizations and departments across the world are advocating on behalf of Pastor Saeed. Secretary of State John Kerry first called for his release on March 22, 2013 and again on July 28, 2014 in addition to citing Saeed’s case in the U.S. State Department’s most recent report on international religious freedom. President Obama mentioned the case in his first phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani but additional steps have not been taken, despite international pressure.

ICC’s Regional Manager, Todd Daniels, said, “We echo the call of Naghmeh Abedini before Congress that time is of the essence. Saeed Abedini is in prison solely for his Christian faith and languishes in an Iranian prison because he has refused to recant. The protection of American citizens ought to be of first priority in the concerns of the White House and it is essential that President Obama insists on the freedom of Saeed and the other Americans unjustly imprisoned. We continue to call for the Iranian regime to immediately release Saeed Abedini.

His only crime is his faith in Jesus Christ and that he met together with others who share that faith, activities that are legal under the Iranian constitution. President Rouhani can follow through on his promises of a new Iran by showing respect for the fundamental rights of all people, and the United States should demand this from them before further negotiations take place.”


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