Boise Pastor Saeed Abedini will set foot on American soil Thursday -– for the first time in almost four years.
Abedini and four others were released from prison in Iran last weekend, in a deal struck between the United States and the Islamic country.
Abedini has been treated for the past few days at a U.S. military hospital in Germany.
He was incarcerated in 2012 -– and sentenced to eight years in prison -– after being convicted of trying to establish Christian schools in Iran.
His wife, Naghmeh, tells Idaho On Your Side her husband is scheduled to arrive Thursday at the Billy Graham Retreat Center in Ashville, North Carolina. Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, has long advocated for Abedini’s release.
In an e-mail Wednesday to Idaho On Your Side, Naghmeh wrote: “ … The kids and I will see (Saeed) on Monday, and will be spending weeks or months to heal and adjust and get counseling …”
Naghmeh was referring to her e-mail, published in “Christianity Today” last year, in which she expressed concerns over abuse in their marriage.