Since Panahi’s explosive revelation just weeks before his release from prison in January 2016, however, Abedini has endured both public and private turmoil. He lost his home and his wife and children in a messy divorce that was finalized in April and his reputation has been questioned.
Just around the time his divorce was made final, Abedini also began publicly lashing out on social media about the people he blames for railroading his life and ministry.
In a transcript of his divorce hearing acquired by The Christian Post between the pastor and his former wife, Abedini delivered a more coherent narrative which paints him as the real victim in testimony beginning at page 176 in this extract.
He challenged a testimony offered by Panahi who argued that she was the victim of repeated domestic abuse, claiming that she lied to get him arrested during a 2007 incident for which he was made to plead guilty to a misdemeanor.
“The day after that in the morning it happens a lot between us. When she gets angry she cannot control herself. And she told me so many time that when I get angry I cannot control myself. But after that when she sees, she start destroying me. She feels so bad about it and she came and kind of, like, knee down on me, my feet, start crying. Kissing my legs even with tears and said please forgive me I know what I did,” Abedini told the court.
“So the day after that when I was in jail I saw on a camera, maybe you have the records here, he (sic) came and she said to the judge that I never touch her. I never did that things so the judge let me go,” he added.
He explained in his testimony that most of his struggles stemmed from a fight for control of more than 200 pastors and 100 underground churches he started in Iran prior to marrying and moving to the U.S. with Naghmeh.
“I find it out Naghmeh uncle, Naghmeh’s dad and Naghmeh’s pastor tried to take over the churches and introduce these churches as their own churches to fundraising. And I know they fundraise nearly a million dollars. And so that make me so angry,” Abedini said.
He said he was attending Calvary Chapel in Boise, Idaho, with his ex-wife and disgraced Pastor Bob Caldwell, who led the church at the time, which created conflict in his marriage in the fight for the churches. Caldwell confessed to living an adulterous lifestyle last fall.
“I left that church because of the corruption and I saw that he wants to bring the churches that I started under Calvary Chappal (sic) Boise (inaudible). So I try to stop him to not let him do that and then he attacked me physically in his office. Grabbed my neck, wants to punch to my face. And he always use Naghmeh to go and say to other people negative things about me. Because he find out that I am saying something wrong about his church, especially this pastor team,” he said.
Abedini said Panahi’s father, Homy Panahi, used to be a high-ranking Muslim official with the Iranian government until his radical Christian conversion so his family had become deeply connected with the Christian community in Iran as well. He said Panahi’s family wanted him to appoint her cousin as leader of the churches he started in Iran but he rejected the idea.
“When I came to United States and she said you need to explain to the churches that my cousin going to be the pastor. I said I don’t do that because I know Bob Caldwell wants to make him pastor and then remove me from the leadership and make them Calvary Chappal and I don’t let him to do that. I know his evil plan. But Bob called. Every time he was calling him and her and pushing her, Naghmeh, to do that,” Abedini explained.
The day they had the disagreement in 2007, he said it was over the churches and she was pushing him to give them up to her cousin at the request of her then pastor.
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Source: Christian Post