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News on The 700 Club: January 18, 2016

As seen on "The 700 Club," Jan. 18: Naghmeh Abedini: 'I'm thankful for the millions who prayed; Three Americans kidnapped by militia in Baghdad; and more. Read Transcript

After more than three years in captivity in Iran

where he was imprisoned and tortured,

American pastor Saeed Abedini is a free man.

And he's right now on his way home to the United States.

Abedini was originally arrested for his work among Iran's house


He was one of the Americans who was

set free in a prisoner swap with Iran, along

with a reporter for the Washington

Post and the former marine.

George Thomas has that story.

GEORGE THOMAS: Pastor Saeed Abedini and two other Americans

are making their way home, one step closer to reuniting

with their families.

NAGHMEH ABEDINI: I've been a single mom for three and 1/2

years and the kids uniting with him I think

will be a precious moments.

GEORGE THOMAS: In an exclusive interview just hours

after her husband's release, Abedini's wife,

Naghmeh described to CBN New the moment

when she told her two children, Rebecca and Jacob,

that their father was coming home.

They were jumping up and down, rejoicing.

It was very loud, very joyful.

And I could see a heavy weight lift off

their little shoulders.

GEORGE THOMAS: For the Abedini family,

it has been 3 and 1/2 grueling years of advocacy and lots

of prayer.

NAGHMEH ABEDINI: I'll credit my faith in Jesus Christ.

I'm so thankful for the millions who prayed,

who trusted God with me, who did not give up,

who would send me messages and letters saying, "we're not

giving up.

We have not forgotten him."

GEORGE THOMAS: The American Center for Law and Justice

worked for Abedini's freedom.

ACLJ chief counsel, Jay Sekulow called

his release, "a God moment."

Because as much as I-- you know, our lawyers work really

hard and our teams around the globe work really hard,

there were as you said, George, millions

of people praying from probably as many languages

as there are people groups.

And those prayers were answered.

God supernaturally intervened and we have

the release of the Americans.

GEORGE THOMAS: The dramatic events

happened over the weekend when Iran agreed

to free five American hostages in exchange

for several Iranians accused or convicted

of violating US sanctions.

Within hours of the prisoner swap,

Iran joined the global economy for the first time in decades,

after the US and EU agreed to lift sanctions, following

confirmation that the regime had kept

its part of a nuclear deal signed last year.

Although the president did impose some new sanctions

because of Iran's recent missile tests.

But he praised the prisoner exchange.

And perhaps most important of all,

we've achieved this historic progress through diplomacy,

without resorting to another war in the Middle East.

GEORGE THOMAS: The freed Americans

include Washington Post reporter, Jason Rezaian,

former US Marine Amir Hekmati, Nosratollah Khosravi,

and Matthew Trevithick.

Not among those coming home is format FBI agent

Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran in 2007.

Abedini, Rezaian, and Hekmati are now

at a US military hospital in Germany,

undergoing medical checkups before making the final journey


George Thomas, CBN News.

Well that's great news that he's finally free

and there looks like there was more to that Iranian treaty

then was first reported.

Well in other news, the hunt is on for Americans

who have gone missing in Iraq.

John Jessup has that story from our CBN News

bureau in Washington.


Thanks Gordon.

The US embassy in Baghdad confirm

several Americans are missing.

Iraqi media are reporting that militia men kidnapped

three Americans in Baghdad over the weekend.

The news comes as security in the city

seems only to be worsening.

More than 50 people died in separate attacks

in the capital and nearby areas in the past week.

An American missionary was among the 28 people

killed in a terrorist attack in Burkina Faso Friday.

Mike Riddering was in the capital

of that West African nation to meet a team of US missionaries.

He had stopped at a cafe when Al Qaeda-linked terrorists attack.

Riddering and his wife Amy moved to Burkina Faso five years ago

to run an orphanage and a women's crisis pregnancy


We feel that Mike was a modern day martyr, who

lost his life doing the work of Jesus,

knowing what he felt like God had called him to do.

Riddering leaves behind four children and his wife,

including two adopted children from Burkina Faso.

And of course we're keeping the Riddering family

in our prayers.

And Gordon, you know this quite well

that many missionaries put their lives at risk in fulfilling

the call, the great commission.

Especially in Burkina Faso.

This is yet more evidence that Islam is not

a religion of peace when you look at what happened here

and the martyrs who are coming out of that horrific attack.

Our prayers are with his family.

But we know where he is now and it's

wonderful to contemplate that he's

going to be with Jesus for all eternity.


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