After two months of being out of the Iranian prison that had held him for three and a half years, Saeed Abedini talked about how it felt like to be set free and how the accusations of abuse from his wife Naghmeh affected him.
In an interview with Christianity Today, Abedini confessed that he still feels like he is in prison, and that after he was released, he felt like he just moved into another one. The rest that he was hoping to have after months of torture did not come.
He said the most difficult thing for him when he got out of prison was that because of the accusations that came out, he could not share his joy with people who stood with him and prayed for him for years.
In November, Naghmeh announced on her Facebook page that she will no longer campaign for her husband's freedom because of the abuse she had gone through in their marital relationship. According to the post, he was abusive to her even when he was in prison, and he was addicted to pornography. She later said she would still advocate for his release but asked people to pray for their marriage.
Last month, she filed for legal separation and for a restraining order against Abedini.
When asked about his 90-day sentence for domestic abuse in 2007, Abedini said it was a mistake. Naghmeh reportedly called 911, but told the police that it was a mistake and that "he never did those things."
The authorities told him they dismissed the case. He found out only weeks ago that he was charged guilty.
"I believe courts can make mistakes too," he said. "I talked with Franklin Graham. He asked me to keep silent and not say anything about anyone. Graham encouraged me, 'Let other people defend you.'"
He said he still considers Naghmeh and his children as his heroes.
"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," Abedini said.
He said that although he is a sinner, he knows God has forgiven him through the cross of Christ.
"Every day I should be concerned and careful that I don't lose my salvation, because we can lose it if we don't walk with God, if we don't keep our faith," he said.