I had planned on changing the subject, but haven’t had time to write the next post I plan on writing. In the meantime, the Christian press continues to feed Naghmeh Abedini’s cravings for attention. Ironically this latest round involves Naghmeh teaching her social media followers that they need to fight the urge to seek fame and attention, especially in the form of social media followers:
A main theme during my time of prayer and fasting seems to be becoming aware of our (my) friendship with the world as followers of Christ. I am being made more and more aware of how we (including me) are allowing its subtle ways get to us and it is putting the body of Christ to sleep. My travels over the last 3 years have opened my eyes to the condition that the body of Christ is in. Pursuing fame, wealth and “followers/numbers” has become normal in the Christian world. We are becoming like the world and we are totally Ok with that. Yet the scripture has serious warnings even calling us ENEMIES OF GOD.
See the recent articles from Charisma News, Christian Today, and the Christian Post. All of these stories are based on recent Facebook posts by Naghmeh which don’t reference Saeed in any way (here and here). All of the news stories however still do mention Pastor Saeed, since he is the only reason Naghmeh’s Facebook writings are in any way newsworthy. Strangely, the Christian Post article makes it sound like Naghmeh is still advocating for her husband’s release, and isn’t launching a new solo act:
The Boise mother of two has spent a good portion of the last three years traveling around the country raising awareness for Christian persecution and the imprisonment of her husband in Iran.
Pastor Abedini has spent over three years in an Iranian prison despite international pressure for his release. Groups such as the American Center for Law and Justice have said that the American citizen is being punished by the Iranian regime for his Christian faith.
Naghmeh Abedini has pleaded before Congress to do more to expedite her husband’s release, and has also spoken out about the many other Christians held in Iranian prisons.
The Post knows she has stopped advocating for Saeed after bizarrely accusing him of abusing her from prison, because they reported it in their November 14 article Naghmeh Abedini Halts Public Advocacy, Citing Marital Abuse, Stress (emphasis mine):
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned U.S. Pastor Saeed in Iran, has said she is suspending her public advocacy for her husband, which she has kept up for more than three years, citing continued psychological and sexual abuse in her marriage among other reasons.
Even the photo for the article makes it look like she is still advocating for Saeed, as it shows a picture of her at a vigil for her husband with Rev Franklin Graham. Given her blatant desire to turn sympathy for her husband into a Christian leadership role for herself, this photo she prominently includes on her twitter page would be much more appropriate.
Clearly the papers know that Naghmeh’s Facebook posts about her spiritual insight as she temporarily abstains from coffee, chocolate, soda, and chips are not noteworthy unless they can be framed as part of the larger story of the persecution of Saeed. The longer Naghmeh goes without advocating for Saeed, the less interested the press will be in her social media posts. This will happen more quickly if posts about Naghmeh have this disconnect politely and consistently called out by readers. In the meantime, they continue write articles on her facebook posts while playing up the Saeed angle. Not surprisingly, Naghmeh has continued her efforts to morph herself into the role of persecuted Christian leader (replacing her husband):
This is why I went to Iran as a missionary a month after September 11, 2001 when everyone was avoiding airplanes and the Middle East. This is why I refused to deny Christ when in the summer of 2004 (in Iran) I had guns pointed to my head and told to deny Jesus and return to Islam if I wanted to live.