Originally published in CBN News.
Pastor Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini announced on social media that they are divorcing.
The Iranian-American pastor spent years in an Iranian prison after being arrested for being a Christian and for sharing his faith with Muslims. It’s an act considered illegal and worthy of death in that country.
He was sentenced in 2013 to eight years in prison where he faced constant psychological and physical torture. Meanwhile, his wife and two children had to suffer the pain of living without their father and husband.
Naghmeh fought tirelessly for his release, even speaking before Congress.
More than three years after his arrest Saeed was released. But his homecoming was not as expected. Months before his release, Naghmeh explained in a letter to friends and supporters there was trouble in their marriage that began even before Saeed’s imprisonment. She separated from him shortly after his return to the States.
That added to the strain on their family from his years behind bars and ultimately led to the divorce announcement.
“My heart is deeply saddened to be sharing the news that Naghmeh and I will be divorcing. She has been my wife of 12 years and she will always be the wonderful mother to our amazing children,” Saeed wrote in a Facebook post.
“There are no words to describe the ongoing effect of the trauma I experienced and my family has experienced both during and in the aftermath of my imprisonment.”
“While we have experienced struggles, she, along with my children will forever be my heroes, both for what they had to deal with during my imprisonment in Iran and for how they never gave up fighting for my freedom,” he said.
“My personal pain, and our family’s struggle, does not diminish my commitment to Christ or my resolve to preach his Gospel to Iranians and to Muslims around the world,” Saeed also wrote in his post.
Naghmeh also announced their divorce on Facebook “with a heavy and broken heart.” She didn’t give many details but pointed out ongoing, unresolved issues. She is also asking Christians to keep their family in prayer.