Pastor Saeed Abedini who was formerly imprisoned in Iran and released in January 2016, has accused the Rev. Franklin Graham of exploiting his situation and failing to help him.
Although Abedini’s wife, along with Graham and other leaders in the Christian community, advocated on Abedini's behalf while he was allegedly held on false charges and imprisoned and tortured in Iran, instead of being grateful to those who helped secure his release, Abedini seemed to become resentful.
Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, revealed before Saeed was released that the couple had marital issues. Naghmeh alleged that Saeed abused her emotionally and physically through his addiction to pornography.
Although the couple was reportedly receiving marital counseling and also receiving advice from Graham, it was soon announced that they would be getting a divorce. It was also reported that Naghmeh filed a temporary restraining order against Saeed.
Now, Saeed has criticized Graham. "A week after I got released and Franklin Graham welcomed me home (because of the huge international media attention on me he badly wanted to be involve) he knew I don't have any place to go but he left me alone in Boise until I was forced to call him to ask money to rent a place," Abedini wrote in a Facebook post.
Mark DeMoss, a spokesman for Graham, disputed the charges Abedini leveled at him, saying, “When Franklin Graham first learned that American pastor Saeed Abedini had been imprisoned for his Christian faith in Iran in 2012, he did what millions of people around the world did — he began to pray for his release and for his family here in America. He also did whatever he could to draw attention to the plight of this pastor, including speaking personally to President Obama and President Putin about his situation and urging Christians around the world to pray for his release."
"Mr. Graham is no longer in communication with Saeed or Naghmeh — having exhausted efforts to help them be reconciled — and he does not intend to respond to future comments from either of them. However, Franklin still requests prayer for Saeed, Naghmeh, and especially their children who don't understand the adult issues they are facing,” DeMoss added.
Publication date: April 12, 2017