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Pastor Saeed Abedini accuses Rev Franklin Graham of 'using' him

Abedini posted a lengthy status on his Facebook page attacking Rev Franklin Graham. Abedini accused the evangelist and other pastors of using persecuted Christians to fundraise for their own operations.

Rev Franklin Graham is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, a Christian humanitarian organisation.

He wrote: "We as [the]persecuted church and Christians always have been used with famous and rich Pastors and Preachers who used us for fundraising and recently because of special media attention on me some of them tried to show themselves as saviours of the persecuted churches and me which it wasn't true and right but their own benefit".

Speaking of Franklin Graham, he accused the pastor of wasting money on private jets and said his lifestyle doesn't match the way he preaches about the persecuted church.

Abedini claims that some pastors of large churches believe that gifts to their churches belong to them and "don't think this money is for God's kingdom and reaching unreached and even for persecuted churches and poor countries".

He also wrote: "Subject of persecuted church is always hot in media and make people's heart melt to give financially and it gives all these kind of famous rich pastors a good social media to represent and keep themselves up on the stage, T.V. News and platform, which gives them power, fame and money and so much success".

Abedeni accuses Rev. Franklin Graham terminating his support from him when media attention died down following his prison release.

Here is a statement from Rev. Franklin Graham's spokesman: "When Franklin Graham first learned that American pastor Saeed Abedini had been imprisoned for his Christian faith in Iran in 2012, he did what millions of people around the world did—he began to pray for his release and for his family here in America. He also did whatever he could to draw attention to the plight of this pastor, including speaking personally to President Obama and President Putin about his situation and urging Christians around the world to pray for his release. In January 2016 Saeed was released after more than three years in prison".

Sadly, the celebration of Saeed's return home to America was overshadowed by very public reports from Saeed and his wife, Naghmeh, about serious problems in their marriage. Both spoke openly—though with conflicting accounts—on their Facebook pages and in other media interviews about a very troubled relationship, which predated his imprisonment".

It is unfortunate that Graham's efforts to secure his release from an Iranian prison and provide transportation of him from Germany to America, his financial assistance to Saeed and Naghmeh (while he never raised money from others for Saeed or Nahgmeh, his ministry did provide funds to help Naghmeh travel and raise awareness for her husband's case, and to help her care for her two children and herself while her husband was unable to work and provide for them), his provision of marital counseling at no cost to them, and various offers of employment for Saeed have now been met with a bitter Facebook post about him and his ministry, Samaritan's Purse".

Mr. Graham is no longer in communication with Saeed or Naghmeh—having exhausted efforts to help them be reconciled—and he does not intend to respond to future comments from either of them. However, Franklin still requests prayer for Saeed, Naghmeh, and especially their children who don't understand the adult issues they are facing." 

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