- (Photo: ACLJ.org)
The longer Iranian authorities keep Pastor Saeed Abedini in prison, the more people will be exposed to the Gospel, argued his wife Naghmeh Abedini before Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse ministries last week.
"They (The Iranian authorities) don't realize that the longer they keep him, the more people are hearing about the Gospel," Abedini said while addressing an audience at Samaritan's Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C.
The religious freedom activist has been campaigning in the past year on behalf of her husband, who was sentenced to eight years in prison in Tehran earlier this year. His punishment is tied to his Christian faith, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents Naghmeh and her two children in America.
Naghmeh shared her testimony of faith before the audience, including how her family became Christians, and talked about the opportunities she has received to tell the world about Christ through her husband's ordeal.
"The way we lived our life, we didn't really have a ministry, we didn't have any direction," Abedini said about life before Saeed's arrest in Iran in September 2012.
"I always had worries about my future, and as soon as Saeed was taken, and I had no control over anything, I had complete peace. And I found that that is the best place to be at, because He is leading now. I don't have any control over it, and Saeed has no control over it, but He is being glorified," she continued.
A worldwide campaign led by the ACLJ pushing for Abedini's release has reached the top levels of government, with President Barack Obama personally asking Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over the phone to release the American pastor.
Naghmeh Abedini has had the opportunity to speak before the U.N. and tell them about Christ and her husband's story, something which she described as "surreal." The activist noted that she got to explain to the world's countries looking for solutions to problems that Jesus is the way to peace.
Franklin Graham's famous father, evangelist Billy Graham, has written a letter in support of Saeed Abedini, which Naghmeh referred to her in speech and said she was very thankful for.
"On September 26, the one-year anniversary of Pastor Abedini's imprisonment, thousands will attend prayer vigils in more than 70 U.S. cities, calling on your country to release this husband, father and servant of God," Graham wrote in September, addressed to President Rouhani.
"I join them by respectfully asking you to release Pastor Saeed Abedini from prison. Such an action would, I believe, have a positive impact in our nation, and might well be perceived by our leadership as a significant step in reducing tensions."
Naghmeh Abedini also shared in an interview with The Christian Post that she places her ultimate hope in God in regard to her husband's release.
"God has given me continued hope to take it a day at a time. I know that with so many praying. I am grateful for all the people signing the petitions, ultimately the time Saeed is in that prison is not decided by the Iranian government. But it's appointed by God," she said.
"I am very optimistic and hopeful that he will be freed soon. My prayer is that Jesus will be glorified from all of it, and people will know that it is God who has delivered Saeed. At this point there are no more options with the legal system in Iran – at this time, it has to be a miracle."