Iran – Four Christians Sentenced To 80 Lashes For Drinking Communion Wine – 4 barbati au primit 80 de bice pentru vinul baut la cina (impartasanie)

Photo credit http://www.malaysiandigest.com

ROMANIAN:

Cei patru barbati Bărbații au fost arestați într-o casă de rugăciune în luna decembrie a anului trecut și au fost acuzați pentru consum de alcool, ceea ce violează legea islamică. Bărbații și-au primit pedeapsa (sentinta) pe 6 octombrie, în contextul în care Organizația Națiunilor Unite tocmai a criticat republica islamică pentru sistemul de persecuție al non-musulmanilor, într-un raport despre drepturile omului.

Regimul Iranian a făcut o prioritate din oprirea răspândirii creștinismului, care este o amenințare la adresa majorității șiiților ultra-ortodocși din Iran. În ciuda declarațiilor de pace profesate de noul președinte ale Iranului, care consideră despre sine că este un moderat, „raportul ne amintește de adevărata natură a regimului iranian unde abuzul asupra drepturilor omului continuă,” a declarat senatorul american Mark Kirk, pentru Fox News.

Alireza Miryousefi, purtător de cuvânt al misiunii iraniene la ONU nu a comentat asupra acestui raport, dar guvernul a acuzat că nu este obiectiv. Conform agenției de presă a statului, Press TV, raportul nu a ținut seama de sistemul legal și cultura islamică și consideră „orice din Vest ca standard internațional pentru întreaga lume”, citează Fox News.

IN ENGLISH:

FOUR Christians in Iran will get 80 lashes each for drinking wine during a communion service and possessing a satellite antenna.

The charges come as a United Nations report criticised the Islamic republic for persecuting non-Muslims.

Behzad Taalipasand, Mehdi Reza Omidi (Youhan), Mehdi Dadkhah (Danial) and Amir Hatemi (Youhanna) were arrested during in a house church in December. Taalipasand and Omidi were detained during the Iranian government’s crackdown on house churches according to the Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

The men were sentenced on October 6 and given their verdict on October 20 with ten days to appeal the sentence after breaking the theocracy’s laws.

Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said: ‘The sentences handed down to these members of the Church of Iran effectively criminalise the Christian sacrament of sharing in the Lord’s Supper and constitute an unacceptable infringement on the right to practice faith freely and peaceably.

‘We urge the Iranian authorities to ensure that the nation’s legal practices and procedures do not contradict its international obligation under the International Convent on Civil and Political Rights to guarantee the full enjoyment of freedom of religion or belief by all of its religious communities.’

The death penalty is among the punishments for those who convert from Islam to Christianity.

Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, said that it is common practice for Christians to be punished for violating theocratic laws, despite promises from president Hasan Rouhani’s to scale back the harsh treatment.

In the UN report he wrote: ‘At least 20 Christians were in custody in July 2013. In addition, violations of the rights of Christians, particularly those belonging to evangelical Protestant groups, many of whom are converts, who proselytize to and serve Iranian Christians of Muslim background, continue to be reported.’

In response to the report, the Iranian government criticised Dr Shaheed’s findings.

According to the country’s state-controlled Press TV, an official from the UN mission said Dr Shaheed ‘has not paid sufficient notice to Iran’s legal system and Islamic culture and considers whatever he sees in the West as an international standard for the entire world’.

The Iranian government has cracked down on religious freedom in a bid to stop the increase of Christianity, seeing it as a threat to the country’s majority ultra-orthodox Shiite Islamic religion.

An estimated 370,000 Christians live in Iran according to the latest report from the US State Department.

The UN reported continued: ‘[Iran’s] authorities continue to compel licensed Protestant churches to restrict Persian-speaking and Muslim-born Iranians from participating in services, and raids and forced closures of house churches are ongoing.

‘More than 300 Christians have been arrested since 2010, and dozens of church leaders and active community members have reportedly been convicted of national security crimes in connection with church activities, such as organizing prayer groups, proselytizing and attending Christian seminars abroad.’

According to Foxnews.com, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), chairman and founder of the Iran Dissident Awareness Program, said: ‘Despite the recent Iranian charm offensive, Dr Shaheed’s report reminds us of the true nature of the Iranian regime where the abuse of human rights continue.’

– Alex Ward / Daily Mail UK
http://www.dailymail.co.uk cu traducere prin http://semneletimpului.ro

Related articles / Citeste mai multe detalii aici (in L. Engleza):

Iran: A Letter from prison

1 Corinthians 12:26 – If one part (of the body of Christ) suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Published on Jun 14, 2012 by 

Every day, there are thousands of Iranians coming to Christ by hearing the gospel through satellite programs, secret evangelism and even dreams. Interestingly, among those Iranians are also officials within the government itself. An underground church faces persecution, prison charges and in some cases even death when the Iranian government becomes aware of such gatherings held in their own country. This is an inspirational story that portrays the struggles, excruciating emotions and conflicts of Iranian believers that ultimately results in Christians uniting globally through prayer and fellowshipping in their sufferings.
From Hovsepian Ministries and The Voice of the Martyrs Canada.

Imprisoned pastor in critical condition

POSTED: 24 JULY, 2012

vcm-behnam-irani1.jpgPastor Behnam Irani (Photo courtesy of VCM)

Iran (MNN) ― Behnam Irani, a 41-year-old Iranian pastor serving prison time, is currently facing severe health concerns due to physical persecution.

While serving his time in Karaj’s Ghezel Hesar Prison, Behnam has suffered several beatings from prison authorities and his cell mates. Authorities have ordered these beatings to occur regularly.

In a recent update, Voice of the Martyrs, Canada (VCM) reports that Behnam lost consciousness in the last few days due to colon complications and severe bleeding from ulcers. He was admitted into a military hospital.

Benham has since regained consciousness, but his health is reportedly declining because of harsh mistreatment and prison conditions. He is unable to walk or see well, and VCM says there are growing concerns that he may not even survive these next few months.

Serving a five-year sentence, Behnam has a little less than four years left to serve in prison. For the first few months of his sentence, he was held in solitary confinement.

His conviction occurred on January 2011 for crimes against national security. At the time of Behnam’s arrest, he was conducting a Bible study for 10 young Iranian men who had recently come to Christ.

Behnam is a husband and father to two children. His family is concerned about his poor health, especially since his brother died from intestinal cancer.

Ghezal Hesar Prison, where Behnam is held, is one of Iran’s largest and most notorious prisons for violence and cramped conditions. The head of Prisons Organization says it houses 20,000 inmates: 300% more inmates than its capacity.

Please pray for the Lord to fully restore Behnam’s health. Pray for Christ’s perfect comfort to give his family peace. Pray that prisoners and guards in Ghezal Hesar Prison will come to know Christ through Behnam’s example and faith. Read more here – http://www.MNNonline.org/article/17474

Two Iranian believers released

Iran (MNN) ― After several months in prison and solitary confinement, two Iranian Christians have been released from prison.

According to Voice of the Martyrs, Canada, Noorollah Qabitizse, 48, was recently released after serving 19 months in prison.

Qabitizse was a house church leader arrested in 2010 on Christmas Eve. Authorities raided a celebration gathering in his house church and took Qabitizse along with 10 other believers.

Authorities tried to force Qabitizse to denounce his faith, causing him to suffer from mental abuse. They also interrogated him several times.

During his time in the Dezful prison, Qabitizse started a Bible study. When authorities got wind of his activities in prison, they transferred him out to Ahwaz as punishment.

The second Christian recently released was 24-year-old Ehsan Behrouz. He was a university student studying management in the University of Mashhad.

After his arrest on October 2011, Behrouz suffered eight months in prison including 105 days in solitary confinement.

Although Behrouz has been released, he hasn’t been able to resume classes and his education is at stake. Other Christian students in the past have been forcibly deprived of their education.

Please pray for Behrouz to be able to continue his education in peace. Pray that Qabitizse and Behrouz’s testimonies of faith in Christ will encourage other believers in Iran to persevere for the Gospel. Click here to read more – http://www.MNNonline.org/article/17498

Some more articles from the Christian post:

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/ailing-iranian-pastor-being-denied-hospital-treatment-in-jail-79035/#tX6UZ7ZHH0GdByRW.99

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.

Iran Pastor to be executed (via) Baptist Press News

photo-ApostolicNews.org

source -from  Baptist Press (via Challies.com)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Christians in Iran have challenged news reports that the death penalty for pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has been annulled, saying that in reality the country’s supreme court appears to have added a precondition requiring him to renounce his faith or face execution.

„There has still been no written confirmation of the court’s decision on Pastor Nadarkhani’s appeal against a death sentence for apostasy, despite efforts to source this,” according to a July 5 statement from Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a human rights organization.

Nadarkhani was arrested in October 2009 while attempting to register his church. His arrest is believed to have been due to his questioning of the Muslim monopoly on the religious instruction of children in Iran, the CSW statement said. He initially was charged with protesting; however, the charges against him were later changed to apostasy and evangelizing Muslims.

„Our thoughts and prayers are with Pastor Nadarkhani, Mr Dadkhah and their families at this uncertain time,” said Andrew Johnston, advocacy director for Christian Solidarity Worldwide. „CSW is gravely concerned about the judicial process in Pastor Nadarkhani’s case and the precondition to recant his faith.

Johnston said CSW is again urging „the Iranian regime to respect the stipulations of international treaties to which it is party, including the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees freedom of religion and freedom to change one’s religion or belief…. The international community must act urgently to press Iran to ensure … that Pastor Nadarkhani in particular is acquitted of a charge that is not in fact recognized under Iranian civil law.”

Click here to read the rest of this article…

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