Naghmeh Abedini files for legal separation

Very strange.

Wally Morris
Huntington, IN

Perhaps we should leave the poor folks alone?

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

I can’t comment on the rationale Mrs. Abedini has for this, but it strikes me that we need to pray for these guys. Pray that they work things out per Matthew 18 and all.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Naghmeh Abedini Reveals Why She Filed Domestic Relations Case Against Pastor Saeed:

“I do deeply regret that I hid from the public the abuse that I have lived with for most of our marriage and I ask your forgiveness. I sincerely had hoped that this horrible situation Saeed has had to go through would bring about the spiritual change needed in both of us to bring healing to our 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,”
“It is very serious stuff and I cannot live a lie anymore. So, I have decided to take a break from everything and seek the Lord on how to move forward,”
“I want our reconciliation to be strictly based on God’s Word. I want us to go through counseling, which must first deal with the abuse. Then we can deal with the changes my husband and I must both make moving forward in the process of healing our marriage,”
“In very difficult situations sometimes you have to establish boundaries while you work toward healing. I have taken temporary legal action to make sure our children will stay in Idaho until this situation has been resolved,”
“I love my husband, but as some might understand, there are times when love must stop enabling something that has become a growing cancer. We cannot go on the way it has been. 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.”

Shameful behavior on her part to be airing this out in public while he was in prison, then to hit him with a lawsuit (and more public statements) the day he gets off the plane in Boise. It’s my understanding they attend a Calvary Chapel church. I’m not impressed with the apparent lack of any meaningful role for their church in this mess.


Shameful behavior on her part to be airing this out in public while he was in prison, then to hit him with a lawsuit (and more public statements) the day he gets off the plane in Boise. It’s my understanding they attend a Calvary Chapel church. I’m not impressed with the apparent lack of any meaningful role for their church in this mess.

Maybe just maybe you should have some information about the subject before you decide to start blaming a victim of abuse for trying to protect herself.

GregH: Virtually every word of your response is plainly wrong. I have plenty of information about Naghmeh’s betrayal of her husband directly from her own mouth — she has been in full running mouth mode (albeit usually couched in spiritualese) in the media, on Twitter, and on Facebook for months now, during almost all of which time the accused has been in no position to defend himself against her accusations. I’m not blaming the victim for being a victim (if she is a victim); I’m blaming her for betraying her husband publicly instead of handling the matter (if there is a matter) in a biblical manner. Also, unlike you, I’m not assuming (based on no evidence other than her vague and often completely nonsensical accusations) that she is a victim. Quite the double standard you have: she’s a victim because she says she is; he’s an abuser because she says she is; you have tried and convicted him without hearing any contrary evidence from him, while I am criticizing her on the basis of her own words. (You realize you’re ignoring his restrained public statement recently that included the statement that much of what she has said and the media has reported is not true, and Franklin Graham’s statement along the same lines?) If her objective is to protect herself (rather than, say, get massive attention/sympathy, trash his name, tilt the playing field for a divorce she wants, clear the way for another suitor, keep the public donations for herself, etc. — all equally if not more likely possible alternative motives at his point), she could have done that perfectly adequately before he was imprisoned, early in his imprisonment, or now through her church rather than in the media. Again I ask, where is there church in all this mess?

Here’s an account of the (still incomplete) police report of the alleged abuse:…

Note (because the news article deliberately does not) that under the Duluth Model of abuse that is almost universally followed in these types of incidents, if it had been Naghmeh on the computer and Saeed had closed the computer and taken it away from her to prevent her communication with her family, those acts alone would have constituted abuse. Note also that he specifically denied pushing her to the police and there was no trial to determine who was telling the truth; instead, he opted to accept the plea deal he was offered (not an unwise decision even if he didn’t push her).

If she is a victim (and I am going to take her word for it that she is), she did not “betray” her husband. She owes him nothing except a separation or divorce. You do not betray an abuser; you get help and separate from him.

It is true that neither of us know for sure what is going on there. Until we do, it might be prudent to just not condemn a victim. I am not saying he was an abuser. I am just telling you you have no right to trash her when you don’t know the truth.

I am not sure what you know about how the church has handled this mess. But based on the church’s history on dealing with these issues, I don’t blame her if she did not ask her church to handle it. In too many cases, the church’s response has been to cover up for an abuser and blame the victim while telling her she just needs to be a better wife and more submissive.

Finally if you feel her actions/words have been somewhat irrational, I would suggest you do a little research on victim psychology. It might help you understand why victims are often irrational.

So the conclusion is, cry abuse and throw out everything the Bible says about marriage and dispute resolution, make no attempt to involve the church but just assume they’ll mess it up, and take it to the media while you’re husband is in a foreign prison because he won’t recant his Christianity. OK. Got it. Apparently feminism is very strong in fundamentalism.

You need to do some research on abuse… If there is real abuse in marriage, it is not a real marriage. It is an abuser/victim relationship. No, ideas like “wives, submit to husbands” do not apply anymore. The victim needs to leave.

Yes, I am a proud feminist. Thank good for feminists who fought for some semblance of gender equality over the past century. I am not a fan of the Good Old Days of 100 years ago where women were property in every sense of the word.

Now Julie Anne (periodically a contributor here) has her biases, but here’s some things she’s learned about the case. More or less, Mr. Abedini did plead guilty to domestic violence in 2007, and this, as well as some use of internet pornography (of what sort I do not know), was known to the body that ordained him before he went to Iran. These are not facts subject to JA’s biases; they are pretty darned objective.

So what appears to be going on here is that Calvary Chapel and others seriously dropped the ball in their ministry to Mr. Abedini, and I would presume that is why Mrs. Abedini went to law. At this point, we need to pray that both Abedinis are convicted of their need to find a local body of believers that takes discipleship, to include church discipline, seriously enough to love them with all of their virtues and faults and confront them on the latter.

And let’s be blunt here; you probably have the Abedinis in your church. Not necessarily as a pastor, but there are people who are struggling with their temper (and its expressions), pornography, and the like. How are you going to disciple them and not drive them from their families and church?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

I reject many of the claims in Julie Anne’s blog. Without the likes of the ACLJ and Franklin Graham pestering the Obama administration as well as European countries, I doubt Saeed would be free.

As for Franklin Graham, his organization offered to provide a place for the Adedini’s to live in NC while getting care and counseling. From what I can tell, Naghmeh rejected it wholesale, including getting a court restriction to keep Saeed from going there with the kids.

What does all of this mean? Apparently the stress of Saeed being in prison for years took its toll on Naghmeh. That is understandable. As for the abuse and pornography I have no idea. The police report on the incident Saeed pled guilty to tells of a minor case to me. People often plead guilty to things so that they can move on…

I have no idea as to what happened and when. What I do know is that people see what they want to see. If they want to stand for women against abuse, people are making Saeed look like the worst husband out there. Others see a gold digging wife who got a little too comfy living off of the proceeds she gained while he was in prison.

What strikes me as odd in this is it is clear that Naghmeh has no trust in Saeed whatsoever. For her to change from warrior for him to describing him as an evil porn-addicted unapologetic wife beater was fast and sudden. It could be true. It could be a false.

I would appreciate it if EVERYONE prayed for them to have a reconciliation.

My ears were itching. Bert, thank you for linking to my blog. I don’t expect even my regular readers to agree with me. I do enjoy healthy dialog.

Mark, what claims are you rejecting? I spent a considerable amount of time researching and formed my opinions based on the many primary source documents that were readily available online (and linked to them).

Greg is right. When there is abuse, there is no marriage. We hear people talking about reconciliation, but that is the wrong focus. Usually the abuser is in denial that he has a problem and has no desire whatsoever to get help. I have asked a handful of pastors who deal with domestic violence as a primary part of their ministry and 100% of them said they have never seen an abuser come to full repentance. Knowing this, the wife must get away and protect herself and their children.

I have a lot of respect fo Naghmeh NOT going to Graham’s compound for “counseling.” Abuse is not a marital issue. The abuser is the issue, not the victim. Anyone who understands abuse dynamics would NEVER counsel a husband/wife together in which there is abuse. For Graham to recommend they seek counseling and work on their relationship shows that he has no clue how abuse situations should be handled. He could have been putting her in harm’s way. Also, legally, if she were to take the children out of state it could have affected custody arrangements. She was right in remaining at home and seeking legal protection.

dmyers, are you a pastor? What would you do if a wife came to you and told you she was being abused? How would you respond to that? I’m troubled that it seems your default mode seems to be to not believe Naghmeh.