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Remember The Persecuted Christians, Don't forget Persecuted Chr
istians in Iran, Pray for Pastor hamid Pourmand facing charge of Apostasy and possible death sentence in
 Iran

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani - Gilan, Iran

  • 09/08/2012 - Pastor Nadarkhani Released, Acquitted of Apostasy
  • 03/18/2012 - Christians pray for Iranian pastor facing execution
  • 02/22/2012 - Iranian Authorities Order Death Warrant for Pastor Nadarkhani
  • 02/01/2012 - As of February 1, 2012 - Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is still in Prison, Days Imprisoned: 855
  • 12/16/2011 - Pastor Naderkhani to spend 1 more year in Jail
  • 11/15/2011 - Pastor Youcef's Health Detoriating in Jail
  • 09/30/2011 - Persecution in Iran troubles Clinton
  • 09/29/2011 - White House Condemns Possible Execution of Iranian Pastor
  • 09/27/2011 - Iran Pastor Refuses To 'Abandon' Christ; Execution Perhaps "Thursday"
  • 07/05/2011 - Iran: Doubts Cast On Reports That Nadarkhani Death Sentence Has Been Annulled He may have to renounce his faith, or face execution
  • 07/03/2011 - Iran's supreme court 'annuls' death sentence for Youcef Nadarkhani - But still his life may be in danger
  • 06/28/2011: Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's Death Sentence Upheld by Iranian Supreme Court - He could face execution by hanging in hours or days
  • 06/15/2011: As of June 15, 2001, Pastor Youcef is still in Prison - Days Imprisoned: 615
  • 12/07/2010: The appeal has been filed. The next step in this process is to wait for the Supreme Court of Iran to make a decision.
  • 11/13/2010: Death Sentence Delivered for the crime of Apostasy - 20 days to appeal and stop the sentence
  • 10/23/2010: Temporary Delay To Execution of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani - Iran Security officials have asked the courts to temporarily delay the pastor's execution until further notice. Pastor Nadarkhani is still be incarcerated in the security prison in Lakan, Iran.
  • 10/11/2010: Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's wife (Fatemeh Passandideh) is released after four months in Prision
  • 10/02/2010: Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, responsible for one of the largest Protestant communities in Iran, "has been" sentenced to death for apostasy Saturday, October 2 by the 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the province of Gilan.
  • 06/15/2010: Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, his wife and several other followers of Christ are arrested in the city of Rasht, Province Gilan, Iran

Remember those in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3, NIV

Remember the persecuted and Imprisoned Christians in Iran, India, Africa, ...


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Iran: Pastor Nadarkhani Released, Acquitted Of Apostasy

He thanks everyone who supported and prayed for him

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

IRAN (ANS) -- ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net) has confirmed that Youcef Nadarkhani, the Church of Iran pastor sentenced to death for apostasy, has been released and is now at home with his family.

Pastor Youcef -- Now Free

According to reliable sources, including Christian Solidarity Worldwide (www.csw.org.uk ) and Present Truth Ministries (www.presenttruthmn.com), Pastor Nadarkhani was acquitted of apostasy, but found guilty of evangelizing Muslims during court proceedings that took place today (Saturday, September 8, 2012). He was sentenced to three years imprisonment for the latter charge, but released because he had already served this time.

Pastor Nadarkhani was arrested in his home city of Rasht in 2009 soon after questioning the Muslim monopoly of religious instruction for children, which he felt was unconstitutional. He was sentenced to death for apostasy in 2010, a decision that was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2011. Although the Iranian penal code did not specify death for apostasy, a constitutional loophole allowed judges to refer to Sharia law and authoritative fatwas to justify such a sentence. Today the pastor had been expected to face new charges for unspecified crimes, but was instead released.

CSW's Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas said, .CSW is delighted to learn of Pastor Nadarkhani's release after a long incarceration. We commend the Iranian judiciary for this step, which is a triumph for justice and the rule of law. While we rejoice at this wonderful news, we do not forget hundreds of others who are harassed or unjustly detained on account of their faith, and CSW is committed to continue campaigning until all of Iran's religious minorities are able to enjoy religious freedom as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is party..

Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries, .We give thanks to God for his deliverance and the answer to our prayers. Our sources in Iran have informed us that Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been acquitted of apostasy and found guilty of evangelizing Muslims. He has been sentenced to 3 years in prison which he has already served.

He has been released from prison and has now been reunited with his family and is at home with them.

DeMars added that Pastor Youcef had said, "Thank you to everyone that has supported me with your prayers."

We are filled with joy from this news and are so grateful that God has delivered our brother,. said DeMars. .Please don.t forget what happened to Pastor Mehdi Dibaj who had his apostasy charges reversed and then was murdered shortly after his release. Pray for him, his family and everyone involved in his case..

Christians pray for Iranian pastor facing execution

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2012, 9:28 (GMT) - ChristinsToday

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani faces an uncertain future

Christians around the world are praying for release of a pastor in Iran who is facing execution for apostasy.

Yousef Nadarkhani was arrested in 2009 and found guilty of apostasy. He was sentenced to death and has been in prison ever since, awaiting the outcome of a lengthy appeal process. He was reportedly given the option of renouncing his faith in order to have the charges annulled and the death sentence lifted, but he refused.

There are fears that the pastor could be executed at any time after unconfirmed reports emerged last month that the Iranian authorities had given the green light for his execution.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide launched a month of prayer last week in the run-up to the pastor's 35th birthday on 12 April. The organisation, which supports persecuted Christians, said it was not uncommon for Iranian authorities to carry out executions without warning and announce them only after they have been carried out. CSW's month of prayer is being supported by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). Godfrey Yogarajah, Executive Director of the WEA's Religious Liberty Commission said: "In Acts 12, we read of Peter's miraculous release from prison while the church was earnestly praying for him.

"We have a vital role to play by standing in solidarity with Pastor Nadarkhani and praying a lifting of the death sentence, and for his unconditional release."


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Iranian Authorities Order Death Warrant for Pastor Nadarkhani

By Michael Ireland - Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

RASHT, IRAN (ANS) -- A US-based ministry has received a report out of Iran that the Iranian courts have signed an execution order for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.

At this point this is the only detail we know," said Jason DeMars of www.presenttruthmn.com .

Pastor Nadarkhani and his wife.
(Courtesy Present Truth Ministries).

Based upon how the Iranian courts have acted in the past we do not know what to anticipate. Often they will execute people without any prior notice to attorney.s or family,. Demars said in an e-mail to ANS.

The order has not been delivered to Youcef.s family and we do not know if they will allow another appeal. We also do not know if it has been approved by the Ayatollah who is the head of the Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani,. said Demars.

At this point I ask that you be praying for his deliverance and that God would use this as an opportunity to declare to everyone that all power is given to the Lord Jesus Christ and resides in His Name. It is never too late for the Lord to bring deliverance..

Full Story at Assist New Service


Iran Jails Pastor Extra Year Before Feared Execution
Friday, December 16, 2011 (7:48 am)

by Stefan Bos, Worthy News Correspondent

TEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News). Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has to serve at least one more year in prison before he may be executed for refusing to abandon his faith in Christ and return to Islam, an official assisting him told Worthy News Thursday, December 14.

Iran's judiciary wants to use that time to "use whatever means necessary to cause him to convert to Islam", explained Jason DeMars, director of advocacy group Present Truth Ministries (PTM).

DeMars, who is closely involved in the case, said the head of Iran's Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, had ordered the presiding judge over the trial in the city of Rasht, to "do nothing for one year."

"The order was to not issue a verdict and hold Youcef in prison," DeMars quoted an attorney of the pastor as saying. The court was told "to use whatever means necessary to cause him to recant and return to Islam," DeMars added.

The 34-year-old Nadarkhani, who has a wife and two children, was detained in his home city of Rasht in October 2009 while trying to register his house church.

"APOSTASY" CHARGES

Nadarkhani was eventually found guilty of "apostasy", or abandoning Islam, in September 2010 and sentenced to death by the Rasht court.

Click here to read the full report


Iranian Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Health Deteriorating in Jail (VIDEO)
By Herbert Pinnock | Christian Post Reporter

Iranian Christian Pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani is reported to be deteriorating in health, and experiencing extreme living conditions, for his refusal to recant his Christian faith, a member of the Church of Iran who requested anonymity has said.

The Christian Post > International > Middle East|Wed, Nov. 16 2011 04:28 PM EDT Iranian Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Health Deteriorating in Jail (VIDEO) By Herbert Pinnock | Christian Post Reporter Text Share RSS Print E-mailIranian Christian Pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani is reported to be deteriorating in health, and experiencing extreme living conditions, for his refusal to recant his Christian faith, a member of the Church of Iran who requested anonymity has said. As reported by Compass Direct News, the source indicated that there is limited communication with the pastor and that Nadarkhani is experiencing physical and psychological torture.

The source described Nadarkhani as being placed in solitary confinement and not being able to speak to anyone for long periods, as well as being constantly threatened with death.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is waiting for Iran.s Supreme Leader Ayatolla Ali Khameni to hand down a ruling concerning his case, which should come before the second week of December. Nadarkhani could face execution for failure to recant his religion.

Nadarkhani was originally arrested in his home city of Rasht in Oct. 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.

He was reportedly initially charged with protesting. However, the charges against him were later changed to apostasy or abandoning Islam, and again later controversially changed to rape and sexual-related charges.


Persecution in Iran troubles Clinton

Recent Picture of Pastor Youcef Naderkhani in Jail Sept. 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Iran's continued persecution of religious minorities is a particular concern for the U.S. government, the U.S. secretary of state said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her government was concerned by reports of Iran's continued repression of its own people, especially those of "diverse faiths."

"We are particularly concerned by reports that Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is facing execution on charges of apostasy for refusing to recant his faith," Clinton said. "This comes amid a harsh onslaught against followers of diverse faiths, including Zoroastrians, Sufis and Baha'is."

Click here to read the full report


White House Condemns Possible Execution of Iranian Pastor

By Joshua Rhett Miller
Published September 29, 2011 - FoxNews.com

The White House condemned the conviction and possible death sentence for an Iranian pastor who refuses to renounce his Christian faith on Thursday, saying the execution would further demonstrate Iranian authorities "utter disregard" for religious freedom.

Youcef Nadarkhani, 32, who maintains he has never been a Muslim as an adult, has Islamic ancestry and therefore must recant his faith in Jesus Christ, the 11th branch of Iran's Gilan Provincial Court has ruled. Iran's Supreme Court had ordered the trial court to determine whether Nadarkhani had been a Muslim prior to converting to Christianity.

"Pastor Nadarkhani has done nothing more than maintain his devout faith, which is a universal right for all people," the statement released by the White House read. "That the Iranian authorities would try to force him to renounce that faith violates the religious values they claim to defend, crosses all bounds of decency, and breaches Iran's own international obligations. A decision to impose the death penalty would further demonstrate the Iranian authorities' utter disregard for religious freedom, and highlight Iran's continuing violation of the universal rights of its citizens. We call upon the Iranian authorities to release Pastor Nadarkhani, and demonstrate a commitment to basic, universal human rights, including freedom of religion."

The judges in the case, according to the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), demanded that Nadarkhani recant his Christian faith before submission of evidence. Though the judgment runs against current Iranian and international laws and is not codified in Iranian penal code, the judge stated that the court must uphold the decision of the 27th Branch of the Supreme Court in Qom.

When asked to repent, Nadarkhani stated: "Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?"

"To the religion of your ancestors, Islam," the judge replied, according to the American Center for Law & Justice.

"I cannot," Nadarkhani said.

Click here to read the full report


Iran Pastor Refuses To 'Abandon' Christ; Execution Perhaps "Thursday"

Posted on: 2011-09-27 02:34:34
By Stefan J. Bos, Worthy News Correspondent

RASHT, IRAN (Worthy News)-- A young pastor of Iran's largest house church movement has told an Iranian court he will not "recant" his faith in Christ despite facing execution as early as Thursday, September 29, for abandoning Islam, church sources said.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani of the Church of Iran was asked by the Gilan provincial court in the city of Rasht to "repent" ahead of his next hearing Tuesday, September 27. However Nadarkhani declined, according to comments obtained by BosNewsLife.

Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?, the 34-year-old church leader asked during his first hearing Sunday, September 25. When the court told him to return to the religion of your ancestors, Islam Nadarkhani replied:I can not.

The Court said however that Youcef Nadarkhani, whose first name is also spelled as Yousef, has"Islamic ancestry" and therefore "must recant his faith in Jesus Christ," trial observers said. NADARKHANI "HAPPY" - Yet, fellow Christians following the trial described Youcef Nadarkhani as "being happy [with] hisfaith strong." Sources within the Church of Iran said however they fear Nadarkhani may be hanged as early as Thursday,September 29, following the further two days of court hearings.

Though Nadarkhani's supporters were told the case will be send back to Iran's Supreme Court, they fear the provincial court will use a law, temporarily ratified by parliament, "to execute himas soon as Thursday," September 29, explained advocacy group Present Truth Ministries (PTM)."This law dictates what should be done with apostates, depending on what type of apostasy has been committed,"said PTM Director Jason DeMars, who closely follows the case. "My sources tell me that [the court has been told] to give the 'apostate'three days to recant, then execute him," hetold BosNewsLife.

LEGISLATION EXPLAINED
Section 6 - 225 of Iran's controversial legislation says when a person's parents were Muslims at the moment they were trying to have a baby, and he or she converts to another religious without claiming to be Muslim, he or sheis a national apostate, DeMars added.
"Section 8 225 also states the procedure for handling a national apostate, explained DeMars. "The death sentence is the penalty for National apostate, but after the verdict is pronounced, he or she will be commanded to repent of whathe or she has done...If he refuses to repent, he will be killed."

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who is married with two children, was detained in his home city of Rasht 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, rights activists say.

Click here to read the full report


Iran: Doubts Cast On Reports That Nadarkhani Death Sentence Has Been Annulled He may have to renounce his faith, or face execution

By Dan Wooding - Founder of ASSIST Ministries

TEHRAN, IRAN (ANS) -- Christians in Iran have challenged news reports that the death penalty for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been annulled, pointing out that in reality the Supreme Court appears to have added a precondition requiring him to renounce his faith, or face execution.

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), 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. "Pastor Nadarkhani's lawyer, the prominent human rights defender Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, is meant to receive written notification of the verdict next week. However Mr. Dadkhah, who along with Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi is a founding member of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre, an Iranian organization, is also now facing legal difficulties," said a CSW spokesperson.

On Sunday July 3, 2011, a court in Tehran sentenced Mr. Dadkhah to nine years in jail and a 10-year ban on practicing law or teaching at university for "actions and propaganda against the Islamic regime". He has 20 days to appeal; however, sources indicated that he may be imprisoned within a week.

CSW says that when deciding on an appeal, the Supreme Court has three legal options; it can either decide on a retrial, on the withdrawal of initial charges and filing of fresh ones, or on the release of the accused. In this instance, since apostasy is not codified in civil law, the judges may have made use of Article 167 of the Iranian Constitution, which states that while they have a duty to find a basis for their rulings within the legal code, "if such a basis doesn't exist, they must cite reliable Islamic sources or a valid fatwa from which they have drawn a judgment in order to issue a verdict. Judges may not refuse to hear cases or issue rulings only because the case before them is not covered in the legal code, or there may be shortcomings or conflicts in the law."

It adds that the Supreme Court decision in the Nadarkhani case, which has been variously described as "flawed", "contradictory" and "extra-judicial", may indicate that the judges were under political pressure not to release Pastor Nadarkhani. There are also unconfirmed reports of a split decision, with one of the judges allegedly stating that the ruling made little sense. A church source informed CSW, "This is not good news. It merely gives more time to re-examine the case, but in the end the judges will be told what to do".


Iran 'annuls' death sentence for Youcef Nadarkhani - But still his life may be in danger

Sunday, July 3, 2011 - By Henghameh Fahimi | AFP . Sun, Jul 3, 2011

TEHRAN, IRAN (AFP) -- Iran's supreme court has overturned a death sentence handed down to Yusef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor accused of apostasy for having converted from Islam, his lawyer told AFP on Sunday.

"The supreme court has annuled the death sentence and sent the case back to the court in Rasht (his hometown), asking the accused to repent," Mohammad Ali Dadkhah said.

Nadarkhani, now 32, converted from Islam to Christianity at the age of 19 and became a pastor of a small evangelical community called the Church of Iran.

He was arrested in October 2009 and condemned to death for apostasy under Iran's Islamic Sharia laws, which however allow for such verdicts to be overturned if the convicted person "repents" and renounces his conversion.

After his conviction was upheld by an appeal court in Gilan province in September 2010, Nadarkhani turned to the supreme court. His wife, who was initially sentenced to life imprisonment, was released on appeal.

The lawyer said the verdict had been read out to him on the telephone and that he needed to travel to Rasht, where Nadarkhani is being held, to see the ruling for himself.

Dadkhah said he himself was sentenced on Sunday by a Tehran court to nine years in jail and a 10-year ban on practicing law or teaching at university for "actions and propaganda against the Islamic regime".

The lawyer said he had been criticised for having cooperated with the Centre for the Defence of Human Rights, an organisation founded by Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, as well as for giving interviews to foreign radio stations. --"I have 20 days to lodge an appeal," he said.

This information has also been reported by The ASSIST News Services (ANS)


Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's Death Sentence Upheld by Iranian Supreme Court - He could face execution by hanging in hours or days

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

By Michael Ireland - Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

IRAN (ANS) -- An Iranian pastor, convicted of apostasy and sentenced to death, may have only hours or days to live, according to a US-based Christian ministry acquainted with the facts of his case.

Jason DeMars, of www.presenttruthmn.com , told ANS: .We have been Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and his wife Fatemah Pasindedih (Photo courtesy www.Presenttruthmn.com) notified that the conviction of brother Youcef Nadarkhani for apostasy, as well as the sentence of death, has been upheld and confirmed by the Iranian Supreme Court.

"The way that this situation is typically handled is that at any time, and without advance notice, they will carry out the death sentence. First, they will ask him to recant, and if he does not, then he will be executed."

DeMars says: "There is nothing more to be done to help his case from within Iran. The only thing that can affect his case now is international pressure."

"I ask that each of you earnestly pray and follow what God calls you to do. We know that we are called to be faithful unto death and that many are killed for their faith everyday around the world, but as Christians let.s do what we can for Youcef, pray for him and raise our voices against the Iranian regime."

Youcef Nadarkhani is 33-years-old and from Rasht, in the Gilan province of Iran.

For the past ten years he has been a pastor in a network of house churches. He was previously imprisoned in December of 2006, the charges being apostasy (leaving Islam for Christianity) and evangelism (spreading the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ), but was released two weeks later.

Youcef is married and has two sons, ages 8 and 6. They were attending a local school when the government decided that all children should be taught about Islam, including those from Christian families.

Youcef went to the school and protested this based on the Iranian Constitution, which allows for freedom to practice religion. As a result, the secret police called him before the political tribunal in Rasht, Iran on October 12, 2009. At that time he was arrested, charged for protesting, and has been in prison in Lakan (which is seven miles south of Rasht) ever since. Later the charges were changed to apostasy and evangelism to Muslims.

DeMars told ANS that throughout this time he has had access to an attorney, and has been allowed visits from his wife, children, and friends.

"However, for the first month in prison and two weeks before his trial up until now the visits and meetings with his attorney have been limited. They have used various methods to try to convert him back to Islam, including giving him pills, apparently in an attempt to claim that he was insane."

Because Youcef.s faith remained strong, Iranian authorities decided to arrest his wife in order to place more pressure on him. On June 18th, Fatemah Pasindedih was arrested and placed in prison in Lakan.

DeMars said: .During this time their boys went to live with a relative. Both Youcef and his wife Fatemah were threatened by authorities that their children would be taken away and given to a Muslim family.

"Youcef was not swayed to turn back to Islam, so his wife was put on trial without an attorney, and sentenced to life in prison. An attorney was later hired and the sentence appealed. The sentence and conviction were overturned and she was released."

On September 21 and 22, 2010, Youcef was put on trial, and verbally given the sentence of death. A written verdict was delayed and then delivered, on November 13, 2010, by the 1st Court of the Revolutionary Tribunal. He is to be executed by hanging for the crime of apostasy. Twenty days are allowed to appeal the sentence with the Supreme Court of Iran.

DeMars said Youcef is now in the secret police security prison in Lakan. He has been held in solitary confinement. Recently he has been allowed visits from his attorney and wife once a week.

DeMars concluded: .Please contact your elected officials using the principle of the Importunate Woman of Luke 18:1-8 who had the judge listen to her because she continued to bother him. Please help us as we tirelessly fight against this conviction against our brother.

"It is critical that we continue to pray for Pastor Youcef and make our voices heard. Please reach out to your elected officials and to the international news media so that Youcef.s fate will come to light."

Reported by ASSIST News Service (ANS) of Lake Forest, California on Tuesday June 28, 2011


Appeal Process for Youcef Nadarkhani

On December 7, 2010, in Iran, by Jason DeMars ..

We have received many inquiries as to the next step in the appeal process for brother Youcef Nardarkhani. We have verified that the appeal has been filed. The next step in this process is to wait for the Supreme Court of Iran to make a decision. There will be no hearing. There is also no specific time frame in which this decision is made. It is imperative that we all earnestly pray for Youcef and the officals making the decision during this time.

CNN is now covering the story of Youcef and Behrouz. We know that this is but a tool in the hand of God, and we are praying that it helps bring deliverance for our brothers. If you would like to read an article that they published, it can be found here: http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/12/07/iran.christian.death.sentence/index.html?iref=allsearch

International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has also been working on behalf of Youcef and Behrouz, and has published an article calling for their release. You can read the article here: http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2010/12/khanjani-nadarkhani-apostasy/ Again, we ask that you continue to contact your government officials. Most of all, we ask for your prayer. Our hope and faith lies solely in the Lord Jesus; we continue to pray that He would strengthen the faith of these men, give them courage and boldness in the face of persecution, and that they would feel His presence with them.

Iran Court Documents


Youcef Nadarkhani - Death Sentence Delivered On November 13, 2010, in Iran, by Jason DeMars

Youcef Nadarkhani, stating that he is to be hung for the crime of apostasy. There are 20 days to appeal the verdict, and Youcef.s attorney is now beginning the process of the appeal.

The prayer burdens surrounding this development are many. Please pray for Youcef, that God would grant him peace and strength in this hour, that God would move on his behalf, and that he would be delivered! Pray also for his wife and children; this is extremely difficult for them. We are trusting our great Lord to give her the peace that comes only from the True Comforter. Pray that the church in Iran would stand strong, that their faith would not be shaken, but that their eyes would remain fixed on Christ. Pray also for the local officials in charge of this case in Iran, that their hearts would be changed, and that they would experience salvation in Jesus Christ.

Brothers and Sisters, it is critical that we intercede constantly on behalf of our brother Youcef. I trust that, as the Lord leads each one individually, Youcef will be lifted before the Lord continually with prayer and fasting.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ~ James 5:16b


Saturday, October 23, 2010 - Iran, by Jason DeMars (Reported in Present Truth Ministries

Temporary Delay To Execution of Brother Youcef Nadarkhani

Our sources have confirmed that a written verdict has not yet been delivered to brother Youcef Nadarkhani.s attorney. He is currently under a sentence of death, but they are delaying the delivery of the verdict in order to put more pressure on him to turn away from Christ. Once the written verdict is delivered, there will be 20 days to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Currently, his attorney is being denied any access to him. However, security officials have informed the courts to temporarily delay his execution until further notice. Youcef is being kept in a security prison in Lakan, Iran, which is just south of Rasht, his hometown. Below is a quote from an Iranian mullah so that you can understand their frame of mind.

The circles for promotion of Christianity, Baha.ism, Wahhabism, Sufism. should be eliminated with the efforts of the Law Enforcement Force as per God.s wish. The most significant psychological disease is created by these meetings and circles. They are corrupt and the biggest disrupters of the country.s security.. Grand Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani37 in a meeting with Qom province.s Law Enforcement Force commander, March 201038

Currently our course of action is to continue in prayer for Youcef to have strength to endure this pressure and suffering, and that he would soon be delivered from the hand of his enemies. Pray for the safety and wisdom of his attorney. Our greatest weapon is prayer!

Secondly, remember that Esther was put in a particular position that she was able to use to deliver her fellow Jews from death.

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, [then] shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father.s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for [such] a time as this? Esther 4:14

Esther did what she could from the position God put her in. We are members of the body of Christ, and all of us are members of one another and of Jesus Christ. We cannot be silent at this time; first we pray, but second we lift up our voices to speak against this great evil.

It has been confirmed that what we are doing is working and that the pressure that Iran is feeling is the cause for the delay in Youcef.s execution. Our continued course of action should be to alert our government leaders and the international media. Please alert Fox News, CNN, etc. to the situation. If we all begin to alert the media to this cause we may get some coverage of this story.

In Christ, Jason DeMars



Monday, October 18, 2010

Christian Pastor in Iran Faces Death Penalty in One Week for "Thought Crime".

Believers in the West Urged to Inform Friendly Governments of Pastor.s Impending Death Sentence

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

TEHRAN, IRAN (ANS) -- A Christian pastor in Iran who was sentenced to death for what is being called a "thought crime" has less than a week to live.

Advocates for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani told ASSIST News that while all of the other prisoners arrested in a wide-ranging crackdown by Iranian authorities have been released, Nadarkhani still faces the death penalty on October 24.

Present Truth Ministries (www.presenttruthmn.com ) says all detained recently by the Iranian Government, except for Youcef and one other pastor who is awaiting one more judge to pass the death sentence, are now free from prison.

The ministry says Youcef only has one more week before his sentence is due to be carried out. Sunday, October 24 is the date of his impending execution. However, the ministry did have good news to share about Youcef's wife, known affectionately as "Sister Tina."

Writing on the ministry webblog, Jason DeMars says: "We have received news that Monday, October 11, Fatemeh Pasandideh (Youcef Nadarkhani's wife) has been released! A second trial was held and she was acquitted and released and is now home with her two children! What a wonderful thing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving!! (in Canada)."

DeMars had just received a report that Fatemeh Pasandideh (Sister Tina), the wife of pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was released as of early last week.

DeMars writes: "Previously, she had been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the 'thought crime' of converting to Christianity."

He continued: "The attorney that was hired appealed the verdict and a new trial was held. She was acquitted of the crime and released. She has now been reunited with her two boys. Give thanks to God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his grace and mercy in answering our prayers and allowing sister Tina to be released."

DeMars asks Chrstians in the West to continue to pray for Sister Tina's husband, Youcef Nadarkhani and to approach government authorities to lobby for Youcef's acquittal and release.

"He is still in prison and has been sentenced to death. We have a week to spread the word to others to pray and to inform government officials of the violation of his human rights."

DeMars said Nadarkhani was convicted of converting to Christianity and bringing others to faith in Christ. DeMars added: "Pray also for pastor Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani, who is being held in prison in Shiraz, Iran and has been given limited contact with his family and his attorney. "It is reported that he is being held in the area of the prison that holds HIV and Hepatitis patients and that he is quite ill. He will not talk about it to those with whom he speaks, however, he barely has a voice. Please pray for them and ask God to deliver them from the hands of their enemies."

ccording to webblogs following the case, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, responsible for one of the largest Protestant communities in Iran, "has been" sentenced to death for apostasy Saturday, October 2 by the 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the province of Gilan. This information was given to his lawyer Nasser Sarbaz. It was communicated to him verbally, news sources said.

Pastor Youcef was transferred after the verdict from Lakan prison to another place of detention, which is under the direction of the Political Police of The Islamic Republic.

Pastor Youcef was arrested in October 2009 for protesting against a decision of the Corporation to impose Koranic teaching to his son. Iran adheres, at least officially, to the Charter of Human Rights and the Iranian Constitution recognizes the right to religious freedom and according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad there is no thought crimes law in Iran.

There is a petition to the Iranian Government in several languages www.petitiononline.com/IRANPET/petition.html to have Youcef released. The petition asks Iranian Presidemt Ahmadinejad to release Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Fatemeh Pasandideh, Fatemeh Kojouri Tork ( the wife of Pastor Behrouz), Mehdi and Mina Kerbalayi and their mother, Nahid, Brother Afshin, Sister Mahsa, brother mid, Sister Nasrin, Pastor Behnam Irani, Pastor Behrouz Sadegh immediately, without charges. Concerned believers are being asked to contact the German government and human rights associations to let them know about this problem.

Www.worthynews.com reports Pastor Youcef faces execution after two judges agreed to make him "liable to capital punishment," as part of a crackdown on the growing Protestant church movement in the Islamic nation. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was detained in June along with wife Fatemeh Pasandideh in the city of Rasht in northwestern Iran because of their Christian activities, Iranian Christians said. A senior pastor of the Church of Iran movement, which includes house churches across the country, told Worthy News that judges had "already signed" an Islamic order that would potentially allow a death sentence for Nadarkhani, pending further investigations. The pastor usually speaks on condition of anonymity amid security concerns. News of the execution overshadowed joy over the release of two Church of Iran Christians, a man and a woman, and the expected release this week on bail of two other members, who the movement only identified as "brothers Mehdi and Afshin."

MORE DETENTIONS

Worthynews.com reports they were part of a group of eight Church of Iran members detained June 18, according to the senior pastor. One of them, a pastor's wife identified as Fatemeh Kojouri Tork, remained in Tehran's notorious Evin prison Tuesday, July 13, while her husband, Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani, was kept in isolation in a security prison in the southwestern city of Shiraz, the Christian leader said. "We still do not hear from Reverend Behrouz Khanjani..." Iranian Christians have also expressed concerns about reports of other detentions, including last month's capture of Pastor Behnam Irani in the city of Karaj, 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) west of Tehran. Several believers have allegedly been mistreated, sources said. "We have learned that information that [security forces] have been using substances to extract confessions from Christians," the senior pastor said. Iranian officials have not commented on the cases, the sources stated.

AUTHORITIES CONCERNED

Wortheynews.com also says religious rights groups have linked the crackdown to concern among authorities about growing churches and the spread of Christianity among Muslims in the country. Church sources say the number of Christians in Iran has grown from 500 known believers in 1979 to at least 100,000 today. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly said the government needed to halt the growing movement of house churches across Iran. Under Iran's strict interpretation of Islam, "apostasy" -- or the formal renunciation of religion -- is punishable by death. One Christian persecution watchdog reports that over the last decade, the Iranian church has grown significantly and estimates now say the total number of Christians in Iran to be about 450,000. The group said the government has intentionally sought to stop this growth and make it impossible for Christians to practice their religion. Although churches connected to minority groups, such as Armenians and Assyrians, are allowed to teach their own people in their own language, it is forbidden to minister to people with a Muslim background (speaking Farsi).

Please pray:

1. Remember believers such as Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Fatemeh Kojouri Tork, Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani and Pastor Behnam who are in prison because of their faith. Ask God to strengthen them physically, emotionally and spiritually, so that they will be a 'light in the darkness.'
2. Thank God that despite the horrendous circumstances for Christians in Iran and the opposition they face from the government, the church is growing.
3. Pray for the house church movement, which is responsible for much of the growth of the church. Ask God to protect its leaders and give them wisdom and understanding.

The death sentence imposed on Pastor Youcef is expected to be carried out by October 24.


NEWS ALERT: Iran Releases Pastor's Wife as Husband Faces Execution

Posted on: 2010-10-18 02:00:30
By Stefan J. Bos, Worthy News Chief International Correspondent

TEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)-- The wife of a prominent evangelical pastor in Iran was free Monday, October 18, after four months of detention, but her husband still faced the death penalty for abandoning Islam, the Church of Iransaid.

Fatemeh Passandideh, the wife of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, was released October 11 by a court in Gilan province,in northern Iran, an official linked to the Church of Iran told Worthy News and its news partner BosNewsLife.

"The release of Fatemeh Passandideh comes ten days after the announcement of the death sentence for her husbandPastor Youcef Nadarkhani," he said, speaking on earlier agreed conditions of anonymity, amid security concerns.

Pastor Nadarkhani was convicted of "apostasy", or leaving Islam, last month by the 11th Chamber of the Assize Court of theprovince of Gilan. The pastor's attorney is expected to file an appeal against the ruling after he reportedly found"serious procedural flaws" in the case.


Iran: Pastor Sentenced to Death

Reported by VOM (The Voice of the Martyrs) on October 15, 2010

Christians in Iran are reporting that Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani has been sentenced to death for what is called a .thought crime.. VOM contacts confirm that the pastor.s trial was held in recent weeks in the 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the province of Gilan, but a formal verdict has not yet been delivered by the court.

Pastor Youcef, a leader in the Full Gospel .Church of Iran. network, is one of several members of his church who have been imprisoned. The Iranian government has also threatened his wife with life imprisonment and has threatened to take away their two children, who are currently being cared for by relatives. Pastor Youcef was arrested in October 2009 after protesting a decision by the government requiring that his son study the Quran.

Media reports suggest that Pastor Youcef was transferred to Lakan prison, which is supervised by the Political Police of the Islamic Republic. If a death sentence is officially handed down by the court and Pastor Youcef is executed, his would be the first judicial execution of a Christian in Iran in two decades.

This arrest is the latest in a series of arrests of believers in Iran in the past year. Eighty-three Christians are known to have been arrested in Iran since the beginning of 2010. Of those, 65 were subsequently released, but 18 are still believed to be in custody.

The Voice of the Martyrs stands with and supports persecuted believers in Iran. VOM encourages you to pray for Pastor Youcef, his family and other believers in prison. Ask God to protect them and to embolden them to proclaim his name in the face of great persecution.


For additional information visit:
ASSIST News Service:Christian Pastor in Iran Faces Death Penalty in One Week for .Thought Crime.. "
Islamization Watch: Apostasy: Iran Releases Pastor.s Wife as Husband Faces Execution for Abandoning Islam
VOM: Pastor Sentenced to Death in Iran
Christian Persecution Info: NEWS ALERT: Iran Releases Pastor's Wife as Husband Faces Execution
CrossWalk: Iran Releases Pastor's Wife, Husband Still Faces Execution

Romans 8:38-39
(New Living Translation)

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away.

39 Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39, nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ

Jesus said: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
- Gospel of John 16:33
Gospel of John, 16:33, Jesus says; I give you peace in this world

"Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection... they were stoned; they were sawn in two; they were put to death by the sword... the world was not worthy of them." -- Hebrews 11: 37-38.

Martyred and Imprisoned Iranian ChristiansMartyred & Imprisoned Christian Leaders in Iran

  • A Documentary Film on the Untold Story of Religious Freedom In Iran

  • 2013 - October 21 - Pastor Eddie Romero - Tonight, at about 10:30PM (9:00AM Tehran time) Pastor Eddie Romero approached the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran and made a declaration of protest on behalf of five Iranian prisoners: Farshid Fathi, Saeed Abedini, Mostafa Bordbar, Alireza Seyyedian, and Mohammed Ali Dadkhah. For more information go to: exodus8one.org
  • 2013 - October 5 - Maryam Naghash-Zargaran - Maryam (aka Nasim) an Iranian Christian Prisoner in Evin Prison was Transferred to Hospital
  • 2013 - April 11 - Pastor Saeed Abedini - Sentenced to 8 years in Prison in January 2013 - Send msg & sign Petition
  • 2012 - October 12 - Pastor Behnam irani and 7 members of Church of Shiraz arrested
  • 2012 - September 8 - Iran: Pastor Nadarkhani Released, Acquitted Of Apostasy
  • 2012 - February 22 - Iranian Authorities Order Death Warrant for Pastor Nadarkhani
  • 2012 - January - The Governor General of Tehran Province, Morteza Tamadon, acknowledged in a statement on 4th January that a number of evangelical Christians had been arrested. He referred to their 'corrupting' influence and warned that further arrests are imminent.
  • 2011 - December - Alireza Seyyedian - Alireza a Follower of Jesus since 2006, was arrested and sentenced to six years in December 2011. He is kept in the section 350 of Evin Prison where political prisoners are held.
  • 2011 - December - 60+ Iranian Christians arrested on the eve of Christmas
  • 2011 - List of Other Iranian Christians Imprisoned
  • 2011 - September - Mehdi "Petros" Foroutan, a 27-year-old pastor in Iran, was arrested in January 2010 and charged with crimes against national security and blasphemy against Islam. (as of 2/24/2012 - 154 days in Prison)
  • 2011 - May - Behnam Irani, a 41-year-old pastor from Kraj, Iran, was convicted of crimes against national security in January 2011 and sentenced to one year in prison. After voluntarily surrendering to authorities on May 31 to begin his sentence, he learned that he would be forced to serve five years in connection with a previous conviction.
  • 2011 - Rev. Behrooz Khanjani trial hearing on 4/5/2001, He is married with a 6 yo child and has already spent over 8 months in prison
  • 2011 - Rev. Leonard Keshishian, the pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Isfahan has been arrested
  • 2010 - December 26 - Farshid Fathi - was arrested on Dec. 26, 2010 in a wave of arrests of believers in Tehran and other areas. He was sentenced to six years of imprisonment on March 5, 2012. Farshid's appeal against the charges was rejected in June 2012. He is due to serve the rest of his sentence in Evin Prison.
  • 2010 - Over 70 Iranian Christians were arrested during Christmas Holidays. The Governor of Tehran has vowed to arrest more evangelical Christians.
  • 2010 - Pastor Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani - Gilan, Iran - arrested & imprisioned for the crime of Apostasy
  • 2010 - October - a young believer has died in Iran after he had been severely beaten by a relative who objected to his strong faith in Christ. He leaves behind a wife and two young children. (Reported by Elam)
  • 2010 - September 23, Nine followers of Jesus were detained in Hamedan, the capital of Hamadan province, on charges of evangelism, which potentially carries the death penalty under strict laws in Iran.
        - According to a report by FCNN (Farsi Christian News Network), 4 followers of Jesus Christ from Hamadan were arrested on September 4, 2010. Three of them were released on April 30, 2011, after 8 months in prison (Arezoo Teymouri & her husband Arash Karmanjai and Sonia Keshish Ovanesian). Vahid Abrahemian is still under arrest as of April 30, 2011.
  • 2010 - July 24 at 9:00 p.m., 27-year-old Neshan Saeedi was spending a quiet evening at home with his wife and young daughter when plain-clothes security forces entered his house and arrested him. The security officers searched the home and seized personal belongings such as a computer, CDs containing films of Christian seminars and teachings, Christian books and Bibles, and family photo albums. As of September 09, 2010 - there is no information about the condition of Neshan.
  • 2010 - July 18, 15 Christians detained in Mashhad,Iran's second largest city, remain detained and are "under pressure pressure to recant their faith but are refusing to do so." - (Reported by The Voice of the Martyrs)
  • 2010 - April 29, Ali Golchin (29), has been held in solitary confinement in Tehran's Evin prison since he was arrested in his home town of Varamin on April 29. After weeks of appealing to the authorities, Ali's father was finally allowed access to him on June 17 -- though they were allowed only 10 minutes together. Ali was released on bail on July 25.
  • 2009 - Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh - Arrested for passing out Bibles and talking about Jesus in Tehran
  • 2009 - October, Pastor Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani - Held in prison in Shiraz, Iran - has been given limited contact with his family and his attorney.
    2008 - on September 11, 2008 "Iran Parliament Approves Death Penalty for Apostasy Bill"
  • 2008 - Sakineh Rahnama), August 3, wife of Abbas Amiri, died from injuries sustained when secret police raided a house church service hosted at their house and severly beat her.
  • 2008 - Abbas Amiri), August 1, House Church Isfahan, died from injuries sustained when secret police raided a house church service hosted at their house and severly beat him.
  • 2007 - On April 18 2007 three members of Malatya Church in Turkey were murdered; Pastor Necati Aydin, Tilmann Geske & Ugur Yuksel. The first martyrs of the modern Turkish Church.
  • 2007 - In June, a number of Iranian Christians have been arrested and are held in unknown places, including Mr. fard from Tehran.
  • 2007 - Mohammad Ali Jafarzadeh, May 2007, Executed (hanged) in Evin Prison
  • 2007 - Mohammad Jaberi, May 2007, Executed (hanged) in Evin Prison
  • 2007 - Mr. Patrick, an Iranian Christian and a member of Church of Kermanshah was arrested in May.
  • 2007 - Several Iranian Christians from Church of Mashhad were arrested in February.
  • 2006 - 14 Iranian Christians from Church of Rasht were arrested in December.
  • 2006 - Iranian secret police began to raid and arrest leaders of the Islamic republic's indigenous "Jesus Only" movement Sunday December 10, arriving unannounced in the early morning hours to search their homes in Tehran, Karaj, Rasht and Bandar-i Anzali.
  • 2005 - Pastor Ghorbandordi Tourani - Iranian House Church Leader murdered near his house in Gonbad-e Kavous, November 22
  • 2004 - Pastor Hamid Pourmand - arrested ... sentenced to 3 years in prison ... charged with apostasy ... acquitted of apostasy ...
  • 2004 - 80 Iranian Christians Arrested, September 2004
  • 2004 - Pastor Khosroo Yusefi and his family arrested by Iranian Police on Sunday May 23, 2004
  • 2003 - International Religious Freedom Report on Iran
  • 1996 - Rev. Bagher Yusefi, Murdered Sept. 28 1996, Assembly of God Church of Amirkola, Mazanderan
  • 1994 - Rev. Tateos Mikaelian, June 29 1994, Presbyterian Church of Tehran
  • 1994 - Rev. Mehdi Dibaj, Hanged from a tree June 1994, Assembly of God Church of Tehran
  • 1994 - Bishop Haik Hovsepian, Mudered January 1994, Assembly of God Church of Tehran
  • 1990 - Rev. Hossein Soodmand, Executed December 1990, Assembly of God Church of Mashhad
  • 1988 - Rev. Manuchehr Afghani, Presbyterian Church of Tehran
  • 1980 - Bahram Deghani-Tafti, Murdered May 1980, Church of Isfahan, Son of an Anglican Bishop Hassan Dehqani-Tafti
  • 1979 - Rev. Arastoo Sayyah - Murdered February 1979 - Angelican Church of Shiraz
Iranian Muslims Turn to Christ Despite Threat, Persecution!

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