Franklin Graham Shoots Down Saeed Abedini’s Claims That He Exploited His Story While Doing Little to Help Him

Franklin Graham (L) president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and of Samaritan’s Purse appears in this undated photo with Pastor Saeed Abedini (R)

Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, has shot down claims that he exploited the story of persecuted Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini while doing very little to help him after he was released from imprisonment in Iran last January.

“It is unfortunate that Graham’s efforts to secure his (Abedini’s) release from an Iranian prison and provide transportation of him from Germany to America, his financial assistance to Saeed and Naghmeh … 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,” Graham’s spokesman, Mark DeMoss, said in a statement to The Christian Post.

Abedini, who became the face of Christian persecution while imprisoned for his faith in Iran for more than three years, charged in a recent post online that Graham took up opportunities to appear in national media as Christians and other religious freedom advocates campaigned for his release.

Once he was released last January, and the media lost interest in his story, however, Abedini, who is now jobless and separated from his wife Naghmeh Panahi, charged that Graham offered him little support.

“A week after I got released and Franklin Graham welcomed me home (because of the huge international media attention on me he badly wanted to be involve) he knew I don’t have any place to go but he left me alone in Boise until I was forced to call him to ask money to rent a place,” Abedini wrote.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Leonardo Blair