Update, 3:42: Naghmeh Abedini filed court documents to legally separate from him the same day he returned home to Idaho.
An American pastor who was imprisoned for nearly four years in Iran returned home to Boise on Tuesday. And his wife has filed legal papers to keep her children in Idaho.
KBOI-TV reports that Saeed Abedini landed around 4:40 p.m. on a private plane.
The 35-year-old Abedini spent the last five days with his parents and sister at a secluded retreat in Asheville, North Carolina. But his wife, Naghmeh Abedini, and their children, did not travel to meet him at the retreat operated by the Rev. Franklin Graham.
Instead, Naghmeh said she was taking legal action to protect her two kids while she tries to heal their marriage.
“I have taken temporary legal action to make sure our children will stay in Idaho until this situation has been resolved,” Naghmeh Abedini said Wednesday in a lengthy statement on her Facebook page.
Last November, Naghmeh stepped out of her role of advocating for her husband’s release. Then, Christianity Today reported she sent two emails to her supporters describing “trouble” in her marriage.
Those troubles include “physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse (through Saeed’s addiction to pornography),” she wrote. The abuse started early in their marriage and has worsened during Saeed’s imprisonment, she said. – Christianity Today
In Wednesday’s Facebook post, Naghmeh said she regrets hiding from the public the abuse she endured and there was a “growing cancer” in their marriage. She had hoped Saeed’s “horrible situation,” would bring healing to their marriage.
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. –Naghmeh Abedini on Facebook.
Naghmeh says she wants the couple to go through counseling to deal with the abuse and heal their marriage. She said she’s establishing boundaries by filing papers to keep her children in Idaho.
I hope and pray our marriage can be healed. I believe in a God who freed Saeed from the worst prisons can hear our plea and bring spiritual freedom.
–Naghmeh Abedini on Facebook.
Saeed Abedini was detained in Iran for compromising national security, presumably because of Christian proselytizing. He was sentenced in 2013 to eight years in prison.
Abedini was one of four Americans released in Iran under a negotiated prisoner exchange on Jan. 16. The U.S. agreed to free seven Iranians from American custody in exchange for the release of Abedini and the others.
Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio
Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio