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Whitaker House signs advocate for abuse victims, Naghmeh Panahi

Tuesday, July 12, 2022, New Kensington, Pa.—Whitaker House Publishers has signed a deal to publish a memoir by women’s abuse advocate Naghmeh Panahi, scheduled for release in 2023.

Millions who followed the story of Pastor Saeed Abedini’s imprisonment in Iran were shocked and confused when his wife, Naghmeh, halted advocacy in 2015, claiming abuse. After 7 years Naghmeh is ready to break her silence and tell her story. The book will give a behind-the-scenes look at Panahi’s personal story of abuse within her marriage to Abedini, whose imprisonment in Iran from 2012–2016 gained international attention. It also covers the larger problem of the role of religion in perpetuating abuse, an issue that has been widely reported on in the press, most recently in articles by the Washington Post and Christianity Today.

“God used Saeed’s imprisonment to free me that I can now be an advocate for and encourage those who have been or are in similar circumstances. This book will be a calling for the church to do better,” said Naghmeh. “I’m thankful Whitaker House is partnering with me to tell my story.”

In addition to speaking and advocating for other abused women as executive director at Tahriralnisa, Panahi works with the underground church in her home country of Iran.

“Naghmeh is a woman of integrity and undaunted faith despite enduring the unthinkable,” says Whitaker House publisher Christine Whitaker. “I know her story will be one of exposing the far-reaching repercussions of abuse while keeping her redemptive faith in Christ at the center. Whitaker House is honored to stand by Naghmeh in telling her story.”

Naghmeh is available for interviews to talk about her story. Contact Karen Campbell at to schedule an interview.