By Dan Wooding, Founder of the ASSIST News Service
BOISE, IDAHO (ANS – January 27, 2016) — The wife of Saeed Abedini, the Iran-American pastor freed this month from an Iranian prison as part of a prisoner swap, has filed for legal separation from her husband, according to an Idaho state judiciary website.
Naghmeh Abedini previously had said in a message to supporters, that became public last fall, that her husband had been abusive and suffered from a pornography addiction.
According to Ben Klayman of Reuters, Reuters has not been able to independently confirm her allegations, and the husband could not be reached for comment through a spokesman.
Naghmeh Abedini said on Wednesday that her husband, freed earlier this month, had threatened the end of their marriage.
After a brief stay with his parents and sister at The Cove, a Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) retreat center, he landed in Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday after his release 10 days ago in Iran, and already had a “wonderful reunion” with their children Rebekka, 9 and Jacob, 7.
“But on the same day she also filed for legal separation, according to a Idaho state judiciary website. She told Reuters she had not filed for divorce, but declined to elaborate and her attorney could not be reached to comment,” said Klayman.
In a statement on Facebook, Naghmeh Abedini said today (Wednesday January 27. 2016) that she had taken “temporary legal action to make sure our children will stay in Idaho” until the situation with her husband has been resolved.
Saeed Abedini, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was sentenced by an Iranian court in 2013 to eight years in prison for allegedly compromising Iran’s national security by setting up home-based Christian churches there.
He was one of five Americans released as the United States and Iran swapped prisoners and Washington lifted sanctions on Tehran in return for the Islamic Republic abiding by an agreement to curb its nuclear ambitions.
The pastor’s wife also said he demanded three months ago that she do certain things that she did not detail in order to promote him in the eyes of the public or he would end the marriage.
“I love my husband, but as some might understand, there are times when love must stop enabling something that has become a growing cancer,” she wrote.
On her Facebook page, Naghmeh Abedini had apologized to her followers for not disclosing the abuse sooner.
“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 said. “Tragically, the opposite has occurred.”
In an interview at her parent’s home in Boise last week, Naghmeh told Reuters that rebuilding their marriage after her husband’s imprisonment would take time.
Please pray for the difficult situation this couple are facing at this time.
Photo captions: 1) Naghmeh Abedini is pictured in the home of her parents in West Boise, Idaho, January 20, 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Ben Klayman). 2) Saeed Abedini being greeted by his mother, sister and father, along with Franklin Graham. 3) Dan Wooding.
About the writer: Dan Wooding is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the author of some 45 books and has two TV programs and one radio show in Southern California, and has reported widely for ANS from various parts of the world.
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