WASHINGTON — It’s been just over a month since Pastor Saeed Abedini’s release from an Iranian prison. Arrested in 2012, he faced years of torture and persecution behind bars. Abedini talked in depth about those horrors in an exclusive interview with CBN’s Abigail Robertson.
“I felt in my spirit that some threat was coming,” Abedini said, following his tenth arrest in Iran.
“I thought maybe they were going to kill us because I turned from Islam to Christianity, but [the] Holy Spirit was with me, and He encouraged me, and He prepared me for all the suffering I would go through,” he said.
Abedini used the time to reach out and minister to those around him.
“Ten of the prisoners turned to Christ in the first year, but the prison found out and the intelligence police found out, and they moved me to another prison where the situation was worse,” he explained. “Every time they changed my prison, it was a good time to evangelize.”
But preaching God’s Word came with consequences.
“Every person [sic] who became a Christian with me, they start torturing them. They separated me from them and in the last two years they made me completely isolated,” he recalled.
Asked if there was ever a time when he didn’t know if he’d make it back to America, he responded, “You know, the first six months they constantly threatened me to death and they said, ‘For sure you’re going to be executed for what you did — you made 1,000 Muslim Christians.'”
“But every time I prayed, [the] Holy Spirit put in my heart, ‘No, still I have some work to do for you,” he said.
After three-and-a-half years, Pastor Abedini has finally come home to what he says is a very different America than the one he left.
“It seems that they found out that something needs to be changed, there is something wrong,” he told CBN News. “I believe that God wants to bring revival back to America.”
Thankful to be home, Abedini still faces challenges adjusting to life back in Idaho with his wife and children.
“My marriage is not in a good position right now, and I need people who prayed for me to continue praying,” he said.
Still, he remains hopeful.
“I knew that I was going to go through this suffering because of my faith, and I knew that God was using this opportunity to let the Gospel be preached, so I always encouraged myself that the things I was going through were not useless, they were not for nothing, and that good things were coming out from them,” he said.