Pastor Saeed Abedini Releases a Public Statement Denying Abuse Allegations Against His Wife

Pastor Saeed Abedini,Nagmeh, Domestic Violence, Public Statement


Idaho Statesman has issued a public statement by Saeed Abedini as follows:


Two weeks ago today I was released from an Iranian prison after being held captive for three-and-a-half years. My crime? Being a Christian and refusing to renounce my faith in Jesus Christ. Throughout my imprisonment my wife Naghmeh drew national attention to my case and encouraged millions of people to pray for my release. God answered those prayers and brought me safely home. 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.

Last November, Naghmeh began to write about our marriage on her Facebook page and suspended her public advocacy for me. Her Facebook reports have been widely reported in other media outlets, raising questions about me, and the state of our marriage. As a prisoner in Iran I was not able to respond to her comments and accusations. I have chosen not to respond in the two weeks I have been back in America because I believe personal issues are best dealt with personally.

When I arrived in America I went to the Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina with my parents and my sister, fully expecting Naghmeh and our children to join me there. She chose instead to remain at home in Idaho, and when I arrived there this week I was met with news that she had filed a domestic relations case, apparently in order to ensure our children could remain in the state. Of course, I had no intention of taking our children away from our home or our state.

This latest development, which Naghmeh first made public, leads me to offer this brief statement.

  1. Our marriage is under great stress and I am hoping and praying for healing and restoration.
  2. I love my wife and want God’s will for both of our lives.
  3. I am a sinner, saved only by the wonderful grace of God. While I am far from perfect—as a man or as a husband, I am seeking every day to submit to God as He molds me into what He wants me to be.
  4. Much of what I have read in Naghmeh’s posts and subsequent media reports is not true. But I believe we should work on our relationship in private and not on social media or other media. Naghmeh wrote this week, “We are taking personal time to work on very serious personal issues.” I intend to do this hard work in private.
  5. 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.

It is not my intention to speak further publicly—through social media or any other channels—at least until I believe we have made significant progress in private. I thank you for your understanding and support.

Please stay tuned for follow up articles on this troubling situation. -Julie Anne




196 comments on “Pastor Saeed Abedini Releases a Public Statement Denying Abuse Allegations Against His Wife

  1. Don’t know if anyone has commented on this, but it is striking how Saeed says that Naghmeh “filed a domestic relations case.” As if abuse was just “relations” like any others.

    Typical for abusers minimization and denial.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 13 years later, I am glad to have found freedom and healing, and at least a few people in the church were able to put their wings around me and help me fly again.

    Dear SnowflakesAbound,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, as heartbreaking as it is. I hope you’ll find much, much more healing in the years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many people seem to be missing the point entirely.. it’s about the seeming public conviction and condemnation and virtual execution of a man, Saeed, on the basis of accusation alone. Saeed may in fact be guilty he may in fact be innocent, who cares get a rope?

    If it was 1692 and we were in Salem Massachusetts the good ladies here would already have Saeed swinging in the wind.

    Dear Embracing Reality,

    Be careful, your melodrama is showing. 😉 (Some of Anonymous’ comments are creeping in the same direction.)

    Statements like these remind me of Robert Morris’ overblown defence of Mark Driscoll — accusing critics of trying to “crucify” him. As far as I can tell, no one wanted Driscoll executed, just kept out of the pulpit.

    Similarly, I can’t see anyone screaming for Saeed’s head, either on a platter or in a noose. We just want him to come clean about whatever he’s done to his wife (no matter how long ago), to stay off of stages and podiums, and to work on his own problems before he tries to solve the problems of the world.

    Yes, many of us are inclined to believe Naghmeh. She has lots to lose and very little to gain in all of this. And Jeff Crippen and others familiar with abuse dynamics don’t think that Saeed’s statement passes the smell test. They know their stuff — some of them because they’ve lived through it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. @Bee

    They tend congregate in that cesspool of psychopathic misogyny known as Dalrock

    I wondered if someone linked JA’s article on Dalrock. He’s been bashing Naghmeh since the story came out.


  5. @Gary W – cute. You suggest I am being paid by Saeed because why else would I seek to defend him and then assert that I must be overreacting.

    ‘Anonymous needs to answer this question.’ Really, not so much, you could call any attorney in Ada County and they could walk you through it or you could read up on Idaho Statutes. Multiple TRO’s were filed, one for property the other for children. The disposition of property will remain the same as it was on the day of filing – if you don’t know how those facts equal her having the house (bought by charity and titled in her name only) and the bank accounts then I don’t know what to tell you.

    The back and forth is really useless since the points are ignored and shifted.

    You’re going to have to find a new ball of yarn.


  6. @Serving Kids in Japan It is about cellular network access, have you ever tried to watch Amazon Prime along I-70 in Nebraska? It’s a minor point and not worth debating, but it is an easier one to divert than the other points which is why it was selected.


  7. _We Hunted the Mammoth_

    A snippet from the site’s “About” page:

    Q) A mammoth, huh? What’s this blog about?

    A) Misogyny, not mammoths.

    Specifically, this blog focuses on what I call the “New Misogyny,” an angry antifeminist backlash that has emerged like a boil on the ass of the internet over the last decade or so. These aren’t your traditional misogynists – the social conservatives and religious fundamentalists who make up much of the far right.

    These are guys, mostly, who range in age from their teens to their fifties, who have embraced misogyny as an ideology, as a sort of symbolic solution to the frustrations in their lives – whether financial, social, or sexual.

    Some of them identify as Men’s Rights Activists, trying to cast their peculiar struggle against what they see as the excess of feminism and the advantages of women as a civil rights issue of sorts.

    Alongside those who explicitly label themselves MRAs we find a great number of antifeminist and antiwomen activists we might call Men’s Rights-adjacent – like those in the Skeptic and Atheist subcultures who still haven’t gotten over an offhand remark Skepchick founder Rebecca Watson made about a dude in an elevator a couple of years ago.

    Others proclaim themselves Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), declaring a sort of independence from women – while spending much of their time on message boards talking endlessly about them.

    Still others see themselves as Pickup Artists (PUA), or masters of “Game,” espousing elaborate “scientific” theories of male superiority while trading tips on how best to pressure or manipulate drunk women into bed.

    This misogynistic wing of the PUA subculture has a considerable overlap with a subset of traditionalist and far-right blogs. Many of those in what has come to be called “the manosphere” — hey, don’t blame me, I didn’t come up with that name — don’t simply embrace misogyny; they also proudly embrace “scientific” racism and other bigotries.

    Still, while some of the New Misogynists see themselves as conservatives, even “neo-reactionaries,” many identify themselves as libertarians or even as liberals. Theirs is a backlash that frames itself as a step forward.


  8. “Anonymous needs to answer this question”

    That stuck out at me because it is so contrary to anything I have ever heard or seen concerning the reach of restraining orders. It seems almost planted as if folks would believe the TRO she filed gave her the ability to transfer all their assets to what…someone/somewhere else…. where he could not access it?



  9. As a point of information, from the online details about what was filed January 26, 2016, the technical term Idaho uses for the subtype of court case filed is “Domestic Relations.” The initial filing includes:

    • New Case Filed – Domestic Relations
    • Petition for Legal Separation
    • Summons Filed
    • Joint Tro Property
    • Joint Tro Children
    • Order To Attend Focus on Children (2/24/16)

    [TRO = Temporary Restraining Order.]

    MODERATOR NOTE: First paragraph edited to clarify, and additional point added to list so it includes all items from 01-26-2016 noted on the public records of the court case.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “Multiple TRO’s were filed, one for property the other for children. The disposition of property will remain the same as it was on the day of filing – if you don’t know how those facts equal her having the house (bought by charity and titled in her name only) and the bank accounts then I don’t know what to tell you.”

    Can you link to these TRO’s? You seem to have details on them you found somewhere.

    I don’t know if Idaho is different but I know that here a married woman can have a house in her name ONLY then when/if they divorce that asset has to be counted as community property and she has to buy him out to keep it! (Unless there is a prenup).

    The TRO’s do not just give her a house and the kid, no questions asked. It is meant to stop preemptive actions that could harm her financially and as a mother. I totally agree with her TRO about not taking the kids out of state..


    Liked by 1 person

    Step #1. Link to the IDAHO REPOSITORY for court cases:
    Step #2. That page gives you important background information about the Idaho Repository, how it works, what details are available, etc. On the left-hand side of that page, click on NAME SEARCH. That will take you to this page:
    Step #3. Fill in names [Saeed Abedini] or [Naghmeh Panahi] and hit ENTER.
    Step #4. Then you have to enter in text to prove you’re not a robot, and it will take you to the page with cases for the person you’re searching for.

    Step #5. The most current case is at the top of the page. Click on the option for “Case History with ROAs” in order to have the line-items listed.
    Use the same first 2 steps as above. Then in step #3, NAME SEARCH, fill in [Saeed Abedinigalangashi].
    MODERATOR NOTE: Edited to include additional information about the main Idaho Repository page.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Regarding the MRA/Manosphere types:

    These guys always struck me as having been burned REAL bad by a woman in their past and are taking it out on anything and everything without a Y Chromosome.


  13. said

    My guess is that you can get porn and drugs in Iranian prisons. People are often under the mistaken impression that strict Islamic societies don’t have these issues. One of the most astonishing finds concerning the Taliban elites including tribal chiefs were their penchant for young boys. Very Patriarchal cultures have a history of sexual deviation.

    I have long maintained that a Male Supremacist culture will feel a strong pull in the direction of male homosexuality. After all, if women are nothing more than domestic livestock, how else can you have sex with another PERSON?

    As radio-talk hose Dennis Prager once put it in an online essay (“Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality”), the (pre-Torah) distinction is between Penetrator and Penetrated, not Man and Woman. (With all the vibes of a prison rape or similar ANIMAL Forced Dominance Display.)

    Yet a Male Supremacist culture will also have a strong Homosexuality Taboo. As one snark put it “Homophobia: The fear another stronger Man will do to you what you do to a Woman.” Or the prison rape term “Make a Woman (i.e. the Penetrated) out of him.” (Again, ANIMAL Forced Dominance.)

    The usual way out of this paradox is to put all the onus for perversion on the powerless Penetrated, glorifying the Penetrator as a Real Man, using other weaker men as though they were Women. It all comes down to POWER. In the words of Lord Voldemort, “There is only POWER — and those who are too Weak to have it.”

    And when you add pedophilia into the mix… There have been studies that same-sex pedos self-identify as straight (and as far as they can test, arousal studies seem to bear that out). Like children don’t really count. And the same studies theorize that it is the non-masculine characteristics of children (high-pitched voice, smooth skin, lack of secondary sexual characteristics such as beards) that pedos key on.

    Put the two together and things get REAL ugly.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hug, you must have come across the same research I did on extreme patriarchal cultures. The key to all this is the patriarchal caste system where powerless women are responsible for male lust and other social ills. The relationship between men and women were not based at all upon love but on her job to breed. This leads to male entitlement which is were the homosexual piece comes in. It is a domination thing. And yes, the female is a dog which makes the lesser male an actual person.

    I was astonished at how closely the men in Afghanistan reflected this. A friend of mine who had to get many tribal chief permissions (and pay off) to set up medical clinics said the whole pedophilia thing with young boys was so obvious they fooled no one. But no one said a word.

    So when we see similar verbiage, alarm bells go off. That is one reason I could not check Doug Phillips out too much. He sounded a lot like what I had read. These MRA guys seem similar and why I see them as a joke.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh, ”Embracing reality” (ha ha) is a regular at Dalrock’s, too.

    Yes, that’s where they are coming from.

    Dalrock wrote a series of scurrilous posts about Naghmeh, making her the latest addition to his Evil Women Destroying The World collection, which is the real theme of his blog.

    These folks are seriously disturbed, so engage at your own risk.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hug, you must have come across the same research I did on extreme patriarchal cultures.

    Actually, Lydia, with me it started out with a historical novel I read in my teens: Goat Song by Frank Yerby, set in Sparta and Athens during the Peloponnesian Wars. And Yerby went into both the male homosexuality and status of women in classical Greek culture.


  17. I just posted this at the W-W blog:
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    I’ve seen Franklin Graham come up a time or two in some of these discussions … in relation to the story about Naghmeh, so I thought this may be of interest to some of you:

    Franklin Graham wants to be the next Billy Graham. He’s not even close (Slate)

    I sort of agree with Franklin Graham to a point on some issues, but I don’t agree with some of his proposed solutions and/or how he conveys his disagreement.

    … But Franklin’s bombastic extremism is markedly different from his father’s diplomatic spirituality.

    … Franklin Graham is a caricature of his father, not his successor.

    …Small-time pastors too often make headlines for spouting offensive nonsense, even when few people other than outraged progressives are listening to them. But Graham is no strip-mall lunatic leading a congregation of 15. He has 3.3 million followers on Facebook, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association says he has preached to 7 million people since 1989. Several of his recent Decision America events have drawn thousands of people. He’s the head of two large evangelical organizations, where he draws a combined salary of $880,000.

    … As Billy has reclined from public view, the statements he issues have begun to sound more and more like his son.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Bee said:

    Dalrock wrote a series of scurrilous posts about Naghmeh, making her the latest addition to his Evil Women Destroying The World collection, which is the real theme of his blog.

    These sound kind of like these misogynists, though I don’t know if they’d go as far as this guy:

    _US ‘make rape legal’ group plans worldwide anti-woman event in 43 countries_ (Raw Story link)

    What charming, well-adjusted men! /sarcasm

    Some snippets:
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    On a website advertising the “Return of the Kings” event, self-styled “pick up artist” Daryush “Roosh V” Valizadeh has encouraged his misogynist supporters to “come out of the shadows and not have to hide behind a computer screen for fear of retaliation,” The National reported.

    …Women and the LGBT community have been banned from attending the meetings.

    Valizadeh argued on his blog last year that rape should be legal on private property.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. And yes, the link to this piece was posted on Dal rock

    I wonder if Dalrock will admit that he was wrong about Naghmeh now that Saeed’s criminal record for past abuse has come to light. She really is an amazingly kind woman. Despite the fact that her husband abused her, she advocated for his release from prison. She stopped advocating for him when it became clear that he would be released and only then did she take steps to protect herself from him. Dalrock and his supporters should be ashamed for the way that they attacked her reputation in those ugly blog posts and comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Waving warm greetings to the Dalrock visitors. Feel free to send me your abuse stories. And FTR, I actually am aware that sometimes it is a wife who is the abuser in a marriage. I’ve never been a man hater. I’m an abuse hater. Hope that’s settled now.


  21. @Marsha:

    HUG, I read all of Frank Yerby’s novels in my teens! Still have them in fact. Are we kindred spirits?

    The only two I remember reading all the way through were Saracen Blade and Goat Song. (And Goat Song was a real eye-opener for an early-teen whose exposure to Ancient Greece up until then had been edited versions of Greek Mythology.) I think I read a little of his novel on the fall of Constantinople, but that’s all I remember.


  22. @Daisy:

    _US ‘make rape legal’ group plans worldwide anti-woman event in 43 countries_ (Raw Story link)

    What charming, well-adjusted men! /sarcasm

    Anyone got Parker and Stone on speed-dial?
    Because THAT sounds like something out of South Park.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Re: panties in a bunch

    Right? 🙂

    Re: Roosh

    Yes, that’s of his (Roosh’s) many claims to, um, fame. Dalrock comes from the same “tradition”, that is PUA. Just a couple of years ago, before he found religion and started to dress the dehumanizing mindset of PUA in the ever-so-accommodating language of Christianity, he was one of that crowd. Still is. Obviously.

    Re: HUG’s observation that the MRA types must have been burned by women

    Most of them claim to have been. A great number of them are middle aged divorced life fiascos who attribute their misery to women. But it is immediately apparent that these are men whom no normal woman would want (thus their divorce histories).

    There are also some young dudes there, with no relationship history but with the same problems: massive sexual entitlement, obsession with dominance and control (almost always a psychopathic trait), and fear and contempt for women whom they blame for their lonely existence.

    The manosphere is a repository of the worst male pathology and as such it is educational. It shows women what some men can be like and thus teaches them what to avoid at all costs (should they need that lesson).

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Just a couple of comments. First of all, there are any number of sexual deviancies known among strict Muslims; in Shi’a cultures, there is actually a provision for “temporary marriage” that is pretty much prostitution, and it’s worth noting that sometimes the Islamic approach to sexual sin seems to be (e.g. “honor killings”) to brutalize the victim again. So I guess I should not be terribly surprised that a hellhole in Iran might have rampant porn. But, I confess, I was.

    I’m going to bet that if I’d grown up in such a society, or had been imprisoned in such a society, I’d have gotten pretty messed up myself. Any sanity would be a gift from God, no?

    Back to the case, given that Mrs. Abedini has left the door open to reconciliation, I guess I’ll pray that they get some wise counsel.

    One final note; I smile every time someone rails on “feminists” as a class, because apart from Marsha’s definition, there are almost as many different kinds of feminists as Baptists. Railing on “feminists” as a monolithic class is a degree of imprecision that shows that a person really doesn’t understand feminist movements at all. I’ve discussed what I read in Ms. in the 1980s (my mom subscribed for a while, I read about anything) with people, and it’s amazing what kind of things have changed in mainstream and fringe feminist thought.

    You might infer that I don’t understand it terribly well either, and I think you just might have a point. :^)


  25. One other note; Roosh is half Iranian, I believe. Born in the U.S. of Persian and Armenian parents, for what it’s worth.

    The guy’s face looks like some sort of Middle Eastern Rogue’s Gallery. Like something you’d expect to see on a Wanted poster.


  26. I was distracted yesterday evening, and didn’t finish reading to the end of the article I quoted. It lays to rest the question of whether prisoners in Evin or other Iranian prisons view porn on smartphones.

    In recent years, however, cheap smartphones and TV sets equipped with USB ports to play recordings from memory sticks have taken over, so that TVs in communal rooms are not quite as popular as they once were.

    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.

    In many prisons, there are “culture-free” zones. No newspapers or books are allowed into solitary cell blocks such as Wards 2A and 209 at Evin, Evin’s “punishment” wards 240 and 241, and the Revolutionary Guards’ Ward at Rajaei Shahr Prison. Needless to say, these wards are porn-free.

    At one time Saeed was in Ward 209 which is “porn-free,” but was subsequently moved to Ward 350 in January, 2013 and then to Rajai Shahr Prison in Nov. 2013. In Rajai Shahr he stayed in Wards 3 and 4.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. What is the matter with these misogynistic men? Did their mothers not love them? Or did their fathers not allow them to love their mothers and also retain their self-respect? It’s a terrible thing to be cut off from love and nurturing, it fills one with rage that is ever looking for an outlet. That rage tends to be pointed towards the innocent (the safe target), not the guilty.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Billy Graham’s success was largely an accident of time and place in American history. Although the elder Graham knew how to pack an auditorium in his heyday, he was more anti-communist crusader than evangelist.

    Franklin Graham is theological train wreck waiting to happen.


  29. Wow, all the wows.

    He made it sound as if poor Nagmeh cracked under the strain and said things about him she really didn’t mean. Notice how it makes her look delusional and him look like the good guy, at this point.

    It’s just appalling and men should be held accountable for every positive word they say about their “roles”. They claim to be protectors, providers and leaders. Live up to your words or Shut up, that’s all I have to say.


  30. Much like the Cold War, extremists on both sides of this battle of the sexes feed off of each other’s insane rhetoric. In the end, the misandrists and the misogynists will settle nothing beyond the rather obvious facts that they don’t like each other very much, take themselves far too seriously, and provide media moguls with a comfortable merely for documenting their antics. Once one lives long enough, it all become quite entertaining.


  31. And it’s likely Roosh (the douche- DM) will be living in his Mother’s basement for many years to come.



  32. Pingback: Resource Bibliography on the Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini Situation | Spiritual Sounding Board

  33. Pingback: Saeed Abedini: Files for Divorce, Seeks Money for New Ministry, and Recently Arrest for Violating Restraining Order | Spiritual Sounding Board

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