Naghmeh Abedini: I found Jesus as a Muslim immigrant to the US
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of formerly imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini, said that when her family came to America as Muslims immigrants fleeing war, they were converted to Christianity by the love of Christ shown by American people.
"I have parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and my 95 year old grandmother who all came to America as Muslim immigrants and found Jesus here," she wrote in a Facebook post.
"I was a Muslim immigrant. I left a devastating war between Iran and Iraq. America gave me the freedom to choose Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
"When we came to America more than 30 years ago I was treated with love and acceptance by the Christians. I could see the tender heart of Jesus toward foreigners and the lost through the Christians that surrounded us."
Abedini said that she is "not a politician" and that this was "not a political statement", but went on to describe the America she knew and loved as one that welcomed refugees.
Most of her relatives in America have high levels of education and work in competitive jobs.
"Others have their own small businesses, including my uncle and dad who have started small buisnesses here in Boise that now employ close to a 100 people, many of whom are refugees from all over the world," she wrote.
"This is the America I know and love. The America that was founded on Christian values of love, Grace and compassion."
Muslim immigration to the US has been a contentious issue throughout the 2016 presidential election. The presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly called for a temporary ban on such immigration; a call he renewed after the Orlando nightclub massacre earlier this month.
"I called for a ban after San Bernardino and was met with great scorn and anger but now, many are saying I was right to do so," Trump said in a speech from New Hampshire following the Florida shooting.
"The ban will be lifted when we as a nation are in a position to properly and perfectly screen those people coming into our country."
Abedini finished her post with a note that she was "simply saying we have a chance to love those who are here and show them the love of Jesus."