By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
TEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)– The wife of an American pastor serving eight years in Iran for his Christian faith said God had chosen their family for this ordeal to reach people in despair.
"The Lord has counted our family worthy enough to send Saeed to a dark place that he would be able to share with people who are in complete despair," Naghmeh Abedini told International Christian Concern.
Saeed Abedini was arrested in Iran back on July 2012 while working on an orphanage project; he was later tried and sentenced for threatening Iran's national security.
Naghmeh has called upon the international community to press the Islamic Republic for her husband's release.
"My new reality forced me out of my self-consumed life," she said. "I realized I had a right to speak out for those who are being silenced, to speak for the Christians, for the Jews, for the Baha'i, and other fellow human beings who are being imprisoned simply because of their beliefs."
According to ICC, Saeed was a devout Muslim who converted to Christianity in 2000; he later became an evangelist, establishing house churches throughout Iran when he was detainment in 2009. Saeed was again arrested in 2012 for "threatening national security" because Iranian authorities considered his establishment of a network of Iranian house churches the same as waging "soft" warfare against the Islamic Republic.
"You know, my ultimate hope is in God," Naghmeh told the Christian Post last September. "God has given me continued hope to take it a day at a time. I know that with so many praying. I am grateful for all the people signing the petitions, ultimately the time Saeed is in that prison is not decided by the Iranian government. But it's appointed by God.
"I am very optimistic and hopeful that he will be freed soon. My prayer is that Jesus will be glorified from all of it, and people will know that it is God who has delivered Saeed. At this point there are no more options with the legal system in Iran – at this time, it has to be a miracle."