BOISE – Hundreds in Idaho, and likely thousands more around the world, gathered Thursday to hold a vigil for Saeed Abedini. In Boise, Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, led the vigil with the help of the family’s pastor from Calvary Chapel in Boise.
Thursday marked the one year anniversary of Saeed Abedini's imprisonment in Iran. He is being held in Iran on what the Iranian government says is a threat to national security. Naghmeh says he's imprisoned for being a Christian.
Since then Saeed’s imprisonment Naghmeh has fought and pleaded with some of the highest government officials in the world asking for her husband's freedom. Earlier this week she was at the United Nations vying for her husband’s freedom.
With no more legal appeals possible, Naghmeh and her Christian brothers and sisters gathered to appeal to a higher power.
"We just pray for him every day," said Maxene Bruek.
Bruek and her husband Harley go to the same church as the Abedinis, but have never met Saeed.
They were just two of hundreds who gathered in the cold and the rain on the Statehouse steps Thursday to pray for Saeed.
"It wasn't just here, it's all over the world,” said Maxene Bruek. “We're praying together not just for Saeed, but all of the thousands of Christians who are being persecuted all over the world.”
In fact, 85 cities and 16 countries stopped and prayed.
"Knowing there were hundreds of thousands of people praying around the world for this guy; that will touch your heart. We just wept as we prayed for him," said Paul Teel who knows Saeed personally and goes to the same church.
"I can't say in words how much this means to our family to know we're not alone in this really trying time," said Naghmeh Abedini.
For Naghmeh, this support means the world to her, especially when the weight of having her husband imprisoned only gets heavier.
"I do believe that regardless of how hard the Iranian government is, continuous pressure and prayer and contacting our government officials will bear fruit," said Naghmeh Abedini.
"And that fruit you're looking for?" asked NewsChannel 7. "His freedom. I can't wait for the day we all go to the airport and pick him up. It's become a dream for me and the kids," said Naghmeh Abedini.
As for how Naghmeh is holding up, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. She said it's been exhausting.
Rebecca Abedini just celebrated her 7th birthday and now Naghmeh hopes Saeed won't have to miss any more of his daughter's birthdays.
Saeed is now one year in to an eight-year prison sentence.