Addressed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva
Testified in a Capital Hill hearing
Appeared on Fox News, CNN, Greta, etc.
Mother of two children
Update: Pastor Saeed's Imprisonment
The 700 Club
In July 2012, Naghmeh’s husband, Saeed Abedini, an American pastor who is a dual Iranian-American citizen, went back to Iran to visit family and continue his work on a government approved orphanage. While in Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps placed Saeed under house arrest without charge. He was then sent to Evin Prison in September 2012. In January, Saeed was sentenced to eight years in prison. His crime:preaching the gospel. Saeed is not guilty of breaking any Iranian law, but was convicted of endangering national security because of gathering with other believers in private homes. While in prison, Saeed has suffered internal bleeding from beatings and endured solitary confinement in an effort to make him recant his faith. Although he has been denied medical attention, Saeed’s faith remains strong and he has led 30 people to Christ while in prison.
Naghmeh was born in Iran but moved to the U.S. when she was nine years old. Her parents were Muslim. One day, her twin brother shared with Naghmeh how he saw Jesus in a vision. Jesus told her brother, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light.” Naghmeh converted to Christianity at the age of nine. Thirteen years later, her parents converted to Christianity. Although she grew up in the U.S., Naghmeh always had a heart to help Muslim women. She moved back to Iran in 2001 at the age of twenty five where she met Saeed a former Muslim who converted to Christianity in 2000. In Iran, converting to another faith is considered the ultimate threat against the regime. Saeed established several house churches in Iran. Naghmeh and Saeed were married in 2004.
Naghmeh has been speaking out for Saeed’s release since December 2012. “I am not depending on the media as my Savior. I am trusting God for Saeed’s release,” shares Naghmeh. At first, she admits Saeed’s imprisonment caused her great anxiety and depression. She said no human being could comfort her not even her mother. “I realized how weak I was, but I did not break. I knew I needed to be there for my kids,” shares Naghmeh. So, she asked God to give her peace and strength as described in Philippians. God answered her prayer. Before Saeed’s imprisonment, “I was a home body and now I find myself traveling to fight for my husband's release,” shares Naghmeh. “God is strengthening me. I am amazed. I know it is God not me,” reveals Naghmeh. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is representing Naghmeh in the fight for Saeed’s freedom. In June, she spoke before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva for her husband’s release. His case continues to gain attention around the globe. Over 600,000 people around the world have signed a petition for Saeed’s freedom at SaveSaeed.org. Several artists such as Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith have lent their voice on this website in support of Saeed’s release.
Each night, Naghmeh prays for three things: (1) Release from prison for Saeed according to God’s time; (2) The opportunity for Saeed to share Christ with other prisoners as God opens the right doors; and (3) Opportunities for her to share the gospel with other non-believers.
STATEMENT BY SECRETARY KERRY
In March, Secretary Kerry released the following statement regarding Saeed’s release: “I am deeply concerned about the fate of U.S citizen Saeed Abedini, who has been detained for nearly six months and was sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs. I am disturbed by reports that Mr. Abedini has suffered physical and psychological abuse in prison, and that his condition has become increasingly dire. Such mistreatment violates international norms as well as Iran’s own laws. I am also troubled by the lack of due process in Mr. Abedini’s case and Iran’s continued refusal to allow consular access by Swiss authorities, the U.S. protecting power in Iran. I welcome reports that Mr. Abedini was examined by a physician and expect Iranian authorities to honor their commitment to allow Mr. Abedini to receive treatment for these injuries from a specialist outside the prison. The best outcome for Mr. Abedini is that he be immediately released.” Naghmeh is grateful for the government officials who have gotten involved in the fight for Saeed’s freedom.
Saeed's family in Iran gets to visit him once a week at Evin Prison. Naghmeh and her children have not seen Saeed in over a year. During his most recent time in solitary confinement, Saeed said he felt many people praying and the time in solitary was a time of intimacy with God. When he came out, the other prisoners said he was glowing. In fact, Saeed said he was filled with more joy and peace after solitary than going in.
In a letter to Naghmeh, Saeed shares how he has hope despite the daily beatings he endures. ”I heard that the persecution, my arrest and imprisonment has united churches from different denominations, from different cities and countries that would never come together because of their differences. That the churches have united together in prayer to put one request (my freedom) on one day (Pentecost) before God. You don’t know how happy I was in the Lord and rejoiced knowing that in my chains the body of Christ has chained together and is brought to action and prayer.” When the Church is united (with one heart, in one place, on one day) that is when the joy and strength of God (Holy Spirit) wants to come in that unity and pour out and the Lord be exalted,” shares Saeed.
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