In what has become a public domestic battle between husband and wife, Saeed Abedini has released a public statement about the state of his marriage to Naghmeh days after she released one of her own.
Saeed, a pastor from Boise, Idaho, arrived home last Tuesday after a torturous captivity in Iran that lasted three-and-a-half years. Saeed, who had been working with home churches and an orphanage, was arrested after Iranian officials accused him of trying to use Christianity to subvert the government.
But upon his arrival, his wife Naghmeh explained publicly on her Facebook page why she has been unable to share the full extent of her children's joy at seeing Saeed again. Back in November, she suspended her national appearances advocating for Saeed's release, apologizing for hiding the state of her and Saeed's broken marriage.
In a letter to the Idaho Statesman, Saeed addressed his wife's suffering in his absence but contradicted the reasons for their broken relationship.
He wrote, "Naghmeh has been a hero to me and suffered enormously as a result of being 7,000 miles away from me and being a single parent to our two precious children while traveling and leading a crusade on my behalf. I will always love her for her sacrifice."
Saeed acknowledged that their marriage is "under great stress and I am hoping and praying for healing and restoration."
He said he finds little of what Naghmeh has publicly said about their marriage problems to be true and believes their private problems should return to their private lives rather than be in the public view. He does not intend to address their issues further with the media.
At the end of his letter, he writes, "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. I ask for prayer for another victory."