Saeeds Wife Ceases Public Advocacy

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45 Responses

  1. Josh the Baptist says:

    My first inclination tells me that something is very, very wrong here.

  2. Michael says:

    I would never deny any womans claim of abuse.
    However, there are multiple things that don’t add up here…and until they do I choose to wait before completely accepting the whole premise.

  3. In Disbelief says:

    Proverbs 17:9 ~ “He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter
    separates friends.”

    Proverbs 18:3 ~ “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.”

    Proverbs 25:2 ~ “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter…”

    By repeating this publicly, brings great hardship, shame, and new problems upon Saeed’s wife and family. She is suffering like no one else right now. Seriously, what business this of anyone here?

    But, what the heck, we need to solve this new ‘problem’ inside the church. That’s what we do. I feel betrayal & disbelief in reading this post. (I do know the entire backstory well.) This thread (most respectfully) needs to be taken down immediately. This is hurting people, more than helping. It does not matter if another publication has ran it. Someone, somewhere, has broken a confidence. Now each person who repeats and publishes this very private thing is complicit in the breaking of that confidence and gossips and conjectures about that which they do not know.

    Please leave the Abedeni’s alone and cover them with your prayers as Jesus would seek to restore and heal and release them from their great trial.

  4. Michael says:

    I’ve been a very public advocate of Saeed.
    This story was published in Christianity Today.
    Yesterday I was criticized for not making an article out of a much more minor matter because I had published articles on the issue before.
    You didn’t jump in on that one…

    Here’s what you need to do.
    You need to put your real name out here where everyone can applaud you that despises me and you can man up to your words like I do.
    You’ve decided you’re going to be my constant critic…I’ve paid the price to be one and you can too…or you can just stop reading here and shut the hell up.

  5. Michael says:

    By the way…she confirmed it all to Christianity Today so I’m not sure she doesn’t want it publicized…seems the opposite to me.

  6. once a cc guru says:

    this stuff gets crazier by the day…what next?

  7. Steve Wright says:

    I’m going to agree with Michael at post #4, that if you are going to criticize the blog owner on his own blog you should use your name in doing so.

    We all can respect anonymity among posters for many and varied reasons, but not to simply rip on the guy’s own blog.

    Indeed this is heartbreaking, but Michael was very public for #FreeSaeed- and has been indefatigable every Wednesday in continuing his advocacy.

  8. Michael says:

    In case other critics have forgotten…
    I, along with Steve and BD and Bryan Stupar ran the only social media campaign for Saeed that ever trended on Twitter.
    We created a platform that exists to this day.

    This story makes no sense to me and it raises some very difficult questions that make me very uncomfortable.

    Still, it’s a story I’ve chosen to write about and will continue to do so.

  9. dustmyblues says:

    Two thoughts: One, even if these allegations are true, Saeed doesn’t deserve to languish in an Iranian prison. Two: Those “cover up” verses in Proverbs have been a sanctuary to abusers for thousands of years. I don’t think they mean that we should cover up abuse, EVER!!

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    This story hit me like a sucker punch.
    1- Like you Michael I smell more here than is being said
    2- Sin would not keep me from advocating his release in his behalf even if she cannot
    3- There is no reason to ascribe guilt to those who are advocating the release of this man

    Thanks Michael, your work is excellent as usual

  11. Michael says:


    Thank you for the kind words.

    I’m in agreement with all your points.

    Especially the one about the punch…

  12. Michael says:


    Amen and amen…context matters.

  13. dustmyblues says:

    Just to clarify #9, when I say we shouldn’t cover up abuse, I am NOT suggesting anyone here is doing that.

  14. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Initially, my mouth dropped wide open and spoke out, “What on earth?” In the name of Jesus, help us all to stay steadfast and ever so faithful in our prayers on behalf for her and for Saeed.

    When a victim of abuse is able to get some distance from their abuser, they will still waffle back and forth in their ability to disclose the this to others. Particularly, if the support that surrounds them is such that they may have learned is not “really” opened to understanding the full breadth and depth of destructive harm this creates and places upon the spouse. But once the victim begins to acknowledge and then tell others who do “get it,” it strengthens the victim to speak up to those who will listen and support them in their efforts to regain that which was taken from them: the self—-and to put away the lie that they have lived, to regain their identity, as well as, their very soul.

    Merciful and gracious, You are, God of the entire universe. You see, you hear, and you know far beyond that of our own understanding. Each day, we are swept up with the reality of that which ought not be found among us, yet You, Oh Lord, in your compassion, You are ever so long suffering in patience and love towards us. Yet, You do tell us that one day, Your Son will come and we wait with in ever increasing anxiousness to settle all things and to make that which is of you, more visible, more real, and more clear to us. Father, in His Name, please help us to be that bride that awaits the groom, and please help us to be to one another a brother and sister, and no longer bear the fruits that speak or do harm, out of passivity, secretly, or intentionally. Help us to be your people — no matter what it takes. May we be open to receive, no matter what it takes. In and of He who dwells in us, and for those who think they are, but have yet to receive Him in the deepest parts of their hearts. Upon them, Your Majesty, I pray earnestly for them and their family members, so they too would come out from that which is not of You.

    My heart groans—

  15. Josh the Baptist says:

    Michael, you say in # 5 that she confirmed this with Christianity Today. Where are you seeing that she confirmed?

  16. Michael says:

    “In a statement to Christianity Today, Abedini said she regretted sending the emails, which were written in a time of emotional distress.

    She asked for privacy and prayer.”

    She spoke to the magazine and seems to have affirmed the veracity of the emails and that she wrote them.

    That would have been a great time to retract the allegations.

    This whole thing is off the charts strange…

  17. Pastor Al says:

    Saeed should sue her for defamation and then Calvary Chapel Association and Calvary Chapel will back him and endorse him. That’s how they roll.

    The Calvary Chapel Semi-Cult promotes Domestic Abuse by how it tolerates it in their ranks and teaches it in a form from their pulpits in word and in practice of their “submission” fringe teachings.

    Calvary Chapel always sides with the abusing male leader or pastor. I’m sure they’ll do the same with this case and will close ranks and circle the wagons as they always do.

    Run from Calvary Chapel and don’t look back. Even the so-called “good pastors” support this type of dynamic by their ongoing Affiliation and Fellowship with the Corrupt System.

  18. Em says:

    all that i can see here for the Christian to do is pray – pray as God the Holy Spirit leads in this sorrowful scenario

  19. Surfer51 says:

    Some thing is amiss.

    Kind of like when prisoners of war are made to make public comments in videos by coercion.

    Reminds me of the time an American prisoner was made to say stuff against his will, while he tapped his finger in Morse code so the authority’s would know the truth of the matter.

    Another prisoner blinked in Morse code which got by his abductors and sent a truthful message along with what he was being forced to say.

    Anyway this kind of seems like one of those scenarios to me.

    Time will tell as always.

    I think Michael has earned the right to report updates to this story. Every Wednesday he has faithfully dedicated space to the story.

    He is not breaking any confidences here with “Breaking News,” since it is a published story elsewhere.

    The enemy loves to come on the scene like an angel of light and cast others in a bad light.
    How many times have we seen this type of a response from others when journalist get to close to the truth of a matter?

    Michael has used the term, “Circling of the wagons” when we see them attempting to keep things in the shadows away from the bright light of scrutiny.

    Classic aspersion casting upon those who shine the light into the darkness…

    Quite simply, there is just something not right here, and most of us sense it.

  20. Paige says:

    Surfer51, I had a similar thought…..

    The so called story is just too far off all previous public communications….
    Something is indeed very strange…

    I continue to pray for the glory of God and the best for both Saeed and Naghmeh…

  21. Em says:

    add my vote to “Michael’s done the right thing with this post” … in light of past concerns, the Wednesday prayer requests, what else could he have done?

  22. Babylon's Dread says:

    The story had to be brought forward in light of the blog support. You cannot hide from public matters. Michael could not go to the place of no comment in light of his critique of the Gospel for Asia board

  23. Michael says:

    I’m trying to put together the back story here so I can understand this some how.

    Nothing in this mess makes any sense.

    Once Christianity Today ran the story, I really had no choice.
    I could run the story or wait until Wednesday and deal with all the people who would claim I was hiding something because I didn’t run the story.

    I will say this…I’ve researched a lot of stories since 2003…and this one smells to high heaven.

  24. Scott says:

    This story is like the Greiner/Taylor recantations inside out. How weird.

    Maybe she found someone else in the interim.

  25. Josh the Beloved says:

    Could it be that she probably got lonely and found another man to take of her ?
    Or perhaps the Iranian Gov is behind this?

  26. j2theperson says:

    My first thought on hearing this was, “Oh, she’s found some other guy.” But, obviously there’s no proof to that and it could very well not be true. At any rate, this is totally crazy and doesn’t make much sense right now.

  27. Why does this need to make sense to us? Why can’t it just be what it is? Why do we need to know more?

  28. Josh the Baptist says:

    Because she has been fighting tirelessly for his release for 3-1/2 years with no word of any of this. Now is the time to toss him under the bus? Just seems completely out of character from everything else she has ever said.

    Could these things be true about Saeed? Sure. Never met the guy. He might be awful.

    Why are these accusations being made now? That’s what doesn’t add up.

    There has to be another factor involved. I am afraid for Nagmeh’s well-being.

  29. j2theperson says:

    You can’t seek public support and get people to be emotionally invested in your cause and then just pull a 180 like this and not expect people to want a coherent, understandable explanation. It’s unreasonable to think this should just become private again at the flick of a switch.

  30. Josh the Baptist says:

    Think about the abuse claims, and assume they are all true.

    1. We know the physical abuse hasn’t been an issue for at least 3 years.

    2. He’s watching porn in prison half way around the world. How would she know this? Why would she tell it? How does it really affect her, seeing as they haven’t even seen each other in 3 years?

    3. Emotional abuse – She’s told us that he is illegally imprisoned, that he has been beaten often, that his health is failing, and basically that he has been at the brink of death. So, he’s been mean to her on the phone?!? YEah, that makes sense.

  31. j2theperson says:

    Josh makes some good points.

    I would not just discount her claims of abuse, but there has to be more going on for her to suddenly make an issue about it.

  32. Josh the Baptist says:

    I am not discounting her claims either. I am completely unsure that these are her claims. If I see a video of her saying these things, then I will believe them. This is just too harsh of a flip.

  33. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m reading about 100 articles this morning from national press, secular and christian. Every single one uses the Christianity Today article as their lone source.

  34. Kevin H says:

    Yes, this was a gut punch. And it is really, really strange. Things don’t add up from what we’ve been told the last three years to what we’re suddenly being told now. And the claim that the abuse has only gotten worse since Saeed has been imprisoned is just hard to fathom. All kinds of possible scenarios go through my head and I have no idea which one(s) might be true, if any. I am really concerned about the welfare of Naghmeh and possibly even the children.

    Whatever the real full story is here, I cannot see how it could be good in any way. I don’t what we can possibly do besides pray. And knowing exactly how to pray for this situation is difficult enough.

  35. If these were Hollywood people we wouldn’t give it a 2nd thought, and as we know, people are people.

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    1. They aren’t Hollywood people.

    2. A Hollywood actor would not have been imprisoned for his faith for the last three years.

  37. Surfer51 says:

    The Body of Christ as a whole has discernment.

    Which essentially is revelation by the Holy Spirit of the truth of a matter and the spirit behind a matter at times.

    Just reading all of the above post we get the sense that most here discern that the statements made by this man’s wife are not exactly the truth.


  38. Steve Wright says:

    The heart of this story is the ceasing of public advocacy. This directly on the heels of Naghmeh’s addressing the United Nations and the countless times she has spoken out before the heads of states all over the world – this is not simply an American story.

    In ceasing all advocacy, a reason must be given. This is the reason we are given – but the reason is not the main story. It may be the news to us, but to the world, the news is her cancelling all speaking events that were embarrassing and pressuring the Iranian government nonstop for over two years. No matter what we think about Obama and the degree of effort or lack thereof by his administration (and I have no doubt he and Kerry and others DID fight for his release and we know they said so publicly as well), remember she had the whole world pressuring the Iranian government, many from nations that believe in freedom of religion and are largely Christian, at least in heritage, and do more business with Iran than we do (and do business with us as well and want to stay on America’s good side). A little American woman, mother of two small children…taking on boldly and getting audience with the most powerful people in the world (and preaching Christ every time along with speaking against Iran)

    I received the two emails – they were sent almost two weeks ago – the last contacts I have had. However, I also had received emails from her every couple of days for the last year. Very recently she did a daily devotional and update as she prayed and fasted before her UN appearance. Daily contact. A large, large number of us no doubt get these updates – Many of them contained confidential information that she did not share on her social media – and like these last two emails, I kept those confidences when asked to. I am on this mailing list because we hosted a prayer vigil a year ago and I asked to continue receiving updates. No doubt hundreds of others are also on this list, and received these emails including the last two. No surprise at least one person ran to Christianity Today with them.

    Needless to say, these last two don’t match what I have been reading for over a year.

    I am not going to speculate on this. In fact, I really do not intend to talk about it except given the questions some of you are posing that do have answers (like the reality of the emails existing), I thought this contribution would at least help in some regard. I am also not going to share all of my own feelings in getting these (I did wonder initially if she was hacked with the first one, especially since the English was not nearly as perfect as is her usual style – but I do not think that is the case in my opinion)

    There are two things I know about Iran and Muslim terrorists. First, they are not above killing women and children and in Islam’s case, do not even have to worry about self-preservation or the hardest part of any diabolical plan, namely escaping afterwards. To die a martyr in defending the great state of Iran and Allah’s reputation is no doubt something they could find several people to sign up for – many likely roaming American streets. Has anyone wondered what, if any, security those little children have?

    Second thing, according to all I read, in Iran, p*rn is censored over the internet, as are social media sites such as facebook and twitter and many other news sites. Is a special allowance and somehow the technical means necessary to break the filters being made for a prisoner who has rejected Islam for Christ to have free access to it in his jail cell, with his courtesy phone from the Iranian government?

    There are many possible explanations, including what has already been suggested, including maybe this is the entire truth now coming out (and all the prior months have mostly been lies I and others have been reading). But including some very nasty possibilities involving one of the most evil governments in the world. Thus, I would hate to be guilty of piling on without knowledge and making snap judgments with partial information – especially if this is happening with a proverbial (or literal) gun to the head of two small children.

    I also know that I have not lived with what either of the Abedinis have lived with these past years – and people can, and do, break, and that breaking can happen in any one of a number of ways and no matter what that breaking might be, I have not walked in those shoes and have no right to condemn. I can condemn adulterous pastors who can’t keep their pants on. I can condemn money-grubbing pastors. I can condemn a lot of things but not a family who has gone through this hell on earth – whatever the truth might turn out to be.

  39. Steve Wright says:

    I will add this..a larger point.

    I think Christ would have us believe the best about people unless truth shows otherwise. Love is the starting point. I think the Bible does gives us instruction, not to trade prooftexts but to guide us into finding the truth and THEN dealing with the consequences that must follow.

    When the truth does come to light, then it is necessary for consequences to follow. That is not the time then to start talking love and grace. Until the truth has shown itself, we are wise to withhold judgement and hold fast to love.

    The truth has shown itself clearly in many matters of scandal over the years, and bold responses and clear denunciation and consequences are warranted. Arriving at the truth is a process down here on earth given our lack of omniscience – and the process must carry itself out, and God’s people have a right and duty to seek the truth. And should never be afraid of where the truth leads.

  40. Josh the Baptist says:

    The problem with that approach though, Steve, is that what if while we are waiting for the truth to come out this woman and her children are in real danger?

    If it turns out that the truth is Saeed is a monster, so be it. If it turns out that she is a liar, so be it. But if it turns out that she is in real danger…it will be too late if we wait to find that out.

  41. Steve Wright says:

    Josh, my hope is her lawyers know the full truth and will arrange the needed security for the family as necessary. I am speaking more broadly (and beyond Saeed to the totality of internet communication) and what is possible and my responsibility from where I sit behind my keyboard.

    In my church, as a pastor, I can (and do) far more than type within my circle of influence. But with so many things, we are connected by the faith, but we have zero influence to either secure the truth or effect change. I trust the people closest to this family are not just sitting back waiting…

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    Good point.

  43. Pastor Al says:

    I’ll tell you what’s going on b/c I know the dynamic well and the rest of you don’t get it.

    She has been living a lie, defending and championing her abuser. Been there, done that.

    The stress of the situation and her own inner-struggle with her lying for him finally got to her. Dunno what that spark was or what the tipping point was, but I KNOW exactly how it feels to be defending the Calvary Chapel man who abused you and others for years and then finally feeling so ashamed of yourself and so sick of it that you finally go “F it, this is wrong, I’m done defending this a-hole”

    I’m glad she came forward with the truth about her abusive Calvary Chapel leader husband.

    There is much Abuse in Calvary Chapel and if more people spoke up the public would see just how prevalent it is despite the PR Flacks like Steve Wright toting the CC water and trying to protect their precious Brand.

  44. Kevin H says:


    Thank you for sharing what you can. I am sure even in your case of knowing a little more than the rest of us that it is terribly difficult to know what all could be happening here.

    I just pray that our government is able to provide real protection to Naghmeh and the children, if needed. Even in the case where she may feel as if she can’t ask for the protection that’s needed, that our authorities would be able to provide it in a manner that doesn’t jeopardize their potential safety. And maybe protection isn’t needed. I just hope and pray it can be provided if it’s truly needed.

  45. Michael says:

    I slept (not very well) on this overnight.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that there are way too many contradictions and unanswered questions and too many dire possibilities involved that can lead to harmful speculation.

    It is amazing to me that Christianity Today will publish semi private communications about marital issues and ignore public documents showing the rape of children in the Philippines.

    I’m closing this thread until such time as I believe we’re dealing with facts and not speculating on things we know not.

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