American pastor Saeed Abedini has issued a statement about his troubled marriage with wife, Naghmeh, revealing that he does not agree with much of what she has written about the issue, but said that he is praying for healing and restoration.
"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," Abedini said in a statement sent to the Idaho Statesman on Saturday.
The pastor, who was released earlier in January following three and a half years in Iranian prison for his Christian faith, noted that Naghmeh has been writing to her supporters about the troubled state of their marriage, but he had so far chosen not to respond, because he wants personal issues to be dealt with personally. more >>
Theologian John Piper explained how the church in America is living with "cultural indifference or derision or exclusion or hostility," and why this is not strange but normal, and how Christians are called to respond to it according to the Bible.
Speaking at the Bethlehem 2016 Conference for Pastors and Church Leaders in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Piper quoted Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, as saying that Christianity in America is becoming "less nominal, more defined, and more outside of the mainstream of American culture."
"More outside of the mainstream of American culture" is not the same as saying true Christianity is declining in numbers or faithfulness, clarified Piper, founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. more >>
Pastor Gu "Joseph" Yuese of Hangzhou's Chongyi Church, the largest government-sanctioned church in China, has reportedly been sent to jail for protesting forced removal of church crosses.
China Aid reported on Thursday that Gu was taken into custody and placed under "residential surveillance in a designated location," while family members claim that the pastor's wife has also been taken into police custody.
The arrests happened 10 days after authorities in the Zhejiang province forcefully removed the pastor from his position, allegedly for his choice to speak out against the ongoing government crackdown against Christians in the country. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham says that beside Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini themselves, only God knows the details surrounding the issues between them.
"While we rejoice at his (Saeed Abedini's) new freedom, we now lift him and his wife, Naghmeh, to the Lord for healing in their marriage. Other than God, no one knows the details and the truth of what has happened between Saeed and Naghmeh except them. There's an old saying that there are at least two sides to every story," Graham, the CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, wrote in a Facebook message on Thursday.
Graham added that he is trying to be a friend and assist both, and said that there is a great need for prayer for their relationship. more >>
Voice of the Martyrs is partnering with Integrity Music and its parent organization David C Cook to aid Christians displaced by the Islamic State terror group and bring greater awareness to the "I Am N" movement.
The movement gets its name from the the Arabic letter ن or "N" that IS Sunni terrorists are known to have painted on the homes of Christians (Nazarenes) in Mosul before forcing them to flee the city, as reported by The Christian Post back in 2014.
David C Cook, the 140-year-old church resource provider, is helping VOM to combat the plight of persecuted Christians around the world through a new 12-track album titled I Am N that will be released on Feb. 12, accompanied by a book of the same name, I Am N: Inspiring Stories of Christians Facing Islamic Extremists along with a curriculum and 90-day companion devotional, which is set to release on March 1. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini explains some of the reasons why she filed a domestic relations case against her husband, Saeed, saying there has been past abuse in their marriage, which she says can only be saved by God.
"I do deeply regret that I hid from the public the abuse that I have lived with for most of our marriage and I ask your forgiveness. I sincerely had hoped that this horrible situation Saeed has had to go through would bring about the spiritual change needed in both of us to bring healing to our marriage," Abedini told supporters on her Facebook page on Wednesday.
"Tragically, the opposite has occurred. 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. 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 added. more >>