BOISE -- Monday was the first day of Boise pastor Saeed Abidini's eight-year prison sentence in Iran.

His wife Naghmeh is working and praying here at home. She is strengthened by a support group that numbers in the hundreds of thousands worldwide.

Sentenced by an Iranian judge known as the hanging judge, Abidini's defense attorney was given little chance to make his case. That's according to Naghmeh who sat down with KTVB's Mark Johnson late Monday afternoon to talk about the injustice done to her husband.

A husband she said did not break Iranian religious laws and a pastor trying to help orphans in his homeland.

She received the news of his prison term Sunday morning.

It was a complete shock. The way it was handled by the court was shocking, said Naghmeh. My first emotion went to my kids. I have a four-year-old and a six-year-old, and she will be a teenager the next time she sees her dad and that was pretty devastating and what do I tell them? My daughters heard me say eight years and she said 'what's eight years?' They've been praying every night, and every day they ask is Daddy coming home today? And I didn't want to take that hope away from them and with all the help and support he will come home soon.

Naghmeh is working closely with Governor Otter who sent a message to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as Idaho's congressional delegation and the state department.

She is hoping and praying her husband's time in a extremely dangerous Iranian prison will be marked by days and not years. Naghmed says her husband is strong and is asking others to be strong as well.

He has said he has great hope, and that he is going to get out, said Naghmeh. Even when he heard his sentence, I believe, it was devastating to our family, but he says he still has hope and will fight.

The American Center for Law and Justice says Pastor Saeed has 20 days to appeal the sentence.

The online petition which has already received over 200,000 signatures from around the world.

Find the petition to free Pastor Abedini here.

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