Saeed Abedini's wife: It's very hard but God is holding me up and him up too

Pastor Saeed Abedini with his family(Photo: ACLJ via YouTube)

Naghmeh Abedini is refusing to be defeatist about her husband's imprisonment in Iran and instead says she believes they were chosen by God to be an encouragement to others going through times of trial.

Saeed Abedini, an Iranian with US citizenship, was working on an orphanage project in Iran when he was arrested in July 2012 for "threatening the national security".  He was sentenced to eight years in prison and lost his appeal earlier this year. 

It has been reported that he has beaten in prison and his health has suffered because of prolonged periods without access to medical treatment. 

Recently, his health began to improve after he was finally admitted to an Iranian hospital to be treated for injuries he has suffered in Rajai Shahr prison. 

The American Center for Law and Justice said he was suffering chronic pain in his stomach area because of numerous beatings.

Since his imprisonment, Naghmeh has not been resting on her laurels but has been proactively campaigning for his release and for the US, where she and their two children live, to do more for his release.

Last December, she made an impassioned appeal to the US Committee on Foreign Affairs in Washington to press Iran for his release. 

"I thought I would have to fight the Iranian government. I never anticipated that I would have to battle my own government," she told the committee.  "We need to see action behind our government's rhetoric."

Saeed's plight was acknowledged by US President Barack Obama in a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC in February, when he called for his release and said he was praying for the pastor. 

"And as we continue to work for his freedom today, again, we call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Abedini so he can return to the loving arms of his wife and children in Idaho," he said. 

Now, speaking in an article for the April edition of International Christian Concern's magazine, Naghmeh reveals her continued hope in the face of a husband enduring torture and abuse in prison, and the difficult question from their two children, "when is daddy coming home?"

"God is holding me up.  I can see from Saeed's letters that God is holding him up too," she told ICC's president Jeff King.

In a powerful testimony, she says the time since his imprisonment has been "very hard" but adds that "spiritually, it is the best time in my life".

"I wouldn't trade it for anything," she said.

"The Lord has counted our family worthy enough to send Saeed to a dark place that he would be able to share with people who are in complete despair."