Shortly after gaining his freedom from being imprisoned and tortured in Iran for three-and-a-half years, Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini was served with domestic legal papers from his wife to make sure her children stay in Boise, Idaho.
Naghmeh Abedini posted the announcement about the conflict in her marriage to her 80,000 Facebook friends Wednesday — just 11 days after her husband’s January 16 release date from Iranian prison.
“Nothing has made me happier than seeing Saeed freed from his chains and in American soil,” Naghmeh stated in her post, before divulging her filing of domestic legal papers against Saeed — to make sure that he would not leave their hometown of Boise with their children, according to Religion News Service.
The pastor’s wife — whose nationwide campaign to free her husband drew the attention of President Barack Obama, as well as Christian and human rights leaders — also told her Facebook friends that she wished she hadn’t kept her allegations of domestic abuse against her husband secret for so long. She also added that he threatened to divorce her three months ago.
“Saeed told me things he demanded I must do to promote him in the eyes of the public that I simply could not do any longer,” Naghmeh continued on Facebook. “He threatened that if I did not, the results would be the end of our marriage and the resulting pain this would bring to our children.”
She suggested that the filing was to take preventative measures.
“I have taken temporary legal action to make sure our children will stay in Idaho until this situation has been resolved,” Naghmeh explained. “I love my husband, but as some might understand, there are times when love must stop enabling something that has become a growing cancer.”
Despite the troubling news, Saeed’s wife insisted that she ultimately wants her marriage to be repaired and not ended by divorce.
“We cannot go on the way it has been,” the wife said about her marriage. “I hope and pray our marriage can be healed.”
Naghmeh and Saeed are both members of a Calvary Chapel in the state’s capital.
In lieu of her announcement, one of Naghmeh’s Facebook followers expressed support.
“Saddened by the truth but the truth always sets free,” the Facebook friend posted.
No response to the filing or abuse allegations has been given by Saeed. The pastor’s spokesperson offered no immediate comment to a reporter’s question about the charges, which initially leaked out last November.
Pastor Saeed explained to a Fox News reporter in his first interview after being released from Iranian prison that the Iranians threatened to execute him and repeatedly tortured him while he was being interrogated. He was freed early from his eight-year prison sentence due to a prisoner swap.
Even through the Islamic Republic has never divulged the official reasons for his imprisonment, it has been reported that the charges against him were based on his involvement with the creation of a network of house churches in Iran. It is a crime punishable by death in Iran under the Islamic sharia law for people to convert Muslims to another religion. When he was arrested, Saeed was in the process of setting up an orphanage home for children.
Saeed gained his freedom as a result of a “prisoner swap” between the Iranian and U.S. governments that freed seven Iranians from U.S. prisons for the pastor and three other Americans, including Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, and Nosratollah Khosrawi. Despite their release by American officials, all seven of the freed Iranian prisoners have decided to stay in America rather than return to their native Iran.