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

Iranian government pressures Christ followers of a church to self identify and 700 come forward and give their names and addresses saying, „Here we are”.

Also check out the
Global Persecution Watch Page – Stories from around the world
photo source wikipedia
iran iran

I’ve got to admit, reading this story made me shed tears. Having been born in the same communist country that  tortured among others, Richard Wurmbrand, I have read and known many stories of persecution, and praised God  for those courageous and loving men and women who were true examples of what a true follower of Christ looks like when they served God even  in prisons, because they were ‘not ashamed of the Gospel’. Here’s another example of Christ followers who fulfill those words of Paul in Romans 1:16- For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…From MissionNetworkNews – mnnonline.org :

Iran is putting more pressure on Christians. In recent days, the government demanded personal details from members of a Tehran church.

„People thought maybe a hundred or so would come forward, and over 700 came forward, gave their names and addresses and said, ‘Here we are. Here’s where we stand,'” an Operation Mobilization worker focused on Iran told us at Urbana 12.

The Islamic republic of Iran ranks #5 on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List, a compilation of countries most resistant to Christianity. Under Iran’s harsh apostasy law, anyone from a Muslim background who becomes a Christ-follower faces the death penalty.

The OM worker said for „Muslims who follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, there are often huge obstacles and problems…they’ll lose their jobs, their bank accounts are frozen, and in general, life becomes very difficult.”

Take Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, for example.

In 2009, Nadarkhani was arrested for protesting the Islamic indoctrination in his sons’ school system. He served nearly three years in prison, refusing the multiple opportunities to recant his faith. Despite an execution order signed in February 2012, the pastor was acquitted of apostasy and released seven months later.

Nadarkhani was taken into custody again on Christmas Day. Officials claimed that he must finish the remainder of his sentence, approximately 45 days. In September, the courts had stated that Nadarkhani could finish his remaining time in probation.

„There’s not been freedom of religion [in Iran],” the OM worker explained. „There has not been basic recognition of human rights, freedom of conscience, and freedom to practice your faith, especially if you’re a Muslim who decides that you want to believe in Jesus Christ.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports that December marks a traditional crack-down on Christians by the Iranian regime. Following Nadarkhani’s arrest on Christmas Day, nearly 50 believers were arrested at a Tehran home two days later. CSW says most were released after surrendering mobile phones, full contact details, and passwords to e-mails and social networking sites.

Despite a myriad of challenges, believers are standing firm. There’s a resiliency among Iranians who want to follow Christ, said the worker, „sort of like the story of the man who sold everything in order to get that treasure buried under the ground.”They value the precious treasure they’ve found; they’re willing to lose everything for…the sake of finding Christ.”

Pray for these precious people of Iran, that God strengthen them through their tribulation and that others in Iran come to know Christ through these precious Christ followers’ demonstration of what christianity is all about.

From Hovsepian Ministries and The Voice of the Martyrs Canada:

IRAN: A letter from prison

Related posts

Youcef Nadarkhani Re-Arrested by Iranian Authorities on Christmas Day

Photo form ChristianPost.com from November, 2012, as Pastor Nadarkhani thanked all those who prayed and advocated for his release during Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s National Conference in London, where he was a special guest.

Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was taken back to prison on Christmas Day allegedly because of improperly completed paperwork, multiple sources have said, denying him the chance to celebrate the birth of Christ at home with his family.

Persecution watchdog groups Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and Present Truth Ministries both reported the news, saying that pastor Nadarkhani has had to go back to Lakan Prison in Rasht to serve the remainder of his time in prison, another 40 days, and to complete paperwork that authorities say he had not filled out.

„We are disappointed to hear Pastor Nadarkhani has been returned to prison in such an irregular manner,” said Mervyn Thomas, CSW’s Chief Executive.

„The timing is insensitive and especially sad for his wife and sons, who must have been looking forward to celebrating Christmas with him for the first time in three years. We hope that Pastor Nadarkhani will be released without delay once this alleged sentence has been fully served. We are also asking for prayers for the pastor’s safety, and for his family at this difficult time.”

Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/youcef-nadarkhani-re-arrested-by-iranian-authorities-on-christmas-day-87239/#7D5l74tRbtfeCTD4.99

Global Persecution Watch – in English and Romanian

How to pray for the persecuted Church

From The Barnabas Fund

When we read of the suffering which our brothers and sisters in Christ endure for the sake of His Name, our hearts are moved and we long to bring them before the throne of grace. But sometimes it is difficult to know exactly how to pray, especially if we have never experienced such injustice or persecution ourselves. The Bible tells us that the Church will be persecuted. So if the Lord will continue to allow persecution, what exactly should we ask Him for when we pray about these situations? We hope that the ten points below will be helpful suggestions, under the guidance and prompting of the Holy Spirit.

  1. God that He is all-knowing that in Christ He himself experienced shame, pain and agonising death, as well as the glorious resurrection. Thank Him for His promise: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Josh 1:5).
  2. Pray that all governments will work for justice and righteousness. While Jesus says that in this world we will have trouble, (John 16.33) He does not say that it will always be present in every place.
  3. Pray that leaders of liberal democracies will use their influence to find ways to reduce, if not end, persecution in countries where it occurs. Just as Paul appealed to Caesar to seek justice (Acts 25), so Christians can appeal to secular governments.
  4. Pray for the growth of the Church where persecution flourishes, remembering that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”
  5. Pray for strength and courage for those undergoing persecution, and for peace that only God can bring. Thank Him that His grace is sufficient for their needs (2 Cor 12:9). Pray that their faith will not fail, but that their suffering will draw them closer to Him and increase their faith.
  6. Pray that the Holy Spirit will enable persecuted Christians to forgive and love their persecutors (Matt 5:44) and that their Christ-like reactions will have an impact on their persecutors.
  7. Pray that the Lord will be at work in the hearts of those who currently persecute our sisters and brothers to bring them to a saving knowledge of Himself, as He did with Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9).
  8. Thank the Lord for the privilege of entering into the sufferings of our sisters and brothers, remembering that “if one part [of the body] suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Cor 12:26).
  9. Pray that Christians who are experiencing persecution will not lose the ability to accept or trust genuine approaches from those who have formerly persecuted them, as when the believers in Jerusalem had to learn to accept the reality of Saul’s conversion (Acts 9). Pray that the Lord will give discernment, and relief from unnecessary fears.
  10. Pray for yourself and for persecuted Christians to be spiritually ready for whatever tomorrow brings, be that persecution, respite from suffering or Christ’s return (Matt 24.42).

See links below this short article on different christian persecution news and please pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters as the Bible instructs us to do in Hebrews 13:3

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were.

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.

WWL-Main-Download

Information and watch list from  the non denominational group http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.  Rankings released  January 8,2013

North Korea – For the eleventh year running, this is the most difficult place on earth to be a Christian. In a country of 24.5 million, there are just 400,000 Christians. North Korea is one of the remaining Communist states, and it is vehemently opposed to religion of any kind. Christians are classified as hostile and face arrest, detention, torture, even public execution. There is a system of labor camps including the renowned prison No. 15, which reportedly houses 6,000 Christians alone. But despite severe oppression, there is a growing underground church movement of an estimated 400,000 Christians. We have written on North Korea several times in the past year. At the bottom are some noteworthy articles you can read in order to become more familiar with the brutal hardship that is endured by the Christians of North Korea. You can also read about North Korea’s hidden gulag, below all of the links, and visit the website that published The Hidden Gulag Report.

African countries surge – Open Doors reports that persecution of Christians in Africa vastly increased in 2012. Mali is a newcomer on the list and holds the No. 7 position. Tanzania (No. 24), Kenya (No. 40), Uganda (47) and Niger (No. 50) also moved onto the World Watch List and Ethiopia is one of the strongest risers (from No. 38 to No. 15) on the list. In addition, the small African country of Eritrea made the Top 10 for the first time at No. 10. Libya climbed from No. 26 to No. 17.

Syria made the largest jump on the World Watch List. The country is No. 11 on the list, compared to No. 36 in 2012.

Christians are persecuted in at least 60 countries for their faith. They suffer interrogation, arrest and even death in some of the most dangerous and restrictive countries in the world. For 58 years Open Doors has supported and strengthened believers worldwide through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development and prayer and presence ministry. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

The Hidden Gulag

Second Edition

The Lives and Voices of
“Those Who are Sent to the Mountains”

David Hawk

Description: Based on extensive interviews with over 60 defectors and more than 40 satellite photos of North Korean political prisoner camps, the report calls for the dismantlement of the vast North Korean gulag system in which 150,000 to 200,000 are incarcerated.

From Page 158: In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, crimes against humanity are committed against persons sent to the political penal labor colonies. Evidence shows that:

1. Perceived or suspected “wrong-doers” or “wrong-thinkers,” or in some instances, persons with“wrong-knowledge,”123 and/or their family from the DPRK State Security Agency,124 which refuses to acknowledge the deprivation of freedom and refuses to provide information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons with the intent of removing those persons from the “protection of law” for a prolonged period of time.

2. The abducted persons are subjected to deportation or forcible transfer from the area in which they were lawfully present without grounds permitted under international law.

3. The abducted and deported persons are deposited at distant, remote, penal labor colonies or encampments, where they are subjected to “imprisonment or severe deprivation of physi- cal liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law.”129 These abductions, deporta- tions and the subsequent imprisonments all take place without any judicial process. There is no arrest, charge, trial, conviction or sentence, as provided in the DPRK Criminal Code and the DPRK Criminal Procedures Code.

4.The prolonged, indefinite detention of family members is a violation of Article 26 of the ICCPR, “…the law shall prohibit any discrimi- nation and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” The imprisonment of family members amounts to what the ICC Statute terms as “persecu- tion.” Most family members of suspected wrong-doers or wrong-thinkers are detained for the rest of their lives in sections of the prison camps termed “total control zones.”

5. Once cut off from any contact with the coun- try or world outside of the prison camp, including former family and friends, the imprisoned persons are subjected, usually for a lifetime, to arduous forced labor under extremely severe circumstances. This begins with the provision of below subsistence level food rations.

7. Prisoners are regularly subjected to beatings and sometimes more systematic torture for infractions of prison camp regulations and during interrogations.

8.On numerous occasions, prisoners compelled to observe executions (which are carried out publicly to demonstrate to other prisoners the severe consequences of escape attempts and/or non-compliance with camp regulations) …

9. Prison camp officials and guards are regularly able to exact sexual relations with female prison- ers under circumstances that have been judged to constitute rape or sexual violence …

These are just a few excerpts from the  CONCLUSIONS in the Hidden Gulag Report. You can read the entire report here – http://www.hrnk.org/uploads/pdfs/HRNK_HiddenGulag2_Web_5-18.pdf

~ RECAP of 2013 ~

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Syria

Journeyman Pictures films
the persecuted Christians in Syria (full film)

~ RECAP of 2012 ~

New – On Christmas Day, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was rearrested again in Iran – see article here –Youcef Nadarkhani Re-Arrested by Iranian Authorities on Christmas Day

The American Center for Law and Justice is reporting-

Breaking: On September 8th, 2012, Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been released from jail in Iran, acquitted of apostasy (death penalty), and sentenced to time served for evangelizing Muslims. He is now home with his family after spending 1,062 days in prison for his Christian faith.

More details to follow at ACLJ.org

May we continue to pray for the thousands of others who are suffering for their faith in Christ. Hebrews 13:3 „Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

  1. Where the 12 Apostles died (On Google Maps) -Tradition holds that all the apostles died as martyrs
  2. Ignatius – Bishop of Antioch and one of the first New Testament martyrs
  3. Suffering in the life of John Bunyan
  4. Sovereignty,Suffering and The Work of Missions by Steve Saint – son of missionary martyr Nate Saint who died in Ecuador with Jim Elliott (Desiring God)
  5. Through the Gates of Splendor – 5 missionaries speared to death in 1956 on a beach in Ecuador (Jim Elliott documentary)
  6. The story behind the hymn „All hail the power of Jesus name”
  7. Persecution is coming to America – Paul Washer
  8. Nigeria: The young victims of Christian persecution (video)
  9. Voice of the Martyrs – video report from Nigeria
  10. International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted November 11, 2012
  11. Persecution watch in Nigeria – it is estimated between 300 – 1,000 already martyred in 2011
  12. North Korea’s Hidden Gulag – Google earth satellite imagery proves the internment camps exist and imprison tens of thousands of Christians
  13. An estimated 40,000 to 70,000 Christians housed in internment camps in North Korea
  14. The persecuted church – 200 million Christians living with persecution
  15. Persecution watch in Nigeria – it is estimated between 300 – 1,000 already martyred in 2011
  16. Iran: A Letter from prison
  17. Tales of persecution – Ethiopia
  18. The world was not worthy of them, who is the God they serve? (1)… Graham Staines’ family, India
  19. Hebrews 11:38…the world was not worthy of them (2) Nigeria Pastor, James Musa Rike, loses family in attack
  20. Missionary from Lebanon crosses into Syria to baptize believer, he has to bury him instead as a martyr
  21. Human trafficking at the Indianapolis Superbowl? Some things just can’t be ignored any longer!
  22. Free Online Book – Adoniram Johnson
  23. Free Online Book – Biography – John G. Paton – You Will Be Eaten By Cannibals!
  24. The Radicals- The first Anabaptists: Michael and Margaretha Sattler (1525)
  25. William Tyndale Biography (c 1492-1536) Photos of Tyndale Bibles
  26. Peace on earth? Not until Christ returns…unless you are a Christ follower
  27. Randy Alcorn – Difficult Truths: Sovereignty, Suffering, and the Promise of Heaven
  28. Free ebook from John Piper: Disability and the Sovereign Goodness of God

  1. PAGINA RICHARD WURMBRAND si Pastorul – Film Documentar
  2. Istoria Martirilor traducere de carte in Limba Romana
  3. Viata lui Sadhu Sundar Singh – traducere de carte in Limba Romana
  4. Koreea de Nord – crestinul prins in posesia unei Biblii e condamnat la inchisoare cu intreaga familie si urmatoarele 3 generatii
  5. Afganul Said Musa eliberat cu ajutorul lui John Piper, Rick Warren – Said Musa released with help from two Pastors
  6. Brutal Persecution in Romania, Iosif Ton
  7. Extreme devotion: Anutza Moise – Her Love and Advocacy Helped Birth a Ministry to the Persecuted Church (Richard Wurmbrand)
  8. Extreme devotion: The Doctor Who Helped Find Richard Wurmbrand – Devotament extraordinar: Doctorul Care a Ajutat la Gasirea lui Wurmbrand
  9. Comemorare – Anul Richard Wurmbrand (Partea 1) si  Anul Richard Wurmbrand (Partea 2)
  10. Ziua de Rugăciune pentru Pacea Ierusalimului, 7 Octombrie 2012

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.

Final order signed for Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s Execution – Urgent Prayer is needed!

After many lies from the Iranian government sources in the past year, about the danger Pastor Youcef faces for the crime of apostasy- that is the crime you are guilty of for becoming a Christian in Iran-  Mission News Network reports that his execution order has been signed and he now awaits execution at any moment. Pray for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and his family, that God gives and strengthens their faith, as this is the biggest trial a man or woman could face. Here is the article in its entirety from Mission News Network:

Iranian pastor’s execution could come at any time

Posted: 23 February, 2012

Iran (MNN) ― Sources in Iran say an execution order for Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been signed.

According to Present Truth Ministries (closely connected with Nadarkhani), this is grim news. Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs USA, confirms the news.  „Apparently, that execution order has not been delivered to his family or his attorneys, but the report is that it has been signed. That means that at any time, he could be executed.”

Often the government will execute people without any prior notice to attorneys or family. It’s also unclear whether it has been approved by the Ayatollah who is the head of the Judiciary Sadegh Larijani.

Nadarkhani was born to a Muslim family and admits that he was introduced to the teachings of Islam, but he claims he never accepted the faith. That was the basis of his appeal to the High Court on the apostasy verdict.

Nettleton explains, „His reply to that is: ‘Well no. I wasn’t a practicing Muslim.’ This execution order being signed says that the court has not approved that logic. They are saying: ‘Yes in fact, you were a Muslim. Because you’re a Christian now, you’re an apostate, and you’ll be executed for that apostasy.'”

Pastor Youcef has refused to recant his faith during the three years he’s been separated from his wife and two sons. His conviction and sentence has been delayed due to international pressure, according to other reports from Present Truth Ministries.

Meanwhile, on February 17, Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) introduced a resolution denouncing Iran for its leaders’ ruling of apostasy against Youcef Nadarkhani and calling for his immediate release. So far, it has the support of seven other members. Nearly 90 members of Congress previously signed a letter supporting Nadarkhani.

When asked if international pressure would be enough to intervene again, Nettleton responded, „The most important thing we can do is to pray. There are petitions you can sign. We have Pastor Youcef on PrisonerAlert.com. They can also send e-mails to Iranian authorities asking that he not be executed.”

Given the application of the apostasy law, one would think it would have a severe „chilling effect” on evangelism. Quite the opposite, says Nettleton. The Arab Spring and Iran’s Revolution played a big role in that.

Ruthless government oppression of the protestors shook many Muslims’ faith. To them, the government is the mullah, and the mullah is the government. That means, Nettleton goes on to say, that „when there is disappointment with the government or frustration with the government, it translates in people’s minds to disappointment and frustration with Islam.”

People are looking for an anchored Truth, „so there’s hunger for the Gospel. There’s an openness for the Gospel. And the Church is growing at a rate that is really mind-boggling.”

Ask the Lord to uphold and sustain Youcef, his wife, and their two children. Pray that this family may soon be reunited. Pray for Youcef’s legal team and all those in authority connected with this case.

Pray that the Body of Christ will continue to multiply and mature despite persecution.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani faces imminent execution in Iran

The Christian Post reports that 34 year old Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who has been under death sentence for refusing to renounce his Christian faith was under court examination this week after the Iran Supreme Court upheld his death sentence of September 2010. Pastor Nadarkhani has been jailed since 2009.

The Christian Post reports that „On Wednesday, Nadarkhani refused for the fourth time in open court to renounce his Christian faith. That’s one opportunity more than required under Iranian law to execute the pastor for apostasy. In a letter Nadarkhani wrote last June from Iran’s Lakin Prison, he affirmed his determination to stay true to his Christian faith even to his death.”

Pastor Nadarkhani obviously is standing on God’s word- Luke 12:4

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.

He should make us consider carefully how much we trust Christ and how much we reflect this in the way we live our life each and every day.

May the Lord be with him! And may he shake us all out of our selfishness and complacency.

You can read the article here at the Christian Post website.

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