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BookMark - I Didn’t Survive
Emerging Whole After Deception, Persecution, and Hidden Abuse

Pulled Out of the Rabbit Hole
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A presentation of latest Christian books to hit the stores

I Didn’t Survive
Emerging Whole After Deception, Persecution, and Hidden Abuse

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Christian, Biography

Author: Naghmeh Abedini Panahi, Eugene Bach

Publishing Date: October 10, 2023

Availability in London: Creation Bookstore


It’s hard enough having a painful secret that you are terrified of sharing. It’s even harder when you find yourself in the international limelight as the advocate wife of a Christian hero imprisoned for his faith. The worst part is fearing that, if you did share this secret, it might devastate the lives of your family and close friends, alienate tens of thousands of active supporters, and cause persecuted people around the world to become even more vulnerable.

Naghmeh Abedini Panahi lived in constant tension from the irreconcilable realities playing out in her own life, in her family life, in the conduct of others, and on the worldwide stage as she interacted with power brokers and well-known religious leaders. For Naghmeh, it all came to a breaking point, and the only way through it was to die. Not physically, but in experiencing a death and rebirth in her understanding of God, her faith, and her identity as a woman. “I can't tell you how I was able to make it through, because I didn’t,” she writes. “Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, the new me emerged from the catastrophe of my marriage.”

I Didn’t Emerging Whole After Deception, Persecution, and Hidden Abuse is Naghmeh’s firsthand story, which takes you from war-torn Tehran to the quiet Midwestern U.S. to the halls of power in Washington D.C. It vividly describes the Islamic upbringing that shaped her, her unexpected conversion to Christianity, and the events that led to her marriage to Saeed Abedini, a magnetic pastor in the Iranian underground church. The book details Saeed’s arrest and imprisonment for preaching the gospel, her fateful decision to share the truth about her husband, her betrayal and abandonment by former supporters, and the new life of advocacy for women that has arisen from the brokenness. Through the pain, abuse, and loss, Naghmeh clearly demonstrates what it means for us to find our true identity in God, discover the protective care God has for His children, and participate in sharing the love and healing He desires to bring to the world.

READER REVIEWS Courtesy : goodreads

Kelly Emerson rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 4 out of 5 STARS
This is an important read, though heavy on the heart. Can a leader in the persecuted church be an evil man?

Saeed was hailed a Christian hero, imprisoned & tortured for his faith, while really only a depraved martyr for his own ego.

Christians worldwide prayed for his release as he used his smuggled phone to watch porn and psychologically abuse his devoted wife.

I found myself wishing he were still in prison so his wife could be safe.

Naghmeh is more generous with her abuser than I am, and the real hero here.

Lena Morrison rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 5 out of 5 STARS
This book was excellent! I remember telling others about Saeed and seeking (in my own meager teenager way) to tell others about his situation. I was so sad when Nagmeh said he was abusive and unfaithful, and I didn’t want to believe it. At first, I’m ashamed to say, I don’t think I did fully believe her, until his behavior online got suspicious. But now, the truth is out. It’s sad and disturbing, but her faith and the loyalty of God are what make this story worth reading.

Sherri McDermott rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 5 out of 5 STARS
Transparency: I previewed this book for the author before it was released . No, we do not know each other personally but I am acquainted with her through her international advocacy for her former husband & social media.

I recommend this book for everyone but especially for “ministry leaders & counselors”. They (& we) should understand “trauma” is another beast. Abuse causes trauma. It is not only physical. It is the emotional/psychological/financial and spiritual control of another. It is insidious and is an epidemic in our Christian culture in America. Abuse IS covenant breaking.

Naghmeh lays out her life story in such a beautiful way & God’s hand is evident throughout. Her experience of coming to understand her own abuse is so common in Christian circles where we are (often unsafely) counseled to “save the marriage at any cost”. She kindly lays out the truth of her experience showing what IS and is NOT helpful guidance from within the church/Christian culture. God does not call us to accept abuse. He calls us to live a life of love. She owns her mistakes with humility. I cried tears of sadness for the things she & her family lived through. I cried tears of gratitude for God’s obvious grace, protection, provision & ongoing intimacy throughout Naghmeh’s life. She is devoted to Jesus & puts God first as best any human can.

I pray God will get this book to all in church leadership & reveal to their spirits what “life saving safe counsel” looks like for Christians experiencing marital abuse.

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him. Isaiah 30:18

Shauna Vaughan rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 5 out of 5 STARS
Complex and honest. Thank you for sharing your story.

Kristen Foster rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 5 out of 5 STARS
I highly recommend this book. I had the opportunity to read it before its release on October 10th. I couldn't put it down. I read it in 2 days. Naghmeh's journey through pain, to healing is so honest, profound and life changing.

Elizabeth Mulhern rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 5 out of 5 STARS
powerful testimony

I couldn’t put this book down! I saw Naghmeh speak at Calvary in Philadelphia, and we were all so moved listening to her. I’ve been a follower of hers since, even advocating for her abusive husband’s release. I was equally shocked about his outcome and the harm he caused her and her family. I wish her and her children health and happiness.

Samantha Smith rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 5 out of 5 STARS
Naghmeh Abedini Panahi writes passionately about her faith, the house churches in Iran, and also about the abuse she endured at the hands of her pastor/husband. I have witnessed how the church treats abused women and the neglects women who are forced to flee their marriages and homes. I highly recommend this book.

Katie McGee rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 5 out of 5 STARS
Wow. Naghmeh has an incredible story that needs to be heard. This was a hard read at times, but so important. It covers many topics that need to be addressed such as domestic violence, physical/psychological/sexual/spiritual abuse, mental illness, the persecution of Christians, the need for reform in the Church, and the sovereignty and faithfulness of God through it all.

Cathi Lynn Smith rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 5 out of 5 STARS
wonderful and shocking

This is an exceptionally brave testimony. I don’t know of anyone who has walked a path that confronts abuse on so many levels and systems, even to the highest in the Christian system, like Naghmeh. I was captivated and challenged by her story.

Bethany Stewart rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 4 out of 5 STARS
Story kept me engaged

Ellie Schneidewent rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 5 out of 5 STARS
This book captured my attention so well. Finished it in 3 days!

Melissa Paisley rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 5 out of 5 STARS
What a story she lived. I loved her message to the church at the end.

Lisha Haase rated “I Didn’t Survive” a 5 out of 5 STARS
I listened to this on Hoopla. A story that needed to be told.