Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Iran: another pastor charged; Also: Taliban torture

Pastor Matthias Haghnejad

IRAN –Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, of the evangelical Church of Iran was arrested Aug. 17 while making a pastoral visit. Earlier this year he was arrested, charged, and acquitted with ten others for “activities against the order.” He previously arrested in 2006.  

Haghnejad was charged with blasphemy against Islam, a capital offense, and was held without attorney access or family contact in a secret location. A family member has pledged his property, and he was released on US$30,000 bail Aug. 27, but he is in deep trouble. 

Pray that Matthias will have grace, strength, clarity, and wisdom as the Iranian regime now seeks to break him. Pray for peace for his wife and daughter. Meanwhile, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani remains in prison awaiting the re-examination of his case for apostasy. Please continue to hold up both men in prayer for their safety, strength, and courage in the face of suffering. 

AFGHANISTAN Afghan Christians and Jews are seen as infidels by al-Qaeda and the Taliban. They are viewed as agents of the FBI or CIA, are tortured and interrogated inhumanely, and finally slaughtered with a sharp-edged dagger or with the iron wire from the tires of motorcycles or cars. 

Another method of torture is to tie them in an iron chair while three or four candles burning beneath the chair roast their buttocks and flesh. The torture is designed to force them to confess crimes they haven't committed and disclose, under duress, that they were agents of the FBI or CIA. The torture and murders are videoed and posted on Islamic websites. Pray for protection of Afghan Christians and Jews.