Saeed Abedini's wife praying for Meriam Yehya Ibrahim

Published 21 May 2014  |  
(Photo: ACLJ)
Pastor Saeed Abedini with his family

The wife of imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini says she is praying for Meriam Yehya Ibrahim and her family as the Christian Sudanese mother awaits the death sentence for apostasy.

Ibrahim, 27, is eight months pregnant and is currently being detained with her 20 month old son.

The court in Khartoum upheld her death sentence last week after she refused to recant her Christian faith.

Amnesty International and Christian human rights organisations are urging people to contact the Sudanese embassy to protest the sentence.

Naghmeh Abedini told Jay Sekulow Live! that she was praying especially for Ibrahim's husband because she could relate to the sense of helplessness.

"My heart goes out to the dad, I'm in the same shoes, I have a husband who's imprisoned, and feeling helpless and feeling that there is a lot of attention but that hasn't done anything to bring her out," she said.

"Feeling helpless is what I've been praying for them, because that's how I've felt. You can do so much and there can be so much attention but when will they really be released?"

Abedini, an Iranian with US citizenship, is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence in Iran for "threatening the national security". He was arrested in July 2012 while working in Iran on an orphanage.

Relatives told the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) he was severely beaten during a hospital stay.

The ACLJ previously reported Abedini was suffering chronic stomach pain because of beatings.

The organisation has learned that he has been taken back to Rajai Shahr Prison and that the transfer came without any advance warning. Family members say a prison guard mentioned the Iranian nuclear talks as a possible motive.

The ACLJ is continuing to press the US Administration to do more to secure Abedini's release and nearly 260,000 people have signed their petition for his freedom.

Speaking to Jay Sekulow Live!, Naghmeh Abedini said her husband was "not doing very well" and had "at some point collapsed" as a result of the beatings.

"We're really worried about his health ... it's been devastating to our family," she said.

Naghmeh said she had only been able to continue these last two years because of people's prayers. She asked for prayers to keep going.

"I've been caught out before with hopelessness. I despair to be honest," she said.

"I have to be there for the kids, I have to put a smiling face on this morning. I don't have an option of collapsing, I have to continue and I ask prayer for that."

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