Obama meets Naghmeh Abedini in Idaho
    January 22 2015 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

    Naghmeh Abedini, wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini, calls it “an answer to prayer” that President Barack Obama accepted her invitation to meet with her during his brief visit to Boise, Idaho on Jan. 21.

    “The kids and I will be meeting with President Obama tomorrow! Thank you all for your prayers and support,” Naghmeh Abedini tweeted at 6:19 p.m. Jan. 20. “Praise God! It is a miracle!!!”

    She has championed the cause of religious liberty since her husband, a U.S. citizen of Iranian heritage, was sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran for practicing his Christian faith there.

    “I have tried over the last two years to meet with the president or even get a phone call from him without success,” Naghmeh said in a statement released by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). “It is truly an answer to prayer that he is coming to Boise and it is a miracle that he is meeting with us. I see God’s Hand in arranging this crucial meeting.”

    Nearly 105,000 individuals have signed a petition on the ACLJ’s website asking Obama to hold the meeting during his Boise trip.

    “As you know, Pastor Saeed is an American citizen, imprisoned in Iran merely because of his Christian faith,” reads an excerpt from the petition addressed to Obama. “You have publicly called for his release, and your State Department has engaged Iranian diplomats requesting that he be freed. For those actions, we are deeply grateful. Yet he remains in prison, and there are public reports that the United States may reach a nuclear deal with Iran without securing the release of Americans held captive in that country.”

    Whitehouse spokesman, Josh Earnest, said “The United States remains concerned about the unjust detention of several Americans in Iran, including Mr. Abedini.”

    The ACLJ released a statement from Mrs. Abedini after the meeting:

    “The president was focused and gracious – showing concern to me and my children. I know that this meeting could not have occurred without prayer and I am grateful to the many people around the country and world who continue to pray for Saeed’s release. The president repeated his desire to do all that he can to bring Saeed home. That means the world to me and my children and has given me a renewed sense of hope.”

    Saeed Abedini was sentenced Jan. 27, 2013, on charges he threatened national security by planting house churches in Iran years earlier. He had been under house arrest since July, 2012, and imprisoned since Sept. 26, 2012. He has faced death threats and beatings in prison and has received inadequate medical care, according to news reports.

    Unable to see Naghmeh and their two children, he continues to proclaim his faith in correspondence with her and in conversations with other prisoners. In September, 2014, he wrote to eight-year-old daughter Rebekka Grace on her birthday:

    “Jesus allows me to be kept here for His glory. I know that you question why you have prayed so many times for my return and yet I am not home yet. Now there is a big WHY in your mind you are asking: WHY Jesus isn’t answering your prayers and the prayers of all of the people around the world praying for my release and for me to be home with you and our family.

    “The answer to the WHY is WHO. WHO is [in] control? LORD JESUS CHRIST is in control,” he wrote.

    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Diana Chandler is general assignment writer/editor for Baptist Press. The Biblical Recorder added to this report.)
    1/22/2015 1:28:37 PM by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

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