Saeed Abedini Back in US After Iranian Imprisonment; Pastor to Recover at Billy Graham Center

Saeed Abedini, a pastor from Idaho is pictured with Congressman Robert Pittenger at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, in this undated handout photo provided by Congressman Robert Pittenger, on January 20, 2016. Abedini, 35, an Iranian-American pastor from Idaho who was setting up an orphanage in Iran in 2012 when he was detained, was released on Sunday in a prisoner swap following the lifting of most international sanctions against Iran under a deal to curb Tehran's nuclear program. (REUTERS/Congressman Robert Pittenger/Handout)

Saeed Abedini landed in the U.S. Thursday afternoon and was greeted by evangelist Franklin Graham as well his parents and siblings.

A private jet carried the pastor from a U.S. military hospital in Germany where he had been staying following his release last week after over three years in an Iranian prison.

In 2012, the Iranian born pastor, who converted to Christianity from Islam, had been sentenced to eight years in prison for supposedly endangering national security. But the American Center for Law and Justice, the legal group representing Abedini's wife and family, says he was wrongfully imprisoned for his Christian faith. The pastor refused to renounce his faith while in prison.

Abedini was one of four Americans who were freed in a prisoner swap. He will spend some time recovering from his ordeal at the Billy Graham Training Center, a retreat location for pastors in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.

Franklin Graham, son of famous evangelist Billy, said the center would want to "provide him a quiet place to rest and visit with family."

"None of us in America can begin to understand or appreciate what Saeed has endured after being imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith," Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said in a statement.

Naghmeh Abedini, who continuously campaigned for her husband's release, asked for prayers of support from the public. Earlier, she alleged that Abedini had abused her and was addicted to porn before his imprisonment.

"Please pray for us as we will be spending weeks or possibly months healing as a family and going through counseling," Naghmeh Abedini said. She also asked for prayers "that we can heal and move forward united as a family."

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