The Rev. Franklin Graham has urged Christians to lift up Pastor Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini in prayer as they struggle to save their marriage and refrain from judgement as only themselves and God know the details surrounding the issues between them.
"While we rejoice at his (Saeed Abedini's) new freedom, we now lift him and his wife, Naghmeh, to the Lord for healing in their marriage. Other than God, no one knows the details and the truth of what has happened between Saeed and Naghmeh except them. There's an old saying that there are at least two sides to every story," Graham, the CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, wrote in a Facebook message on Thursday.
Graham added that as a minister of the Gospel, he is trying to be a friend and assist both, and said that there is a great need for prayer for their family and their relationship.
"I can tell one thing for sure - not everything that has been reported in the media is true," he asserted. "Satan would like nothing more than to continue to destroy their lives. It is my prayer that this will not happen."
As reported by The Gospel Herald, Pastor Abedini was released as a hostage in Iran earlier in this month following three-and-a-half years in prison under accusations that his faith undermined the Iran government.
During his first post-release interview back in the United States, he told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News that he had been beaten and tortured in captivity and passed the time by praying nearly 20 hours a day.
After spending time at Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina, Abedini was finally reunited with his two children in Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday.
However, local media reported that Naghmeh filed a "domestic relations case," which is similar to a legal separation. In a Facebook post, Naghmeh said she hoped for reconciliation with her husband, but she was taking legal steps to keep her children in Idaho while the couple worked out their issues, including allegations Saeed was abusive and suffered from a pornography addiction.
"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," Naghmeh told her supporters.
"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."
Naghmeh in her Facebook statement apologized to her followers for not disclosing the abuse sooner.
"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," she said. "Tragically, the opposite has occurred."