JBS Special News Report: Naghmeh Abedini Rallies World Leaders For Husband

Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of wrongfully imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini, has been traveling the world meeting with leaders asking them to pressure the Iranian government for her husband’s release with the help of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

JBS News writer, Jason Wert, recently had the honor of interviewing Tiffany Barrans of the ACLJ. Barrans has been at Naghmeh’s side since 30 hours after Saeed was imprisoned by the Iranians and has traveled with Naghmeh around the world.

Tiffany spoke with USA Headline News about their travels and the reception of world leaders, including a trip last week to the European Parliament, Germany and then yesterday in front of the U.S. Congress.

Q: What kind of reception did you receive from European Leaders?

Barrans: We had an incredible reception both at the European Parliament and with every member of the German government that we met.  Individuals at the Foreign Ministry, the top leaders, the people in the party who were second in command to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

It is always amazing to me how in touch Europe is with the issues of religious freedom in particular and more broadly with human rights.  And they look for ways to make sure their actions match their words.  Something I hope we can improve upon here in the United States!  We truly had a great reception from everybody.

Q: Given that America and Europe do not have the best relationship right now, have you found some countries do not want to become involved because Saeed is an American?

Barrans: It’s always a touchy subject, obviously.  There are some countries that hesitate to get involved because he is an American.  Sometimes it’s related to their relationship with the American government and sometimes it’s because they’re concerned he may have been a spy!

Luckily for us, the Iranian government came out very quickly in their state controlled media and said that [Saeed] was not being considered a spy so we can quickly nip that one and move on.

Germany in particular, the Netherlands has been great as well, has a real heart for those who have been persecuted for their faith and have been active in this field.

Q:  This may seem out of left field, but do you think perhaps the legacy of the Holocaust is what contributes to Germany’s passion for religious freedom?

Barrans: I don’t think that’s out of left field, I think that’s right on!  A lot of them would even admit that themselves.  There are so many in current generations that centuries of trying to right that wrong are necessary and even then, you can’t.  So they’re very sensitive to those who are persecuted, on religious grounds in particular.  It’s also in many businesses whose equipment was used for medical experiments.  So that’s why you see Germany taking a lead on religious freedom issues.

Q:  How is Naghmeh holding up?

Barrans:  I’ve been with Naghmeh since 30 hours after her husband was taken the summer of 2012.  So I’ve walked with her very closely through this process.  It never ceases to amaze me the strength that the Lord gives her.  It truly is a divine thing for her to walk in peace.

I see those moments when we travel together, when we’re tired, when something bad happens when I get that 3:30 in the morning call when she’s broken because she’s human just like the rest of us.  But her faith has always encouraged me and strengthened my faith, to be honest.

It’s hard for me to watch her to have to console her two young children who fear when she leaves to advocate for Saeed and to bring their daddy home that they’re concerned that she won’t come home.  That like their daddy she will go to do good and not come home.

But her faith always encouraged me.

Q:  We spoke with Naghmeh after she met with the President in Idaho about her husband’s situation and how the President told her son that he would try to bring him home by his birthday.

Barrans:  Naghmeh tells the story of six-year-old Jacob, her son,  at his birthday in March.  When he met the President at the end of January he said “Mister President, will you bring my daddy home for my birthday?”  And the President looked him in the eye and said “Well son, when’s your birthday?” and Jacob said “March 17th!”  You know, a very strong little boy.  And the President said “oh, that’s very soon but I will try, I will try.”

In the heart and the mind of a little boy, if I can speak with the President of the United States then of course my daddy is coming home.  And he woke up on March 17th on his birthday and he ran around the house looking for his daddy and his hopes were just crushed when he wasn’t there.

You think of it through the experience of a child that age and realize that he’s lived almost half of his life without his father.  It’s very difficult and then imagine being the mom who is missing her husband and trying to insure that her children are still living a life that is whole and complete when something so large is missing.

Q:  Naghmeh spoke before a Congressional committee on Tuesday.  What kind of reception did she receive from the committee?

Barrans: I have never seen a Congress so unified on something to be quite honest.  Religious liberty is something that they should be, to be quite honest.  But as you had the family members of the four held captive in Iran and the pain they experience there was such an incredible reaction from Congress.

You saw Democrats, in some cases for the first time, asking how they can consent to the nuclear deal and trust Iran with something as important as a nuclear deal when they’re violating their own law and international law very publicly by holding these Americans?

That’s incredible in that we haven’t necessarily heard that before loudly from the party but it was great to see the Dems taking that position as well as the Republicans at the hearing.

Naghmeh Abedini Asks European Officials For Help

The wife of wrongfully imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini is turning to European leaders for help in her quest to free her husband.

Naghmeh Abedini visited with German officials and the European Parliament to speak with lawmakers who are committed to religious freedom around the world.  The German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights quickly supported Naghmeh’s mission.

“I call upon Iran to quash Pastor Abedini’s sentence – and the sentences of all those imprisoned merely on account of their religious belief – without delay,” the commissioner said in a statement following the meeting. “Until he is released, I appeal to all those responsible in Iran to grant him urgently needed medical treatments, including outside the prison.”

A vigil at the Iranian Embassy in Germany was held by Naghmeh and German freedom advocates.

The meetings were arranged by the American Center for Law and Justice along with the German rights group Internationale Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte.

Tiffany Barrans of the ACLJ traveled with Abedini.

“This opportunity was invaluable to raise the plight of Pastor Saeed and the Christian community that suffers in Iran,” Barrans said.

The ACLJ has been advocating for Abedini’s release for years.

“Continued international pressure has helped free persecuted Christians before and we pray that it will again,” ACLJ said.

Saeed Abedini “Shaken” By Executions

The wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini says that he’s been shaken by the beating and then executions of six prisoners who have been held with him in Iran.

“Saeed was quite shaken as he had to witness 6 fellow prisoners being beaten and taken to be executed (hanged) that day,” Naghmeh was quoted as saying in a report by American Center for Law and Justice on Saturday.

“It was a hard and dark day having witnessed that and seeing life being taken. The prison visit was also very hard as the families of those who were executed were crying and wailing.”

Naghmeh said that she learned of the situation after his Iranian relatives visited the prison.

Despite a promise from President Obama that he would obtain Saeed’s release by the 7th birthday of Saeed’s son Jacob, nothing has been done by the White House.

“It was also an emotional visitation as it is getting closer to Jacob’s 7th birthday. Last time Saeed saw Jacob he was 4 years old,” she said, urging Christians to continue to pray for her husband “to have the strength to endure in that harsh prison and that Jesus would continue to meet him there and give him hope.”

Saeed Abedini Thanks President For Visiting With His Wife

Pastor Saeed Abedini, wrongfully imprisoned in Iran for over 2 years and in one of Iran’s most brutal prisons, has released a letter through his lawyers thanking President Obama for meeting with his wife.

“I was personally encouraged that you were in my hometown of Boise, Idaho and made time to visit my wife and children,” Abedini wrote.

“They have had a heavy burden to carry in my absence, and your presence helped to relieve some of that burden. . . Thank you again for standing up for my family and I and for thousands of Christians across the world who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. President Obama, you have my prayers from inside of these walls. I pray for God’s guidance, wisdom and blessing for you as you lead this great nation.”

President Obama met with Naghmeh Abedini and the couple’s two children in an office at Boise State University before a speech promoting State of the Union address ideas.  The President promised the children he would do all he could to bring their father home.

Pastor Abedini said that Christians are encouraged because of the meeting.

“Nothing is more valuable to the body of Christ than to see how the Lord is in control and moves ahead of countries and leadership through united prayer,” the pastor continued.

“Thank you again for standing up for my family and I and for thousands of Christians across the world who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. President Obama, you have my prayers from inside of these walls. I pray for God’s guidance, wisdom and blessing for you as you lead this great nation.”

President Obama Meets With Naghmeh Abedini

President Obama surprised many observers during a visit to Boise State University Wednesday by holding a private meeting with Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of an Iranian-American pastor jailed in Iran for being a Christian.

The President has been under fire from religious freedom groups for doing very little to obtain the release of Saeed Abedini.

Naghmeh had requested the meeting with the President in an attempt to seek help for her husband after discovering Obama was going to be conducting a rally at BSU for his State of the Union address ideas.

“I got to meet with President Obama today! The kids and I were in a small office room with him and he was gracious with his time (we met for over 10 minutes),” she wrote on Facebook. “I told him that I had refrained from food for three days and prayed and fasted, and God had ordained this meeting.”

“He said that getting Saeed out is a top priority and he is working very hard to get Saeed home back to our family,” Abedini added.

Naghmeh’s children were with her and her son challenged the President.

“Jacob then asked him, ‘Mr. President, can you please bring my daddy home for my birthday?’” Abedini recalled. “President Obama asked Jacob when his birthday was, and Jacob said March 17. President Obama said, ‘I am going to try very hard to make that happen, Jacob. I am going to try very hard…’ Praise God!”

Saeed Abedini is in his second year of incarceration at Iran’s brutal Rajai Shahr Prison.

Saeed Abedini Releases Letter From Prison

American pastor Saeed Abedini has released a letter from behind bars according to his wife and his legal team.

The American Center for Law and Justice says that the letter was given to a relative who visited Abedini last week.  The pastor was in great pain from internal injuries that the Iranian government continues to forbid Saeed medical treatment.

“Saeed continues to have severe pain and would appreciate your prayers,” his wife Naghmeh told reporters.

“These days are very cold here. My small space beside the window is without glass making most nights unbearable to sleep,” Abedini wrote. “The treatment by fellow prisoners is also quite cold and at times hostile. Some of my fellow prisoners don’t like me because I am a convert and a pastor. They look at me with shame as someone who has betrayed his former religion.”

“Brothers and sisters, the fact of the gospel is that it is not only the story of Jesus, but it is the key of how we are to live and serve like Jesus,” the letter continues. “Today, we like Him should come out of our safe comfort zone in order to proclaim the word of life and salvation though faith in Jesus Christ and the penalty of sin that He paid on the cross and to proclaim His resurrection. We should be able to tolerate the cold, the difficulties and the shame in order to serve God. We should be able to enter into the pain of the cold dark world.”

Abedini’s wife says that he treasures the prayers of those around the world and says that he can feel the comfort that comes from them.

Naghmeh Abedini Says Husband’s Imprisonment Has Made Her Faith Stronger

The wife of a pastor imprisoned in Iran for being a Christian says her husband’s ordeal has significantly strengthened her faith in Christ.

Naghmeh Abedini wrote for TrueWoman.com that she didn’t realize how selfish she had been with her life and her walk with Christ until her husband was jailed for simply being a follower of Christ.

“I finally learned how to fight my deceptive selfish flesh on a daily basis; every nag, tantrum, despairing thought, and fear,” Naghmeh writes. “Before Saeed was thrown into one of the world’s worst prisons, I struggled with fear and anxiety. More than anything, I was afraid of flying and speaking in front of people.”

Naghmeh says that on the day of her husband’s arrest, she felt the peace of God in a way she had never felt in her life to that point.

“The peace of God that surpasses all understanding covered my whole being, and I was freed of all fear. I no longer feared death of loved ones. I no longer feared the loss of finances or health. I no longer feared the future. I was truly free in Jesus,” said Naghmeh.