Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Free Again

Youcef

The American Center for Law and Justice  (ACLJ.org) is reporting that they have confirmed through a member of Pastor Youcef’s church, that  Iranian authorities released Pastor Youcef from prison shortly after 1:30 p.m. near Rasht, Iran.

He had been re-arrested on Christmas Day in Iran, the first Christmas he would have been able to spend with his wife and two young sons after his nearly three-year imprisonment for his Christian faith.

After initially spending 1,062 days behind bars under a death sentence for apostasy (becoming a Christian), he has now been forced to spend an additional 14 days in prison because of his faith even after his apostasy conviction was absolved.

English: Locator map of Iran

The ACLJ welcomes his release from this unjust and illegal imprisonment.  Iran must not be allowed to persecute individuals because of their faith.

Pastor Youcef has become the face of persecution around the world, and his re-arrest on Christmas Day shows Iran’s intent to make an example of Pastor Youcef to intimidate people of minority faiths.

While Pastor Youcef is now once again free, American Pastor Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned for his faith in one of Iran’s most notoriously brutal and abusive prisons.

ACLJ is circulating a petition that asks for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini. You can sign it here- sign petition demanding the U.S. government take action on Pastor Saeed’s behalf.

Read more here- http://aclj.org/iran/pastor-youcef-nadarkhani-again-free

But the joy of Pastor Nadarkhani’s release is tempered with the fact that his lawyer remains imprisonsed, as the CHristian Post reports:  http://global.christianpost.com photo below from http://humanrights.gov

Although Nadarkhani’s family and supporters worldwide who have called and prayed for his release will look at the development as good news, pressing concerns remain for the Iranian pastor’s lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, who was jailed for 10 years and disbarred back in September allegedly for „actions and propaganda against the Islamic regime.”

„The imprisonment of Mr. Dadkhah is part of an ongoing campaign of repression of human rights activists journalists and defenders,” Kankhwende told CP. „Mr. Dadkhah is not the only one; his fellow founders of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), which the authorities forced to close in 2008, are all detained and suffering similarly. He is being persecuted in his own right because of his profession and lifelong professional commitment in defending the rights of political activists and others.”

CSW’s chief executive, Mervyn Thomas, has called for the immediate release of Dadkhah, amid concerns that he is being pressured to do a televised confession admitting his supposed actions against the Islamic regime.

Read more at http://global.christianpost.com

How things work in a non democratic country – Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani’s lawyer arrested

Also Read –

Arab man declared insane, sent to mental hospital for faith in Christ

Pray for the persecuted church:

  • Hebrews 13:3 Remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
  • Matthew 5:10  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
  • 1 Peter 4:12-16  Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

Full story: http://www.MNNonline.org/article/17168

Iran (MNN/ACLJ) ― Another obstacle has been handed to imprisoned Iranian pastor Youcef Nardarkhani. According to reports, the Iranian government has acted against his attorney in the case.

Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs explains. „His attorney, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, has now been sentenced to nine years in an Iranian jail for apparently representing people like Pastor Youcef – people whose human rights have been violated.”

American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has been working to secure the release of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, called Iran’s decision to imprison Dadkhah „very troubling” – a move that puts the Christian pastor in greater danger.

In 2009, Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani, a leader in the Full Gospel „Church of Iran” network, was arrested and imprisoned after protesting a decision by the government requiring that his son study the Qur’an.
He was charged with apostasy, which carries a death sentence under the revised penal code. However, the court now says Nardarkhani is being executed for the trumped-up charges of rape and extortion,charges not mentioned during the original court proceedings.

Nettleton says this is bad news for Nardarkhani and other jailed Christians. „[Pastor Youcef] is going to have a hard time finding another attorney. When the government is locking up people who are representing him, you can imagine that any lawyer would think twice about taking his case.”

While Nettleton is urging Christians to contact the Iranian embassy to complain about this, he says Iran doesn’t listen – „particularly to Americans. Sometimes in cases dealing with Iran, our Canadian friends or sometimes our European friends can have a much stronger voice because Iran HAS relationships with their governments.”

Despite the crackdown on Christians, the church is growing. „The Islamic government–which is run by the Mullahs–see the growth of the church. They see thousands of people leaving Islam to follow Jesus Christ, and they don’t know how to respond; so their first thought is, ‘Hey, let’s lock up all these people.'”

Nettleton is urging you to pray that not only Nardarkhani will be released, but also his attorney. He’s also asking you to support the work of The Voice of the Martrys. The ministry is coming alongside Christian families with relatives who are imprisoned for their faith.

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