Pastor Saeed Abedini, the pastor who was released from an Iranian prison last year thanks in part to the work of Franklin Graham, is now accusing the evangelist of using his story for personal gain and suggested Billy Graham's son should "repent" for his lavish lifestyle.
"I have been saying so many time who Franklin Graham has been the best person to help me before and after I got released but Lord revealed to me his salary and life style [sic] is not what the Lord is happy with, and what he tried wasn't complete," Abedini wrote in a recent Facebook post.
"This is an example of the whole Mega churches and famous and rich ministries and pastors across the country who all need to repent."
In an earlier Facebook post, Abedini alleged that the leader of Samaritan's Purse "has about 1000,000 $ salary and so many planes and private jets and every time he flies his gas price is just 10,000$ means tides of 300 teachers with 3000$ salaries and he flies a lot with his jets."
"He tries to show he is helping persecuted a lot and he has some speech about them but this kind of life style shows he doesn't have any idea of life of persecuted churches," Abedini said.
"This kind of people ask others to come to repentance nationally but first themselves needs to start the real repentance which starts with changing their life-style."
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. Last year, he was released along with three other Americans in exchange for seven Iranians.
At the time, Graham shared several photos of Abedini stepping off a private jet in North Carolina and into the arms of his parents and sister and shared that the pastor would spend some time at the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville. On social media, Abedini's then-wife, Naghmeh, thanked Graham for "coming along side our family through this next steps of the difficult journey ahead."
However, in his recent Facebook post, Abedini alleges that Graham only welcomed him home because the evangelist badly wanted to be involved in the "huge international media attention" his story had garnered.
'When all cameras and social media attention were gone in my life, all the famous pastors and lawyers were gone too, and just a week after my freedom, I saw myself so alone with my family while still news were talking about me.'
Abedini claimed that despite Graham's large salary, he refused to help him find a job to pay the bills or to meet Donald Trump.
He added, "I believe our country is ready for revival but church leaders and pastors are the first group should start repenting and at this time they are stoping [sic] the true and biblical revival. Revelation 2:5...Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent."
As reported, Abedini pleaded guilty to violating a restraining order taken out by his estranged wife, Nagmeh, who had campaigned for his release from prison. In February, Naghmeh revealed her former husband "rejected counseling for anger and abuse and has filed for a divorce."
At the time, Graham took to social media to urge his followers to lift up the pastor and his wife in prayer and refrain from judgement: "Other than God, no one knows the details and the truth of what has happened between Saeed and Naghmeh except them," he wrote. "There's an old saying that there are at least two sides to every story."