Pastor Saeed Abedini announced on social media Thursday that he is divorcing his wife Naghmeh.
Abedini said he was "deeply saddened" to inform everyone about the news regarding his marriage, but he said it was the only path they could take toward healing.
"We are different people, and we are hurting people. It pains me to say, but I have decided the only path toward healing is apart, and not together," he posted on Facebook.
He said that while he and Naghmeh are divorcing, she and their children will continue to be his heroes for enduring what they had to go through while he was imprisoned and for how they fought for his release.
"She has been my wife of 12 years and she will always be the wonderful mother to our amazing children," he said. "While we have experienced struggles, she, along with my children will forever be my heroes, both for what they had to deal with during my imprisonment in Iran and for how they never gave up fighting for my freedom."
Abedini, an American Iranian pastor, was imprisoned in Iran in 2012 on charges of undermining national security by holding house church gatherings. In 2013, he was sentenced to eight years in prison.
While he was incarcerated, he was subjected to physical and mental torture that put his health at risk. His wife Naghmeh campaigned tirelessly for his release, even speaking before the United Nations Humans Rights Council and meeting with Pres. Barack Obama.
In November 2015, Naghmeh shocked everyone when she said, through an email sent to her prayer partners, that her husband had been physically and emotionally abusive toward her. After her email was leaked to the public, she took a leave from Facebook to "spend more time with the Lord."
In December 2015, she said on Facebook that while she still loved her husband and that her advocacy for his release would continue, she could no longer deny the "serious issues of their marriage."
Just one month after her announcement, Abedini was released along with two other Americans. On the day he went home to Boise, his wife filed a petition for legal separation. She also filed for a temporary restraining order against Abedini.
In an interview with Christianity Today, Abedini said his wife's allegations of abuse are false.
"Naghmeh is my hero; she stood strong for years. But no, I never abused anyone in my life, and I've never been addicted to anything," he said.
He also said he felt said that thousands of people who prayed for his freedom could not celebrate with him when he was finally set free because they now see "two different Saeeds," one a hero and the other an abusive husband.
"When I talk with some people, I can see the confusion. I don't believe this confusion is coming from God," he said in the interview. "This is completely coming from Satan, who wants me to stop preaching the gospel and wants people to stop rejoicing for my release, because it was a big victory for the Christian world."
Naghmeh posted a message on Facebook regarding her and Abedini's impending divorce.
"It is with a heavy and broken heart that I inform all of you who have prayed and wept with our family the last few years, that Saeed has rejected counseling for anger and abuse and has filed for a divorce," she wrote. "There will be a time to share more fully, but for now, we appreciate your prayers."
Meanwhile, Abedini said he will continue "to look to Christ for strength, grace and comfort."
"I am trying to do that now, and I know Nagmeh is doing the same. Even in our disappointments, when we don't have all the answers, Christ is still Lord. He is good now and forever," Abedini said.