Articles on Naghmeh Abedini, who is bravely exposing the abusive behaviour of her husband, Pastor Saeed Abedini
Naghmeh Abedini is bravely exposing her husband Saeed Abedini’s abusive behaviour. We haven’t yet had time to write our own post on the Abedini case. But here are some articles on it which we recommend.
Chad Estes: Welcome Home Saeed. We are sorry, but there won’t be a parade
(scroll down to part three of this post, where Chad strongly defends and supports Naghmeh)
Spiritual Sounding Board: Pastor Saeed Abedini Releases a Public Statement Denying Abuse Allegations Against His Wife
Divorce Minister: Naghmeh Abedini And Sorting My Painful History
UPDATE 1 (5 Feb USA time) — I (Barb) am adding two new articles from the Idaho Statesman.
Saeed Abedini beaten in prison, had use of cellphone much of the time The Idaho Stateman, written by John Sowell, Feb 4, 2016
Here is a quote from this article:
Q: Did he [Saeed] have access to a cellphone in prison?
Naghmeh Abedini wrote last month on her Facebook page that Saeed was able to use his phone after he had been in prison for six months. Naghmeh said she talked with him six to eight hours a day at times. She also said he used his smartphone to watch movies using Naghmeh’s Amazon account and viewed pornography on his phone.
Saeed has not addressed that accusation, other than to say some public allegations about him are not true. But other sources say access to phones inside prisons in Iran is far from unheard of.
In a first-person account for Time magazine, Matthew Trevithick, who was among four other Americans released at the same time as Abedini, said he was able to use his phone during his 41 days at Evin Prison. Saeed spent the first year and a half of his sentence at the same Tehran prison.
In a story published online in December on IranWire, which relies on citizen journalists to report on events in Iran, reporter Fereshteh Nasehi said phones were popular among prisoners at Rajaei Shahr Prison outside Tehran, where Abedini spent his final two years.
“Prisoners who can afford to buy smartphones now spend most of their time online. And the Internet makes access to porn much easier, but, of course, smartphones must remain hidden from prison guards,” Nasehi wrote.
Abedini domestic violence incident in 2007 triggered by laptop argument, The Idaho Statesman, written by John Sowell, Feb 4 2016
Here is a quote from that article:
Last week, the Idaho Statesman reported that Saeed pleaded guilty to domestic battery following a July 2007 incident at the couple’s West Boise home. The Statesman this week obtained a copy of the incident report from the Boise Police Department, following a public records request.
It reveals that Saeed Abedini got into an argument with his wife and shoved her several times during an incident at the couple’s West Boise home on July 1, 2007.
The argument came while Saeed, then 27, was speaking with family members. Naghmeh, then 30, got upset at something he told his family and tried to close the laptop computer he was using to talk with them, Saeed told police.
A description of the argument was redacted in the copy of the report provided to the newspaper.
Naghmeh — who was holding her daughter, Rebekka, then 10 months old — told police that her husband “pushed her several times” and forced her out of the room. Naghmeh said Saeed pushed her in the neck and upper chest, and the officer, Erik Tiner, now a sergeant, reported seeing a “slight amount of redness” in that area, according to his report.
“He told me that he told her to get out of the room and made hand gestures indicating that he pushed her,” Tiner wrote. “I asked him if he pushed her and he denied doing so.”
Naghmeh told Tiner that Saeed threatened to beat her up if she did not leave the room. She also claimed that she had previously been the victim of domestic violence when the couple lived in Iran. She told Saeed she would call police if it happened again, she told Tiner.
Saeed told Tiner that Naghmeh pushed him as she attempted to close the laptop. She denied touching him, according to the report.
When Tiner asked what she wanted done, Naghmeh told him that “she wanted him to go to jail for domestic battery.” She then signed a criminal citation.
Saeed was arrested that day and taken to the Ada County Jail. Following a video arraignment the following day, he was released on his own recognizance.
During court proceedings, Saeed was assisted by an interpreter who spoke Farsi, the Persian language of Iran.
Saeed initially pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge, but changed his plea to guilty on Jan. 25, 2008, according to court records. He was given a suspended 90-day jail sentence and fined $76. He was placed on probation for a year by Ada County Magistrate Michael Oths.
Saeed was also ordered to attend eight hours of sessions on anger management. He completed that requirement before entering his guilty plea, records show.
I grieve for the position in which Naghmeh now finds herself. Franklin Graham, perhaps the most prominent public evangelical figure of our era, has stated publicly that there are “two sides” to the story, and her husband, Saeed, has publicly accused her of lying. Meanwhile, both of them have positioned the restoration of the couple’s marriage as a victory from God and the destruction of their marriage as a victory for Satan. In other words, if Naghmeh decides to make the separation permanent, she will have allowed Satan to win. Think, for a moment, about the impossible position in which that puts Naghmeh.
There’s something else to note in Saeed’s positioning as well. Evangelical women typically lose any hope they might have for their community’s support in leaving an abusive husband when that husband professes to be actively working to listen to and submit to God. As long as her husband says he is working on his relationship with God and that he wants to fix the marriage, an evangelical woman will typically be seen as the one destroying a marriage if she leaves, even if her husband is actively abusing her. Saeed has positioned himself as the reasonable one, the one listening to God and dedicated to restoring his marriage. This perfectly positions Naghmeh as the unreasonable one, the one willing to flee in the face of God’s efforts at restoration and destroy a marriage.
This is an update and thank you from IamMyBeloved’s who, you will recall, has been the target of not only an abuser but of an unscrupulous attorney who is trying to foreclose on her home after he ran up an exorbitant bill against her during the divorce. Please keep praying for her and her children, that the Lord will bring this evil to light and enable them to keep the home. Some of you have sent funds to her through us and we have forwarded them to her. She writes:
I am writing to say “thank you” so very much for the generosity of spirit you have all demonstrated toward me and the gifts you have given to me. I cannot express my deep gratitude for all you have done for me. I know this giving was sacrificial. God’s timing is perfect!I would ask that you continue to pray for us as I continue this ongoing battle with the ex attorney. He continues to threaten to displace us, but I am ever so confident that the Lord is hearing all our prayers and will soon answer. I have had to take additional steps this week, but I would ask that you pray for closure of this and release for me and my family. Pray that all investigating this would have their eyes opened by God and that truth would prevail. His Word says that no weapon fashioned against us shall prosper and every tongue that rises against us in judgment we shall condemn and refute. I believe this and continue to pray this over my circumstances. We know God is faithful and there is nothing impossible with Him.Please also pray for continued strength for myself. My battle has raged for six straight years now with abuse for decades before that. I am tired. I also need to have quicker bounces back from the triggers I experience in all of this.Abuse is a long road to recovery for victims and I will also remain praying for all of you as you take this journey. Where would any of us be without Jeff, Barb and this blog which has been used so incredibly by God in all our lives. Glory be to God for Him using these people in our lives in such a beautiful way. Who else do we know that we have never met, who support, help guide us and love us like these people do? Thank you again so very much. I believe we will all meet each other in Heaven one day. Sort of like the ending of Les Mis.My love and prayers to all of you, always~IamMyBeloved’s
About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.” When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s companions in travel. (Acts 19:23-29)
Have you ever been confused about the reaction of so many churches and church leaders and professing Christians when you called attention to the evil of abuse hiding behind a facade of Christianity? Why do so many people, people who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, totally freak out when you point out the existence of evil among them? The thing is widespread. We are not talking about some rare anomaly, but something that really is, well, the norm.
I have seen it and so have most of you. When I first started to really wake up (or rather be woken up by the Lord) to this wickedness lurking in the pews, I was excited about all this truth coming my way. It was extremely freeing because I was being freed from so much of the bondage that had been worked against me for so many years by abusers. But on more than one occasion when I shared what I was learning, here are some of the reactions by one or two “pillars” of the church that tried to shut me down:
- “That is gossip! Don’t ever talk to me about this again!”
- “No! No! No! What is this anyway? You are wrong. You have no evidence. Stop it right now!”
I have no doubt that if these people could have driven me away from our church, they would have done so in a minute. By God’s grace that did not happen. Such people always try to recruit a crowd, like Demetrius did, but this time round it didn’t work. It was the Lord protecting us.
But what is this? Why this instant flare up and rage? I think I can confidently answer that question. It is the result of the very same cause that fueled the riot in Ephesus. At the root of these rioters’ religion was idolatry. “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” Their religion, their money, their entire worldview was all wrapped up in an idol. The gospel is a severe threat to false gods and to the people who worship them. Light was shining and the darkness hated it.
And so it is today.
Many local churches, many “eminent saints” in local churches, actually worship an idolatrous “Jesus” fashioned by their own hands. When someone is being set free of the bondage to that idol by the work of the Spirit of Christ in them showing them His truth, well, the Artemis worshipers don’t like it at all. That truth is a threat to everything that they call Christianity. The rank patriarchy. The legalism. The distortions of Scripture regarding forgiveness, reconciliation, love, submission, and mercy. Those perversions of God’s Word start teetering when truth begins to shine. The local church that is so “perfect” turns out to be an idol factory full of wickedness — the whitewashed tomb full of dead, rotten corpses Jesus spoke of. And the idolaters hate this exposure. “Great is our ‘Jesus’! Great is our doctrine of marriage and family and parenting and ‘purity’ and ‘holiness.’ ” These things have long brought “no little business” to these people who are just certain they are serving Christ, so watch them rage and riot in confusion and madness with gnashing teeth when God’s freeing truth comes in among them.
You see, to admit that in fact old Jack over there, a long time pillar of the church and model father/husband, is in fact a wicked, evil man who puts on a convincing disguise at church but is a terror to his wife at home, is to admit that we have been wrong about many, many things. Wrong about evil. Wrong about Jack. Wrong about his wife (we have been blaming her for any problems). Wrong about who a true Christian really is. Wrong about the “health” of our fine church. Turns out that in fact these words of Christ are a more fitting description of our church:
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. (Rev 3:17)
Once in a very great while, there will be real repentance. But far more often? A riot like Ephesus with idolaters shouting the praises and defenses of their false Jesus.
Where abuse and evil are exposed and where the reaction is that of a riot, you can be sure that the root cause is that you are dealing with idolaters.